January 18th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

My View: Flipped classrooms give every student a chance to succeed

Courtesy Troy Stein by Greg Green, Special to CNN

Editor’s note:  Greg Green is the principal at Clintondale High School in Clinton Township, Michigan.

I’m a principal at Clintondale High, a financially challenged school near Detroit. I’m in charge of doing my best to make sure that Clintondale students get the best education possible when they walk through our doors.

There are constant hurdles to making this happen. We are a school of choice, so not all students come in with the same skill levels in reading, math, science or other subjects. Almost 75% of our students receive free or reduced-price lunch because of today’s economic climate, and a large part of our student population commutes from Detroit, which often times takes an hour or longer, especially if the bus is late.

Every year, our failure rates have been through the roof.  The students weren’t paying attention, they weren’t doing their homework, they were being disruptive, or they weren’t coming to school at all. Sadly, these issues are not that uncommon, particularly in this economic climate, where the percentage of students who fall into the poverty category is increasing by the day.

It’s no surprise that these issues are happening in our schools. Everyone from politicians to parents admit that our educational system isn’t working, and we’re all screaming for change.  But no one gives advice on what changes are needed to improve education. The time has come to realize that the problem isn’t simply lack of effort or money, but the misalignment of our school structure.

To watch this happen every day, where it is your responsibility to try to provide the very best you can for the students, is beyond frustrating. It’s heartbreaking.

Our staff agreed that our failure rates were not good. But how do you go about addressing these issues with no money, no additional resources and no clear solution from the experts who already know the system is broken?

How do you get your staff on board with change you want to implement, but no one else has ever tried it on a mass scale? How do you get your students excited about learning when they’ve never shown much interest before?

You flip it. Here’s how it works:

At Clintondale High School, our education model wasn’t working, and the people suffering most were students. We recognized that a change was needed and applied for a grant from TechSmith, a local company that makes screen and lecture recording software. They provided us with some technology licenses and helped us create a flipped class structure, which we first implemented in the ninth grade and eventually put into action for the entire school.

Our flipped school model is quite simple. Teachers record their lectures using screen-capture software (we use Camtasia) and post these lecture videos to a variety of outlets, including our school website, and YouTube. Students watch these videos outside of class on their smartphone, in the school computer lab (which now has extended hours), at home or even in my office if they need to. Now, when students come to class, they’ve already learned about the material and can spend class time working on math problems, writing about the Civil War or working on a science project, with the help of their teacher whenever they need it. This model allows students to seek one-on-one help from their teacher when they have a question, and learn material in an environment that is conducive to their education. To change the learning environment even further, we’ve used Google Groups to enable students to easily communicate outside of class, participate in large discussions related to their schoolwork and learn from each other.

In addition to flipping the classroom, we wanted to give our students the opportunity to learn about each subject or topic from someone who is a recognized expert in each area. So we decided to team with other schools across the country and world. Now, some of our calculus students are able to watch video lectures from a math teacher in a private school in Virginia, and our students learning about the Holocaust can watch videos made by a teacher in Israel who just brought her class to Auschwitz. This type of learning network will enable us to close the gap of inequality that schools are subjected to because of their financial standing, and provide all students, no matter what district they’re from, with information from the best teacher or expert in any field.

At Clintondale High School, we have been using this education model for the past 18 months. During this time, our attendance rate has increased, our discipline rate decreased, and, most importantly, our failure rate - the number of students failing each class - has gone down significantly.  When we first implemented this model in the ninth grade, our student failure rate dropped by 33% in one year.

In English, the failure rate went from 52% to 19%; in math, 44% to 13%; in science, 41% to 19%; and in social studies, 28% to 9%. In September of 2011, the entire school began using the flipped instruction model, and already the impact is significant. During the first semester of the year, the overall failure rate at the school dropped to 10%. We’ve also seen notable improvement on statewide test scores, proving that students’ understanding of the material is better under this model.

Our schools have long been structured so that students attend class to receive information, and then go home to practice and process this information. When many students go home after school, they don’t have the resources necessary to understand, and sometimes don’t complete their homework. Many families are not able to provide the expertise and technology needed to help with their children’s homework, so when we send kids home at the end of each day, we’re putting them into environments that are not capable of supporting their learning needs.

By reversing our instructional procedures so that students do their homework at school, we can appropriately align our learning support and resources for all of our students, and eliminate the inequality that currently plagues our schools. When students do homework at school, they can receive a meal and access to technology (during a declining economy), and an overwhelming amount of support and expertise. When students do their homework at school, we can ensure that they will be able to learn in a supportive environment that’s conducive to their education and well-being.  For the first time in history, we can provide a level playing field for students in all neighborhoods, no matter what their financial situation is.

As we continue to expand and improve the flipped school model, it’s important for educators to come together and work with each other toward a common goal of fixing our education system through teamwork and collaboration, so all students can have access to the best information and materials. Instead of placing blame on each other, we need to recognize the solution, which has been right in front of us the whole time.

