Chapter 1: Our Story: Creating the Flipped Classroom

In 2007, two teachers in Colorado, Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams, realized they were spending an inordinate amount of time on catching students up when they missed class.  Because towns are so far apart, many athletes struggled to keep up and be in class when they had to be on the bus for hours to go to competitions.

Technology got to a point to be a tool to use whereby the two teachers, Jonathan and Aaron, began videotaping their lessons so absent students could hear the information and students who were present could watch and pick up on information they may have missed during class. 

Side effects: More emails from students asking questions, emails from teachers who were using the videos, online science teacher forums, etc. 

In 2007, two teachers in Colorado, Jonathan Bergman and Aaron...
Flipped Classroom is Born
Flipped Classroom is Born

  • Aaron had a stark realization:  “The time when students really need me physically present is when they get stuck and need my individual help.  They don’t need me there in the room with them to yak at them and give them content; they an receive content on their own.”  
  • He began to prerecord all lessons as homework and then just helped students with concepts they didn’t know.
  • Teachers found they had more time for labs and for problem work time.  They ran out of things for the students to do.  They were completing all their work with 20 minutes left in class. This model was much more efficient than lecturing and assigning homework. 
  • Personalization of education for each student has merit but how can a teacher individualize for 150 students each day when the model is built on the standardized, factory model?   Flipping the classroom facilitates the individualization.
  • He realized that some students were getting more information yet the Jonathan and Aaron realized they were still pushing some kids through before they had achieved mastery of content.
  • They realized they had never been trained in how to set up a classroom designed for mastery learning. They experimented and realized several things:
          1. There is no such thing as THE flipped classroom. 
          2. It’s about a mindset, not a recipe. The attention is on the student, not the teacher. 


Aaron had a stark realization:  “The time when students really...
Teaching for Tomorrow: Flipped Learning
Teaching for Tomorrow: Flipped Learning
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Next: Chapter 2: The Flipped Classroom