*This post involves nothing by the way of new ideas, I merely put the word ‘flipping’ in the title so more people would read it*
Exam season is approaching. Year 11 are soon to be sitting their GCSE Maths exams, mostly not for the first time. Year 10 are also soon to be sitting their GCSE Maths exams, mainly for the first time (they will doubtless have a few more chances before they finish Year 11). All of this has put more pressure on teachers to begin revision lessons when they still have content to deliver.
This is where I’ve found video content to be a huge help. Each week I make a short video (under 5 mins) explaining how to tackle questions on my chosen revision topic, using the superb Explain Everything app for the iPad. The content is uploaded directly to Youtube so it can be easily embedded in the class wiki. I then distribute a set of revision questions to my students on the topic, tell them to watch the video and wait to collect their work in without even mentioning the topic in class. Here is a little sample of a short ratio video:
The aim of these videos is to create additional time for covering other topics in lessons. I have found it to be an extremely valuable method, especially with my Year 10 classes; weekly homeworks now have a revision focus, leaving lessons as a time for exploring new topics – the way it should be. In this way the main benefits of a ‘flipped classroom’ can be truly felt; it provides students with more time to access a greater amount of material and to a higher level.
The quality of my students’ revision homework has been very high, with some students predictably highlighting the ability to replay video content until they understand it. I am yet to map it to any exam results, but am hopeful even at these early stages. It certainly seems to be beneficial to a real range of ability groups. I have found it incredibly useful for high ability classes as a means to revising easier content they have not covered for a while, whilst it is equally useful with lower ability classes who can often struggle with retaining information and new skills.
I suspect these revision video homeworks would be further enhanced by a platform for student interaction where students are able to assist each other – such as Edmodo – but this isn’t something I have setup for my GCSE classes, yet.