It’s time to change education forever.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Greg Green.

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Filed under: Practice • Technology • video • Voices
soundoff (580 Responses)
  1. RabiaDiluvio

    What this is, essentially, is cyberschooling where homework is done collectively rather than independently and monitored by someone other than a parent.
    Here is where I, as a parent, am resistant to this: time. My kids attend an extended-day/extended-year school. By the time they are home and out of uniform it is 5pm. Do homework, eat dinner, wash up, go to bed. That is the evening–no time for interacting with a parent or reading a book or whatever. If a kid wants to participate in outside activities, it takes a sledgehammer and a lot of note-writing. These lectures/presentations take longer than an average homework assignment. The school is ALREADY cutting into my time with my kid and if the principal goes ahead with this as planned, I will be pulling my kids out of this school and cyberschooling whole cloth. This is something I have done before and I can make the sacrifice to do it again.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • RC

      Perhaps you should help your child understand the work that he/she needs to be ready for school and life in general. This time should be valued as much or more than the time you spend with them watching TV or doing something recreational. Plus theres the weekend, have at it.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • RabiaDiluvio

      RC, you are making assumptions. First, we don't even watch TV and I have never owned a video gaming system. The free time we spend together as a family is usually spent in REAL learning activities and real world experiences–whether reading, attending scout events, or learning computer programming. If I felt that flipping the classroom was going to benefit my children, I would be for it (just as I am for other forms of cyberschool/homeschool), but my complaint is that this has no place in an EXTENDED DAY program when the kids are not even getting home until early evening because watching a series of presentations is actually more time consuming than doing homework (with which we provide help as needed) and free time in the evening is almost nonexistent as it is. As things are now, if my kid takes part in an outside activity (scouting, chess club...) it is almost impossible.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • Parent

        I would have to disagree, my kids attend the school and I personally find it easier and less time consuming then homework. The lectures are lessons as if the teacher was teaching it in class and they are not long. Some teachers review the videos again in the morning, which help the ones without internet. I have one child currently in 4 sports, the other in 2 sports, they both are on student council, and maintaining excellent grade. We have plenty of family time and we both work full-time jobs. You don't have to have internet or a smartphone, the school offer other alternatives, you just have to want to learn and want the best for your kids. I am for the Flipped school!

        January 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  2. Techie

    I liked the: "Almost 75% of our students receive free or reduced-price lunch because of today’s economic climate" and "Students watch these videos outside of class on their smartphone" . Sure your starving but at least you can twitter. Poor people, they need to work on their priorities.

    January 19, 2012 at 6:15 am |
    • RabiaDiluvio

      It has become a major hurdle for schools in lower income areas that they have to find a way to make computers and internet service accesible and/or affordable to those families. No, most of the kids in my area do not have smartphones. Computers about 50%.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:26 am |
  3. StormWx

    Wonder when we'll see the first lawsuit for copyright infringement? Who "owns" the videos? Are there royalties to be distributed? What happens when a teacher uses textbook material that is reproduced (via video) and distributed outside the school? When will we start seeing teachers hired for their "on-screen presence?"

    January 19, 2012 at 5:07 am |
  4. Lord Vader

    Now the next step is to separate blacks and hispanics from whites and the results will skyrocket much higher..... The white schools that is.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • Beth

      Your comment is blatantly ignorant, but in case anyone actually believes it, I will share my first-hand experience. I work in a failing school that is 98% white. It is in an impoverished rural area of the Northeast. Studies have repeatedly shown that poverty, not race, is the variable most correlated with school performance. Generational poverty also creates social obstacles to learning. Our students fail largely because their parents don't value education, don't support their learning, and often have no control over their children. I have parents who purposely undermine their child's education because they don't want their child to ever be able to live independently and leave them, and I have children who purposely fail because it's the only thing that gets their parent's attention. School performance is very complex–to reduce it to race is incredibly ignorant.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  5. Parent

    I have 2 kids that attend the school and absolutely love the flipped school. Not only with the structure, but how the kids are able to connect with their classmates and teachers with questions through blogs and emails right away. If they can spend time on facebook and u-tube, they can take a few minutes to watch a video of the next lesson which is not just a boring lecture. If the students did not understand the lesson the teacher can adjust their lesson/video to clarify any confusion. Try giving the same lesson six times, each time would probably be different and without having interruption would be more focused. This also comes in handy for a quiz, test or midterms, because the lessons stay out there and the students can go back and reviews any/or all lessons. Some teachers also have review quizzes after the lessons that the kids can take over until they fully understand. There are times assignments are being sent home or they have a project that needs to be completed, it is just that the teacher/parent roles are now reversed with the bonus of the teachers teaching the lesson at your house. This helps the parents when their child has a question with assignments. I would have to read through the chapter and maybe even search the internet and hoped I explained it to them correctly. That is now what the teachers are doing, they review the lessons and answers questions. Homework does not measure knowledge when some parents might be helping them a little to much or they are copying from a friend. I consider myself a strict parent when it comes to school and always encourage my kids to be involved within the school. One child is currently in four sports and the other is in two, both maintain excellent grades. And just to clarify, those that are stuck on the smart phones and free lunch issues, that is not the topic. It is about new ways of learning. The school is not in the projects, the economy plays a big role. The school is in a small community (which I and my kids like). Most schools in our area have been school of choice for many years. I unlike others in the community can afford smart phones for my kids and do not need free lunch, there are other options for them if they choose to utilize them and the school encourages it. No Excuses!

