APPortunity Knocks: Flipped Instruction is Purposeful Pedagogy 

APPortunity Knocks: Flipped Instruction is Purposeful Pedagogy 
by Markette Pierce (@mspiercetweets)

13 days until our Virtual Think Tanks begin! 

In this post Markette Pierce, who is leading a Beginning Level Teacher Think Tank called “Flipped Instruction 101: Bringing Best Practices to Online and In-Person Learning, 5-12,” shares some thoughts on overcoming roadblocks while transitioning to flipped instruction.

Teachers and leaders have often considered how to make the most out of their limited time with students. Flipped instruction offers a framework for considering how to design your instruction purposefully enough to provide a “Goldilocks” level of support to learners, regardless of the objective.

When discussing flipped pedagogy with educators and leaders, I’ve noticed that teachers often identify common roadblocks as to why they believe they can’t “flip.” I’ve addressed what I see as the four most common roadblocks in more detail on my blog, and I’ve excerpted my response to the most common roadblock below:

I want to use collaborative technology with students, but they can’t connect at home.

computersTo accomplish much of life in the 21st Century, you need to be connected. Having taught in organizations facing both urban and rural poverty, it’s clear to me that not all students are always connected.

If some of your students aren’t connected at home, don’t let that derail your sound pedagogical intentions to flip your instruction:

  • Check, don’t assume. Sometimes we think we know about our students lives, but are really only making assumptions.  Survey students and their families to find out what technology and internet availability your students have accessible to them.
  • Find out when and where students can work online in the school building, as well as how they will get home. Present this information together.
  • Help students to access the mechanisms adults use to accomplish their online tasks: introduce your students to the town library, and discuss safe WIFI hot spots on and off campus.
  • If a large number of your students aren’t connected, build the critical connected activities into your class time: using the internet to research and produce writing is an important enough skill it gets its very own standard in W6.

In short, avoiding an edtech practice because you think your students can’t connect at home doesn’t accomplish the kind of fearless work that drew you to teaching. Flipping your instruction does not mean students without access to the internet are left out, as long as you are purposeful in supporting their very real connectivity needs.

Make purposeful, authentic online tasks part of the operation of your class, and help students find success in these tasks as you would any other.


TheEdCollab and NBC partnership text-01

Would you like to write for the Community Blog?  We’d love to have you!

Visit Write for Us to learn how!