Open-ended Reversed Learning

I am keen to try a reverse model of instruction in my classroom but I have hesitations because I don’t believe giving them video to watch at home is a model of real learning.  I also don’t know how parents would receive this because they often like to see their kids “doing” homework, not just watching a video.

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I think real-life learning, which the reverse model strives to simulate, would not always have students watching a teacher generated video.  Rather, students would be required to use their thinking skills and online networks to find the information they need inorder to prepare for the next day’s class meeting.  Without the teacher spoon-feeding specific information through a prescribed video, the learning would be vast and student directed.  This would be the ideal model of reverse instruction that I would like to experiment with.  Granted, my students are fourth graders and would require some amount of parental guidance while searching for information at home.

More and more we hear about the important role parents play in education because their kids are learning all the time – often at their own will and in unsupervised environments.  Teachers can no longer be solely responsible for student learning.  Many of today’s parents are digital immigrants and because of their unfamiliarity with technology, they might not understand the true magic of the web.  When they do understand how the web works, they give a whole world of infinite learning to their children.  This shift has yet to be realized, but soon enough parents will have to get up to speed to support these young inquiring minds.


I will try to flip my math class in January.  In preparation I will have to search the concepts myself to get a general understanding of what the kids will come up with.  Thankfully my students already have a good understanding of different search tools, reliability and readability.  Even with that foundation we will need to generate parameters for their at home searches (specific search engines, search tools, bank of math sites, etc…)

I will also need to educate parents so that there is less resistance to allowing their children to search the web. My classroom model will also have to change.  I anticipate students working in small groups to share what they know, then applying it to solve problems in their math journals.  I would also like a routine part of class to be spent adding learning to the web, by way of student collaborative teaching in video form.

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About Laura Arleth

I am currently one of 13 fourth grade teachers as Singapore American School with 22 students to guide in the process of learning. I have so much fun integrating meaningful technology in the class which motivates students. I have also lived and taught in Venezuela, Korea, and Canada, earned my MS from SUNY Buffalo, and am currently working on COETAIL. I hope one day to be a writer, photographer, yoga teacher, and mother!
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