    January 19, 2012 at 2:00 am |
  6. eric

    I am actually an adult who has decided to return to college and i'm taking a low level math class and this is how they teach it.
    The teacher of the class has made 1-4 10 minute videos per section in every chapter and very carefully explains and shows how to do problems. Then you do 20-30 math problems on a website called mathxl.com its not free you gotta buy the class and the teacher gives you the course number to put in... anyway you do the homework on that and then when you go to class the teacher can help you with any additional problems you may have then you take a 10 question timed quiz over the material. The idea is if you have got a problem they want to know about it before midterms so they can help you with the area your struggling in. I just took my first major test today and i'm pretty confident I did well. Math has always been one of my most hated subjects but I think i'm starting to get it.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  7. Unconvinced

    Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but are the kids graded on watching the lectures? I really can't imagine a student coming home from school – or staying late – every day to watch an entire days' worth of lectures. Even if there were only 4 or 5 classes, that would be a lot of lectures to watch each night. I can imagine the kids not actually watching them -especially if they get more help during the day doing something they are getting credit ( in the form of grades ) for. So the work at night is still not happening probably, but it is not as costly, grade-wise, to the students. Therefore, the grades would almost be guaranteed to improve with that scenario. With that in mind, it also could mean that the lectures are not a useful learning tool for the students.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • johnny boy

      I had to think about that for a while, but how long does a student do homework each night? I would assume at the max, 3 hours. Not all of school time is lecture, there is homework time done there as well.
      It is not a complete change, it is more of a shift. The time spent in homework rather is spent in lecture, so the that same amount of time is homework time at school.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Todd

      Most schools that I know of don't usually grade on lectures. The lectures are their to teach the homework material. The flip idea simply allows them to use all of the classroom time for homework and pushes the lecture to a time period that is better suited for student attention level.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • OrangeW3dge

      Yes, you haven't paid attention,
      but that is because you didn't go to a school that had this kind of program......

      January 19, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Michael

      I work at a school where several teachers flip some classes. The reality is that in a normal class, the lecture doesn't really take the whole class when you removed procedural questions, interruptions and reteaching that distractions can cause. A full lecture can be between 13 and 15 minutes of content. The beauty is that the students can rewatch parts or all of the content, especially if they get distracted, don't comprehend or miss a crucial word or phrase. The safety net is that when they do the "homework" at school, the experts are there to assist and are needed most.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Jay in Austin

      Just Google 'flipped classes' and you'll find that each class gets a 10 minute video to watch at home each night – ergo 5 different classes takes 50 minutes of viewing time (yawn) – and their parents can watch, too, so they KNOW what their kids are learning about – then they go to classes the next day to work on problems and find out how to solve them so they don't graduate from school and find out they're too lazy/ignorant/stupid/dumb to find out the answers to questions like, say . . . you.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • TommyTT

      Unconvinced, you can wonder if the students are really watching the lectures You can also wonder if you'll really go down when you jump out a window. The results are in. Flipped classes work.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  8. Tony

    This idea is great for math and science classes.

    Why? Learning math and science is not like reading and discussing literature and requires investment of time to understand the material. As the material gets harder, often it is necessary to either listen to the lecture again (possible in this scheme), or to find alternate material which would hopfully provide more insight. Only after this is a student clear on what she does not understand and can request guidance on this from her teacher, and/or, discuss with her peers on her understanding and obtain their feedback to gain mastery of the topic.

    I am an engineer.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • OrangeW3dge

      I sure wish they had this when I was in school, especially for math. I am going to suggest this to our school system.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • AGrey

      I can tell you really are an engineer.

      It's true, frequently people can't ask questions when they have the opportunity to in traditional teaching environments because they haven't absorbed the information and don't know what they don't understand yet.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:30 am |
  9. communicademy

    I videoed my lessons this summer, inspired by Khan Academy's TED Talk. The results in my writing skills classes have been fantastic! If anyone wants to use my videos, please feel free! I'm happy to share them: http://www.communicademy.net.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  10. Larry Moniz

    Since the principal says they've essentially leveraged the children into studying classroom work at home rather than in school, and since the school has formed an alliance with others and children can even access teachers at private schools in other areas, what this indicates to me is the possibility that either: A) Teachers at this school aren't as capable as their online counterparts or B) Schools could be abolished with students learning at home and seeking extra help online. I'm not an educator, but I'm a journalist who has attended hundreds of school boards' meetings and covered education at numerous schools. To me this sounds as much like another gasp by a failed education system to maintain the status quo. Something's seriously wrong with a teaching curriculum where kids learn better without adult oversight and on the Internet than they do in their regular classrooms.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Amanda Grissom

