School. Teachers talk. Students listen. For thousands of years, that’s been the set-up in classrooms across the world.
But what if there’s a better way?
Pegasus is working with Niall O’Connor, one of Europe’s leading experts on technology in the classroom, to promote the flipped classroom – a new type of learning, designed for the modern, technological world. It reverses the traditional learning environment of instruction at school, homework at home. In a flipped classroom, teachers send students home with their lessons, giving them videos and instructional content to watch online in their own time. That frees up precious classroom time for teachers to teach – to work with the students, hands-on.
Ireland’s first-ever Flipped Classroom convention took place in UCD on Saturday last, April 21. Hundreds of teachers form all over Ireland attended, to hear speakers from a range of European countries outline the newest developments in teaching and learning.
Formal schools have existed since at least the days of ancient Greece. And the traditional model has served us well. But this is a new theory for a modern generation, and there are huge benefits for both teachers and students. The flipped classroom uses technology to promote more flexible and active learning. It also helps students to take responsibility and ownership of their learning.
Online education is booming. And flipping is part of that boom. Schools in Asia, America, Australia and the UK are all using the system – with impressive results. Research shows that, typically, failure rates go down, and graduation rates rise. And, even among those students who don’t do traditional homework, most actually do watch the videos.
Ireland has set itself the ambitious target of having the best education and training service in Europe within a decade. The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 promises, among other things, a 210 million euro capital investment programme, and professional upskilling for teachers – to facilitate them to embed digital technologies in teaching practice.