Hoping To Flip A Few Classrooms – Can You Do The Same?

I am not quite sure why it took me more than two months to send out this e-mailto my staff, but I thought I would share it with you and encourage you to send a similar one.

Good Morning,

I have spoken to a few people about some recent blog posts I have read about Flipping Instruction or Reverse Instruction. One of the best summaries of the whole idea is in a post from Jonathan Martin, a high school Principal in Tuscon, Arizona. Jonathan’s post was titled Reverse Instruction: Dan Pink and Karl’s “Fisch Flip.”

The following excerpt from the post sums up the rationale behind the whole idea:

“If kids can get the lectures, can get the content delivery and skill modeling as well (or often better) by computer lecture than in person, why do we have use precious class-time for this purpose? Why do we, in the status quo, †replicate in person in our classrooms what is easily available elsewhere, the content delivery/skill modeling, and then have kids apply their learning to difficult problems at home, without us there to help?

Increasingly, education’s value-add is and will be in the coaching and troubleshooting when students are applying their learning, and in challenging students to apply their thinking to hands-on learning by doing and teaming: so let’s have them do these things in class, not sit and listen.

So I am offering a Flip Video to the first three classroom teachers willing to give the Fisch Flip a try.  The only thing I would ask is that you try this three times between now and the end of the school year.

Please touch base if you have any questions on this.

I hope you had (or are having) a great weekend!



    1. Mark Carlson said:

      I am willing to do this for a flip video camera??

      January 22, 2011
      • Mark – That is great. Now all you have to do is get your Principal to make the same offer. For a cost of $150 it seems like a pretty good investment to get teachers to Flip.

        January 22, 2011
        • Steve Dickie said:

          Check out digitalwish.com

          They have a deal with Flip. Buy one FlipUltraHD and get a second one free. You could double to 6 teachers at the same price.

          January 22, 2011
        • Thanks for the info Steve. I hope I get six interested teachers!

          January 23, 2011
      • Abby Claytor said:


        I am a Fourth Grade teacher at Crozet Elementary School and I can think of at least 4 ways to use a Flip camera by the end of the school year!

        January 26, 2011
      • Thanks for sharing the link John and your experiences in making this change. That is step two in this whole process…sharing the results!

        January 22, 2011
    2. I would do this in a heartbeat, but am hung up on how my students would be able to access the lectures? Not all of my kids has home internet access…and those who don’t often have smartphones instead so they can keep up with social networking. So then my thought is to post lectures on FB….but I hesitate to give Zuckerberg even more control over my students.

      But to answer the original question about why we lecture in class and make higher order activities HW, is because a significant number of kids just don’t do HW….and it is still the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that those students learn too. So we save the direct instruction for the class…which reinforces the idea that you don’t *have* to do HW. It’s a Catch-22!

      I would give it a try…just need posting/access for all students ideas….so anyone with thoughts please share. Thanks in advance!

      January 22, 2011
      • Mary Lou,

        Good point on the internet access issue I am fortunate that we don’t face that concern in my school. You also made me think about the whole anti-homework movement that is out there and I am wondering how this would be perceived by the proponents of Alfie Kohn?

        Thanks for your comments!

        January 23, 2011
      • Karl Fisch said:

        Mary Lou,

        I’m lucky enough as well that all of my students have access at home (I called all the parents in June once they were scheduled into my class to make sure). But it’s pretty easy to provide alternative access to students assuming they have at least some resources at home.

        If they have a computer, put all the videos on a flash drive. Inexpensive, quick and easy.

        If they don’t even have a computer, put the videos on a DVD. A little more expensive (as it will take multiple DVD’s), but the penetration of DVD players (or devices that play DVD’s) is pretty close to 100% in the U.S.

        If students don’t have a computer or a DVD player, then we have bigger issues to deal with, but I think one way to begin dealing with those is to provide one for them.

        January 26, 2011
        • Karl – Thanks for the response on this logistical question!

          January 26, 2011
    3. This is exciting, Patrick: Great work, and thanks for your nice nod in my direction.

      First I should say how glad I am see John’s comment above, and to urge readers to visit his post that he offers as a link. I am indebted to John; it was his comments on my original post her at CP about uses of Khan Academy that introduced me to a much wider world of innovation in reverse instruction, and John is an outstanding practicioner.

      We have some great initiatives underway at St. Gregory, some of which I am intending to share soon. I look forward to hearing back from you Patrick about your advances.

      The digital divide may still be limited some of our students, and we certainly need to be concerned about this, but I believe that the mobile device revolution will continue to swiftly advance, and it will only be another year or two before just about all kids can afford them, and for those who can’t, schools will realize their responsibility to step up and provide them.


      January 22, 2011
      • Thanks Jonthan! I agree that the smart phones will eventually be in every student’s pocket and that we will be looking at 1:1 a bit differently. It is both overwhelming and exciting how quickly things are changing. It is more important for educators to build networks to share successes and failures. I am glad you are in my network!

        January 23, 2011
    4. Dave said:

      Thx. Patrick. I have thought about this myself and will need to investigate some more, and better yet even try it.

      Thx. for sharing!


      January 23, 2011

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