      I believe you may have missed the point of flipping. The teachers use classroom time to actually address the issues the student has with a particular lesson. I would have done much better in math had I the chance to spend classroom time asking questions as opposed to being lectured. That is the status quo. My parents as brilliant as I believe them to be could not help me with advanced math concepts. I'm from a rural area and there were no other resources to reach out to, just the school. So I get this. As a journalist, how about you research this possibility in education first before offering snap judgement. I actually learned that the first week of Journalism 101 in college.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Todd

      I think you missed the explanation. They don't work unattended. They only watch lectures outside of the classroom. Supervised classroom time is where the students actually work on "homework". This allows the students to get direct help with the assignments where they would normally either be on their own or have to reply on parents that are generally not prepared to help. It's actually a great model, but it doesn't preclude the use of a school and teacher-led environment.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • ShouldHappenMoreOften

      This should be more common–teachers video recording their lectures. Where applicable, the teachers should also record instructions for completing assignments (e.g., conjugating verbs, setting up expressions, solving equations, etc.). This requires the teachers to plan ahead. More importantly, it makes lessons and help available for students at their convenience. I've taken technical, graduate classes delivered in this way. It isn't "online learning" because it requires in-class time and engagement with the instructor and other students. The technology simply augments the classroom participation.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:15 am |
  11. cindy

    I think this would work really well in math and science classes. But my favorite thing about history and English classes were the debates and back and forth flow of ideas that could happen during class. The class sizes were small in my HS so maybe this isn't as common in other schools, but I really gained a lot from those classes. I left class feeling stimulated and ignited. I wouldn't want students to miss out on opportunities to have their voices and opinions heard and valued. What would I be like if it weren't for my junior year history teacher? She opened my eyes to so much and through her lectures and class discussions, I found a passion, a yearning, to seek the truth. It wouldn't be the same just watching a video.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Cindy-less

      Cindy... don't be a bonehead. English, Debate, Literature... you liked them and learned from them because they already followed this model. For debate and literature, you read the material at home (the screen time) and come to class prepared to work on the subject (debate, analyse, focus groups) where the teacher is there to comment, or analyze your interpretation. It was just difficult for people to figure out this model for math and sciences, where it has always benn lecture, lecture, lecture. History in another one, sort of 50-50. But better ones went where you read the chapters at home and discussed the result and decisions in class. I had history, though, from lecturers as well, and those classes were awful!!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  12. bleak81

    This is a very obvious solution considering how young people are wired to learn. Replace textbooks with screen time. This will allow time for authentic assessment in the classroom. Got it! While this will make learning more "pleasurable," it will not solve the systemic issues that are the real problem with education. Will every poor school get a grant to implement this? Will teachers plagued with class sizes of 40+ students be given the time to make video lectures for a whole year's worth of curriculum (Including every subject they teach in a day)? Will parents start to care if their children are doing well in something other than sports? Will the cost of health care decrease so that school boards can afford to hire more teachers without trying to strip teachers' families of the only health plan they have? While this plan makes for good pedagogy, it isn't a silver bullet that will magically make our students out-perform Koreans or Finns. But I am sure it will make feel all better about ourselves if we do something, especially if it involves something flashy, new and high-tech.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • kirstyloo

      Actually, they are using lectures largely created by other teachers. It is getting the best of the best at lecturing to make the tapes. The classroom teachers answer questions and prompt discussion.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  13. Mel

    If students are improving and are able to learn more due to these video lessons, I'm all for it. According to the principal who wrote this, the students at Clintondale are doing better and succeeding. Good for them. I don't see why a lot of the people commenting are being so grumpy about it. The kids are succeeding, and that's all that should matter.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • TommyTT

      Lots of grumping and trolling in these replies. But flipped classes have demonstrated their ability to improve learning in the classroom. The appropriate words to say to this principal are, "Thank you."

      January 19, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  14. The_Mick

    This model may work for classes where rote memory is the major goal. But when it comes to teaching how to do geometry proofs, solve for x, determine the molarity of a chemical solution, produce a singing tone on a musical instrument, etc. it requires student-teacher interaction. There have been times I've given a physics lecture on vectors and most of the class gets it the first time. The next year I give the same lecture and, part way through, notice I've got a bunch of blank stares. Maybe the Homecoming Pep Rally is next and they don't have their minds on physics. Maybe their math teacher was sick the year before when they were supposed to cover the background material in math. But they don't get it. So, I change tactics. Maybe I get the kids out of their seats and act out parts to simulate vectors – kinesthetic (hands on) learning generally works when all else fails. Or maybe I just need to crank the math level down a notch and go slower. Relying on kids to watch a video and pay attention and master the material in the lecture is ridiculous. As Bill Cosby said, "Teenagers have brain damage." If you're a teacher and don't think that way you'll take things too personally and never survive as a teacher. Kids will be kids and you, the teacher, need to be there to make sure they're trying, in some way, to act a little like adults.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • ea

