A Computer For Every Student
“One-to-one programs” are popular in private schools, and the governor wants them in all the public schools, but the jury is still out on their effectiveness
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Flipping the Classroom
No more sleep-inducing lectures and pages of review exercises for homework. Instead, imagine students watching short video lectures for homework and going into class ready for hands-on activities and projects that reinforce concepts already learned.
Welcome to the “flipped” classroom. What makes it possible is one-to-one programs that ensure all students have access to a computer outside of class, along with Internet access, whether at home, school or a cafe.
This classroom model has grown in popularity over the past half-decade. Students watch short video lectures or narrated slideshows outside of class at their own pace, freeing classroom time for practical applications and review. Students are more accountable for their own learning and the teacher-student relationship is transformed from lecturer-listener to collaborators.
Flipped classrooms are happening in many local private schools and some public schools, although challenges arise with students who do not have their own computers, or lack easy Internet access outside of school.
“Some of our teachers are flipping the classrooms now,” says Amy Kimura, assistant principal at the high school of Kamehameha Schools’ Kapalama Campus. “They put out information ahead of time so when students go to class, they’re not going to spend time in a lecture, but they’ll do projects and other activities.”
Lorelei Saito, social studies teacher at Punahou’s Case Middle School, says flipping the classroom helps her pinpoint what students understand and what they struggle with.
“(Students) view the lecture at home and then I have them do an online check for understanding,” she says. “... If I see that they’ve got it, I can move right on to the hands-on activity.”
Flipped classrooms change what students and parents perceive as homework and class time, which can take some getting used to. But this kind of self-paced learning, in which students can pause, rewind or fast-forward through lectures, has benefited those who can’t keep up during in-class lectures and motivated smart students who found the lecture pace too slow.
Saito adds that flipping the classroom gives her more time to interact with students, supporting them individually and as a class. “Before, my attitude was, ‘Oh, I only have an hour with them.’ Now, it’s ‘Wow, I have an hour with them!’ ”
– Marcie Kagawa
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