video learning

The Flipped Classroom: Putting Students in the Driver’s Seat


What is it?

When presented with the flipped classroom model, educators are somewhat apprehensive about making this pedagogical shift. In order to determine its place in the classroom and its potential effectiveness, it is essential to completely understand what the flipped classroom is and is not.

The flipped classroom does not only center on watching videos. While video learning is a component, the main focus of the flipped classroom is opening up instructional time for meaningful,  engaging, and differentiated learning experiences.

The Flipped Learning Network defines flipped Learning as a “pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.”

As part of the blended learning process, the flipped classroom challenges students to utilize a variety of multimedia formats to acquire and evaluate information, thus creating a constructionist learning environment.  In a recent study, 47 percent of students in grades 9-12, 39 percent of students in grade 6-8 and 25 percent of students in grades 3-5 responded that they wanted to learn online to control their own learning experience(eduviews). With this is in mind, the combination between traditional face to face learning and online learning components can provide students with the ideal environment to meet their learning goals. Tools that include digital content can contribute to a learning process that is current and meaningful. Educators that use blended learning have commented on the increased amount of available one on one instructional time when online components were used within the lesson. Furthermore, video learning is relevant. Our hyper connected digital natives now use online content as a primary resource when gathering information; making it an essential part of the learning process. “Cashing in” on our students propensity towards online content creates the engagement necessary to cultivate meaningful learning experiences.

What is looks like in practice.

Flipping your classroom includes choosing a lesson, seeking a video that supports the lesson, assigning the video for at home viewing, and using instructional time for activities other than direct lecture.  There are a wide gamut of online video sites such as Youtube, Brainpop, Khan Academy, and Ted ED that offer videos in nearly every content area. The gold standard for flipped classroom videos is Edpuzzle, a tool that allows you to search a wide database of educational videos and personalize them for delivery to your students. Capabilities include, cropping, voiceover, the addition of text annotations and questions. An added plus is the ability to monitor if students watched the video, how many times it was watched, and what sections were re-watched. Also included is the function allowing teachers to review student’s results in the embedded questions.

While creating videos may seem daunting to some educators, it is not necessary to flipping your classroom. There are perks to teacher created videos including personalization for students. Simply said, students enjoy watching teacher created content.  What do teacher created videos actually look like? Mr. Kilcran, an eighth grade science teacher has launched flipped learning in his classroom with much success. Not only are his  videos engaging to his students, he has opened up valuable instructional time for differentiated learning and hands on science activities.

Mr. Kilcran Science – Videos on middle school science topics and practical applications of flipping your classroom.

The educational arena has changed making it vital for educators to reflect on how to achieve effective learning. The shift from being the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side” holds more weight now than ever before. The changing needs of our students are significant and adding the flipped learning model to the classroom can foster active engagement in the learning process.

Flipped learning is well worth the attempt.




The Teaching Channel: A Window to Common Core in Action


Fueled by technology, professional development has made some sizeable changes.  Online PD has become commonplace with Skype sessions, podcasts, and other types of video resources.

Connecting is substantially easier as teachers can now draw from an online educational community of learners to build effective practices and amp up their arsenal of teaching tools.

The Teaching Channel has designed an impressive video showcase where experts in the fields of teaching and learning collaborate to create learning resources and provide step by step common core guidance.

For more inspirational viewing, “Teaching Channel Presents” is broadcasted on Public Television on Saturdays at 4am (set your DVR). Episodes cover many aspects of Ed tech, STEM, Common Core, and The Arts.  Full versions of past episodes are housed on The Teaching Channel Website.

Aimed at grades k-5, the Teaching Channel provides an in depth look at what innovative,
Common Core aligned teaching practices look like.

Video Learning With Help from LearnZillion’s Educator Dream Team


Let’s talk Common Core.

As overwhelming as it may seem, there are solid resources that can help both you and your students manuevar through these standards.

Eric Westendorf and Alex Guerrier founded, a digital media tool that provides free common core based lessons, all organized in a familiar online video format.

Here is how it works. Five minute video lessons are narrated by a real teacher and illustrated by hand. The result is a skills focused video that students replay as needed. 

Who are these real teachers? They are part of the LearnZillion dream team which is composed of over 3000 master teachers with extensive knowledge of the common core standards and a demonstrated ability to deliver concepts to students.

LearnZillion has created a platform where professional development is partnered with teaching. Yes, sometimes teachers need help with teaching concepts, so for educators a coaches commentary is included to offer new perspectives and ideas. Resources also include slides, guided practice, Spanish video lessons, and a downloadable notes template.

With the increased need for differentiation, LearnZillion provides customized video learning where teachers can track student progress.