      The_Mick: You seem to conveniently avoid the positive outcomes of this very smart and almost common sense approach to teaching. When teachers use the conventional approach and fail more students, we cannot really be sure if its the teacher that is failing or the student. The flipped approach or at least the use of "standard" video lectures removes this uncertainty. My prediction is that this "flipped" approach or a modification of it will gain in popularity as the benefits begin to be seen more and more.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • NOVANAtive

      Actually, The_Mick, this kind of program would allow you more time for acting out vectors and hands-on teaching after the kids watched a video lecture of the basic concepts at home.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • TommyTT

      The_Mick, you appear to be a teacher so you'll understand this. Learning at Bloom Levels 1 and 2 (Knowledge and Comprehension) can be taught very well through in solo learning, often assisted by technology. This has been understood since the Skinner Boxes of the 1950's. With the exception of topics that can be taught through Mastery Modeling (per Bandura), Bloom Level 3 (Application) and above are taught better through interaction with teachers and peers. Traditional classrooms get this backward, handling the lower Bloom Levels interactively and then asking kids to handle the higher Levels alone as homework. Flipped classrooms correct the misalignment–and they work better.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  15. acke

    Finally the internet is proving useful. People are always saying kids should be at home learning from their parents when the parents are usually the problem. Giving students the ability to log on and learn everywhere is the answer. That way, many of them can tune out the less than qualified parent and get a real education.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  16. Leucadia Bob

    Eat Bacon!

    January 18, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  17. Dave in Texas

    This is OK, but remember the class room is supposed to prepare students for the real world and the work place. And, this will absolutely not work in the real world work place. You really think the company will actually operate like this? No. Nice try, but discipline is needed from the schools and parents before we lose another generation.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Stephen Educ

      Dave, it worked for other countries.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
      • bobo

        class room for america 101 upgrade

        1. how to save your money -- addition
        2. how to pay your bills -– subtraction
        3. how to move out and make it -- leadership
        4. how to get a job......yes there are jobs.........lots if you're not a lazy fool. -- discipline
        5. how to vote and be a productive member of society -- responsibility
        6. how to not whine and make excuses -– boot straps 101

        real world knowledge makes kids want to learn. not algebra 3.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • TommyTT

      Actually, this model is very much present in today's workforce. I work for one of the largest companies in the world, and about half of our employees telecommute. We have grown adept at gathering information and learning skills on the Web, then applying them either at our desks at home or in face-to-face or virtual meetings together. The future is here and, by the way, our company has done very well even during the recession.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
      • bobo

        you're amazing. so connected. so cutting edge. i'd love to see you function in a world without electricity for 15 min. fail.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
      • Snuffles

        Ahh..telecommutters..First question my senior mgmt asks me when we see that is..Since they don't need to be here in the office, why can't we just outsource that job/role?

        January 19, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Scott

      What are you talking about???? How often are you in a lecture environment at work?!?! This is exactly the type of schooling kids need to get them ready for the real world. I've worked as an engineer, as a manager and I'm now entering into a more business/marketing role. In each role I used my own time to study, then came to meetings or the work place and contributed. This model is EXACTLY how I'd like my future employees to be learning.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • RB

      By all means, let's continue using a model that doesn't work. You must be an Aggie.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • DaveYouNeedToGoBackToSchool

      I applaud this approach. It's exactly what the kids need. If you grew up in a reasonably stable household you wouldn't understand. Additionally, the real world is very much like this. Corporate environments are team based and collaborative, and I've never met an executive that would object to employees doing 'all of their work' before going home.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Jon - College Student

      Keep in mind that this is tailored for a specific problem area. Many schools have other tools that was effective for them because of the environment they reside within. Problem schools, to be generally topical, might make great use from this. The process will be effective for what graduating high school can provide. You won't work at a technology company or in an office or have any major deadlines with a high school degree out the door, but what this "flipping" might do is give some of these kids some confidence in themselves. Confidence breeds success. I'm in college now, and I dropped out of high school my junior year because I was 16 and had a full time job to support myself and pay bills, I missed a LOT of class. I got lucky though; I was given an opportunity to go back the next year and graduated a year later than my old classmates- and went straight into college thereafter. Remembering back to my high school days, and being friends with some people who goto high school, I always tell them there are only a few things I wouldn't wish for any human being : High School , Financial Accounting Class and Business Finite with Calculus. I still did them, and didn't mind them but it's still something that was a pain in the ass. When these kids do this "flipping", they'll get their confidence and maybe even a little conceptual development, preparation for college, and maybe a minimum wage job. You don't have to worry about someone who graduated a high school that used this "flipping" method running a firm or being an accountant, because they still have to get certifications and all kinds of extra education to be qualified – and that will be there for them to meet and exceed those goals. Maybe 8 hours a day Mon-Fri actually being somewhat productive is better than 8 hours a day Mon-Fri in a glorified daycare.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  18. notbobsf

    This is the same thing that Khan Academy did with the Las Altos school district. If you are not familiar with Khan his YouTube channel and online school are the most popular on the planet.


