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The flipped classroom is one fruit of the ubiquitous learning opportunities that we have today. In brief, it is to remove the lecturing part from the classroom and put it online, and when the students come to class, they will have seen, heard or read the explanation of a given point online before, so they can spend their time in class practicing, discussing and focusing on the practical aspects of the point being taught.

There are two ways to achieve the flipped classroom:

The first is by conveying the same information through videos, presentations, documents or what have you online to make it available for all students to see. Request that students do read or see these chunks at home, and then come back to class prepared to discuss or do practical work. Very straightforward it might seem, but more or less the same way as the traditional way, except that now the students can access the content anytime. However, this anytime factor is not entirely true if they have a small window of time before the class, and they already have other subjects to learn and limited time to spend at home. In brief, this way of doing flipped classrooms is just like adding more or new homework for students to do. To be fair, though, I have to say that the more time students get to practice in the class is valuable.

The second way is to complement the course being given by assigning things to do online at home that cannot be done at school regardless of the teaching part that encompasses, which might be called blended learning in this case. A little piece of advice here, try to keep the fun things for home because teachers usually approach blended learning or the flipped classroom the other way round and try to leave the most boring stuff to be done alone at home. One thing for sure that we all know as teachers, and that it is a lot easier to motivate students to do things in class in front of us than it is at home. We all have those students that are active in class, but poor in homework delivery. Students hate homework just like we did when we were students, so let’s think about these great possibilities of ubiquitous learning and try to find ways to motivate students at home. Give them a game to play at home and try to come up with some concepts out of it. Have them watch a movie at home and come back to discuss its important message that relates to some class material, or many other good ideas to make this part at home funny and interesting. Let’s face it, between our most elaborate and fun homework and any mediocre game the students have at home, we don’t stand a chance, so let’s try not to underestimate our primary competitors, the game companies, and try to come up with some more creative ways for our students to make use of the flipped classroom or blended learning models of learning.

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