How Changing One Word in the Flipped Class Changes Everything

Image: Emily Danielle Photography

Image: Emily Danielle Photography

There is a word that I would like to take out of the vocabulary of flipped classroom teachers. It is the word, watch.  Students are supposed to watch a video at home and then come to class prepared to learn.  Watch is a passive word.  Students watch Batman, they watch The Voice, but we don’t want students to watch flipped class videos.


We want them to interact with the video content. There is research which states that passive learning (even via video), doesn’t help students achieve more.  Here are a few practical ways you can bring in some interactivity into your Flipped Class videos.

Low Tech

  • Set up an advanced organizer for students to use as they interact with the video.
  • Tell students to pause the video and do something like solve a problem, or predict, or write down an interesting question.  [Hint:  If you tell them to pause the video, make sure you pause for a few seconds, to give them time to hit the pause button].

High Tech

  • Create a google form (See our video on how to do this HERE), which the students will use to answer questions.
  • Use the built in quizzing feature in your school’s Learning Management System.
  • Use some free tools like or, which will pause the video at teacher- selected times and insert pop-up questions. Afterward, the teacher knows who watched the video, how long they watched the video, if they skipped any parts of the video, and how well they did on each question.
  • Use a questioning app such as Verso, which has students interact with each other on learning objects such as flipped videos.
  • Build your video using one of these tools, which provide analytics of student responses:

So lets take the word watch out of our vocabulary, and start telling people we are having students interact with content before class.

Please share with us other ways you have students interact with your flipped class videos.

Flipping Your Classroom With Limited Technology and Resources

Todd Nesloney (@TechNinjaTodd)is a 5th grade teacher in Texas who has flipped his class with limited technology.1Nesloney

Listen to all episodes of “The Flip Side” by clicking HERE or click below to listen to just this episode

Play in iTunes

Start Your Flipped Class Out Right by Flipping Back to School Night



One important part of flipping your class with efficacy is to make sure parents are adequately educated about the flipped classroom. They were never in a flipped class and since this is a relatively new idea, many don’t understand the model.  Their kids may go home and tell them:  “My teacher isn’t teaching anymore.  I am just learning on videos.”

One effective way to educate parents about the flipped classroom model is to flip your back to school night.  Follow these suggestions to flip your back to school night:

  • Create a short (2-4 min) video explaining how your class will operate in the flipped model.
  • Share the video link with your parents.  However, getting the link to the parents might be your biggest problem. Here are some ways to share:
    • If you have all of their email addresses, send the link via an email.
    • If you have elementary (primary) students, put it on a sheet of paper to send home with each child.  If you do, we suggest you use a url shortener like to make it easy to type in.
    • Create a QR code that can be scanned.  Show students how to scan it so that when they go home, they can share the link with their parents.  A good QR code generator can be found at:
  • Make sure that the video you create has some sort of interactivity in it.
    • You could possibly use a google doc,,, Camtasia Relay, or Adobe Presenter 9.
    • Ask the parents to write down two questions about the flipped class.
  • Once you are at Back to School Night:
    • Have a station in the room for those who have not watched the video,
    • Answer questions about the flipped classroom model, and/or
    • Break them into small groups with a few different questions to chat about.

Another thing you may want to share with them is a blog post Jon wrote to parents:  What if Your Child is in a Flipped Class?

Lastly, we reached out via social networking and here are a few sample videos that teachers made for their back to school night events.
If you have any ideas on how to flip back to school night, please add to the comment stream below.

Katie Lanier:  High School Physics Teacher
Heidi Anderson: 9th Grade Geometry
Frank Franz:  9th Grade World History

Flipping 3rd Grade Without Homework

Randy Brown is a 3rd grade teacher in Washington State who has seen radical transformation since he flipped his class  Listen to this episode of “The Flip Side.” Listen to all episodes of “The Flip Side” by clicking HERE or click below to listen to just this episode

Play in iTunes