    I do think teachers provide more value during direct exchange and personal help than they do standing at the front of the classroom. but there is a segment of high schools that are fully online.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Colm

      Kahn Academy is having a huge impact. It's the first thing that's happened in 50 years that transforms a students life. Time doing problems in math skyrockets in these programs because any time you get stumped a tutor/teacher/student is right there to help. It's really the only time that makes sense to do problems, when you can get help when you've got a problem.

      This schools results speak for themselves in this case. How can you argue with improvements like that.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  19. bobo

    me stupid american... me need electric power to do everything... me tired... turning on ipad made me sleepy... zzzzzzzz

    January 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • SJD

      If American's are so "lazy" then why are we consistently the best at things that require physical ability? For example, the Olympics. We seem to always be on top in every sort of international contest. Those iPads must do wonders at making people physically dominant, huh.

      There are a lot of obese and lazy people; however, there are just as many hard workers who are in amazing shape. Just like every other country in the world. Don't be hypocritical.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
      • bobo

        tide turning. wake up. the economy is not based on the olympics...

        January 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Steve Jones

      Is this bobo the clown?

      January 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Just thinking

      Bobo, How are you responding to this thread? Aren't you using electricity to be online? If you think technology is lazy and wasteful – then log off.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Luigi

      What the hell is the matter with you?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  20. Joe Jeffery

    100% Free Lunch School educator here. LECTURE? Who lectures any more? While lecture techniques are useful in the context of certain lessons, the lecture model of teaching is outmoded. The net effect will be the simplification of the material, a narrowing of contexts in which the student can apply the material in the future, and a wheelchair-like dependence on technology for knowledge. Sure, a book and a pen are technology too. Even the coded rhythm of a poem is the original storage and retrieval technology... but if all our students are taught with a laptop in hand– will they ever be as likely to function without one???

    January 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Lenny'sbrother

      Jeff, point taken but there are many studies showing that lecture, socratic seminar etc. are just as effective if not more effective than a laptop. If student's don't have critical thinking skills, are not taught to question, are not taught to seek answers to questions they have then putting a piece of technology into the mix merely creates another "youtube" user.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
      • Lenny'sbrother

        sorry, no edit function that is students not student's.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
      • TommyTT

        But with this technique, students ARE taught to question critically, to examine and to probe. That's the entire point of the "flip." Information sharing is done electronically, ahead of time, so that ALL the classroom time can be devoted to applying and probing.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • J

      In ny they once gave kids calculators till two years later they realized kids couldn't add. Now they go on the net for info for reports. The data is not accurate, they can't tell how to corrobortate their findings, they can't find, cause they do not exist, properly edited docs ( you need to buy them) and we now have a nation of people who cant even articulate what they want because they do not have the education. OWS is a great example. Not one can articulate a real solution as that would take a study of economics, finance and sociology. Too much hard work, rather just whine.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
      • TommyTT

        There is no basis for comparing the "flip" technique with giving kids calculators. If you actually understood the flip, you'd see that the real comparison would be if teachers told kids to put their calculators away, showed them videos out of school that demonstrated arithmetic techniques, then spent the ENTIRE class time working actual problems in tutoring and small groups using pencil and paper. THAT is how the flip works.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Mark from Canada

      I like your post and how you are thinking Joe Jeffery. I like the flipping idea, but you and others are right about the technology. This is a problem of resilience, we shouldn't be putting all our eggs in one technological basket. The connection to the technology is the critical variable to consider here. I think that this type of schooling should be supplemented with the ecoliteracy or bioneers school model, where the kids are involved in nature study programs. Farming, permaculture, and engagement with the community – such as selling the products they grow at local food markets to fund the school programs. This is a sustainable economic model that has worked. We must marry our technology with the ecology of the planet, why not start with the education system. The ecology of this planet is arguably more complex that our singularly human technology and it is something that we need to invest in as a society. This sector of the global economy, the natural capital and ecosystem services of this planet are not being valued properly. I teach outdoor ecology camps to kids and they learn about wild plants, edible bugs, amphibian ecology, urban ecology, and many other things. We need reciprocity between our technology and the planetary ecology if our global economies are to be sustained.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  21. Graduated Clintondale high school student - class of 2011

    As a former student, I was part of the "flip-school" program. The program works all across the board on all scores including ACT and MME scores. Believe it or not, majority of the students were fed up with poor grades and wanted a change. We, the student body, adapted well with the program and in turn had significantly better grades. It wasn't because we had less homework, it was the same amount, we just understood it because we had a prior exposure and dedicated teachers who reinforced the knowledge. The program was and continues to be successful because the students care and want better. As the future, we want a better world than what our parents have given us. If it takes a complete reformation of the education system then let's do it. Many students who attend Clintondale are from the greater Detroit area and did not have a chance at a future without this program. It worked for the past 18 months, continue to watch it with your criticizing eyes and see that our generation is immune to the old, worn out traditional system. Please feel free to comment with questions or anything you would like to add. 

