COMMENTARY | Technological advances might be the saving grace of nation's ailing public education system. The "Flipped Classrooms" concept is the wave of the future, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Change never comes easily, but bold steps must be taken to properly educate youth and better prepare them for college and the workforce. Education reform has been a hot topic along the campaign trail for decades, yet academic testing scores continue to plummet.
As long as liberal lawmakers continue to side with the teachers unions, true reform will be a struggle. If public school districts cast off unsuccessful teaching strategies and mandate annual performance evaluations for teachers, the U.S. could once again be a world leader in education.
The innovative "flipping" curriculum sends home a computerized lesson or teacher recoded lecture to introduce the material. The following day teachers follow up with subject related practice. Students can start and stop the lesson until they are comfortable with the material and then ask questions during the classroom session. Students with parents unable or unwilling to help with homework tend to fall behind the rest of the class. Rearranging how material is presented to students removes the homework obstacle from the equation.
The online presentation allows students to work at an individual pace. The "flipping" lesson plans do not inhibit advanced learners or require them to waste time answering multiple problems after they have demonstrated a mastery of the material. Slower learners can more easily absorb material and take notes to reference during the next school day.
Classrooms across the country are successfully engaging in a "flipped" or partially digital classroom experience. The International Center for Leadership in Education in New York reports that grade improvement in individual multiple classrooms prompted an urban high school in Detroit to "flip" the entire curriculum at the school, the Columbus Dispatch reports. If the technology and self-paced curriculum can boost grades in a poor urban district, it should be able to improve academic progress anywhere.
Modern students have the capability to not only complete tasks via computer, but to excel at the process. Students also learn important time management and personal responsibility skill with such a curriculum. It will take more than a single program to improve public schools, but the "flipped classroom" is helping to redefine the role of educators in America.