    January 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • J

      So how are test test scores? How is the graduation rate? How many kids go on to 4 year accredited colleges? Did you go to college?

      January 18, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
      • DaveYouNeedToGoBackToSchool

        J – the program has only been implemented for 18 months. How many go on to 4 year schools? You're a bit premature with that question. Perhaps you should read the article more closely (or seek instructional help to do so).

        January 19, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • bobo

      your comment tells me your the type that will achieve no matter what the system. youre a go getter. it had nothing to do with the system. it was your will to learn. that's the problem.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
      • TommyTT

        Apparently you didn't read this student's comments about improved scores. Those are school-wide and not the result of a single motivated kid.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Joe Jeffery

      I'm glad you found success and a good educational experience. But statistical proof of scores being raised– and establishment of causality... those are more complicated. And important. I think the issue that traditional minded teachers and others are taking with this is not that your program did not work per se, but that forcing teaching to happen through technology is undemocratic, dehumanizing, and likely ineffective at many ancillary benefits of education– all those things that aren't so well assessed by the tests– and many things that are. Technology is great– witness the debate held here and this very message. People should interact with people to become better people. This is the goal of schools. Not test scores.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
      • homeschool

        I think you're missing an important point: The kids are getting more time to interact with the teacher, rather than just being fed the info. My son is in pub. sch. for Algebra & his teacher works exactly this way. He loves it because he has a chance to ask questions while he's working the problems.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Wilson05

      Well said! And kudos to you for your hard work, kudos to your principal and God Bless you. I applaud yourneffortsmin trying to make the best of the situation you have been given!!!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • NHWoman

      I am a teacher and used to require pre-reading so that class time could be spent working with that information; specifically, so that I didn't spend class time introducing vocabulary but instead applied it, analyzed it, etc. Then this movement toward no homework came our way–even reading. How supportive would you say the parents have been in your model? What happens to students who don't do the homework? Is it possible for those students to just bluff through?

      January 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  22. bobo

    ask the chinese how there education system is working... discipline, homework, no BS, no ipads, no computers at home.... they are taking over the world economy without ipads??? what??? how can this be??? technology does nothing but get 95% useless information to idiots faster. have fun on facebook america they will own us in 10 years.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Joe Jeffery


      January 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Endgame65

      Are you really going to lecture on education when you are unable to utilize proper grammar? Learn the proper use of "your" vs. "you're" and then you will prove the education system is working.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
      • bobo

        wow your you are you're an idiot. topic stupid....not grammar lessons.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
      • bobo

        topic fail

        January 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
      • TommyTT

        Bobo fail. F.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Christine

      The Chinese education system produces obedient factory workers, not creative entrepreneurs. A rigid system like you describe leaves no place for thinking, you do what ou are told or else. You learn the textbook by heart but do not try criticizing it.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
      • bobo

        question things all you want. if you don't know how to spell or do basic math is critical analysis of a learning discipline even important? the chinese are brilliant they are taught to think outside the box. some of those "factory workers" IQs would put the average college student to shame....

        January 18, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • NHWoman

      I am a teacher and I also have two children from China and have taught with Chinese teachers and taught Chinese students. So...#1. There is no such thing as special education in China; if you have a disability, you just work harder–or you drop out/don't go #2. Teachers have two or three classes a day and the rest of the day to prepare, grade, etc. (they don't have to take it home-they actually are given time at work to work and the students are the ones that work all night). I see these as the major differences. They outscore us in language and math skills and only those who can "make the grade" in school are tested, while we test all. We outdo them in imagination and innovative thought-a tough thing to measure. My daughter had two subjects in first grade-Mandarin and math. No recess, p.e., art, music, etc. Once in a great while there would be an activity period but not often. If she were still in China she would have begun English in third grade. Other subjects are saved until upper levels. This is all very reminiscent of education in America earlier in the 20th century. My parents were born in the 1920s. Those who weren't "into school" didn't go to high school but instead went to work (my dad, a business man); those who could "make the grade" continued on (my mom, the valedictorian).

      January 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
      • bobo

        thank you ma'am...

        January 18, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  23. J

    I went to their web site. Very strange, very commercial looking. Maybe I missed it but I did not see any ranking, ratings, test scores, nothing. Advanced lectures on-line. Hum, don't some for profit colleges do this and not very well. You will learn algebra but can't ask a question? Well, unless he post his test scores, I mean standardized, and yes even Korea uses them, they just use other things as well, so no standard at bashing please, I can't see how anybody can get so excited.

    Educators please, science, science, science, you are teachers acting like left wing east village liberals jumping at any idea without PROOF, god help us!

    January 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • NOVANAtive

      Can't ask a question? Did you read the (extensive) part about the fact that the entire school day (6 hours) is reserved for hands-on, active instruction, such as the asking and answering of questions? Reading some of these comments, I wonder if more than half the people commenting here read the article at all. This is not an online commuter school. They watch lecture material for 50 or so minutes each night, and spend the entire day in school doing exactly what you're looking for: asking questions and applying the information.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:43 am |
  24. Sarah

    So basically instead of being sent home to read a text book, as was often the homework in my high school classes 15 years ago, they are being sent home to watch a video. I understand that students may like watching videos better than reading, but is the pedagogy really that different?

    January 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Shelley

      It seems from reading the article they watch the lesson at home and do the homework in school. Not that they don't have work to do, they just do it when the teacher can answer questions and provide guidance. The lesson itself is the video they watch which would be the same as listening to a lecture. If (and I say if because I don't have more info than in this article) this is working and improving their scores, why should we be so against trying something new?

      January 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
      • Christine

        Because people are scared of new ideas. Especially if those ideas require a new way of thinking.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
      • Joe Jeffery

        the proverbial camel's nose in the tent.... that's the concern, I think. I do like the idea of students having supplementary multimedia materials from their own teachers. That's awesome. The problem will come 40 years from now when they are simply filed into a room with a big screen - or many little ones– and given lessons that way. It really could happen. Like an Aldous Huxley book. And you can bet that the rich kids will have flesh and blood certified educators to give them a real education, while the lower classes are provided this taxpayer-dollar-saving technological model. Hopefully this is my overactive imagination, but the more I read about this, the clearer this picture becomes.

        Also, when do the teachers produce these videos, are they being paid? That's a ton of work. So now I'm going to be expected to teach all day, grade papers, and then produce videos of my lectures week in and week out? I love to work hard for my students, but I'm not too into burning out and being overloaded.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
      • Marie

        The nice thing is that the teacher only has to prepare the video once and gets to use it with every class every year, unless it needs updating because of new knowledge in the subject area.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  25. hector

    Demanding students receive their lectures via technology will make technologically competent students. School are to standardize socialization, they teach so much more than words and numbers. You never have to worry about the next great idea: geniuses are born not made. Somewhere, one day, some idiot convinced others idiots that every student can be a world beater or changer. To me that is the tragedy: because look at the world. Teaching greatness or great intellect is a lie. The cause of our failing schools is mayonaise.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Joe Jeffery

      Even genius needs education. More importantly, though, education does not exist solely for the nurture of genius.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  26. xcvzxcv

    this is awesome. now i don't feel poor and lazy anymore. i will do all my homework and sit down in class.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  27. Nate in CA

    I applaud the principal for trying something new and seeing results. So often the rhetoric is dominated by individuals who have never taught a classroom of students, and are only able to scream their heads off about the problems in schools. Is the flipped structure right for everyone? Maybe maybe not, but you can't argue with the drop in abject failure rates.

    Technology is pervasive. Why not use the classroom as a tightly controlled study hall? Sounds neat.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Joe Jeffery

      Marijuana is also pervasive. So is alcohol. Maybe I can use it with my Juniors and see whether I can get them into my lecture more, and claim success on tests without rigorously presented proof. (Guys– if you're reading this– note that this is an example of reductio ad absurdam– you're not to take this literally. Understood?)

      Overuse of technology like TV and internet has similar effects to the overuse of pot and alcohol, in my view. Addictive, mood altering, and deleterious to physical and emotional well being.

      Only technology is produced in China and controlled by large and powerful corporations. I make beer in my garage. Much more democratic than an iPad.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
      • NOVANAtive

        Joe, Don't be so defensive. This has had a positive result for this school. It might not work in your school. If you are having success, fabulous. Good for you! I applaud you. But don't tear this down simply because you didn't think of it or don't utilize it. Your extensive commenting suggests you feel as though you need to defend your style fo teaching. You don't . If you get good results, keep at it. But your ad hominen attacks on this school system and anyone who seems to think this may be a good idea make you appear petty, over and over again. Our students certainly don't need petty teachers.

        January 19, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  28. adam

    I like the idea for enrichment / supplement what is going on in the normal classroom... but to use this as the standard for learning really is doing the students / community a disservice. School are meant to prepare students for a life outside of school whether that be the workforce, college or tradeschool. This "Flip" prepares them for nothing other than the classroom. How many jobs straight out of HS will accomidate students such as these? Will the employer allow them to just sleep in, do the work when they feel like it or only interact with them on their terms? Outside of online college I doubt there are many universities that are going to be welcoming to students from this enviroment.

    So while this system may help with test scores and save the teachers their jobs it really does nothing to prepare the students for anything other than passing a standardized test.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • kris

      it upsets me that the education system is simply being used by big capitalism like a farm team for new recruits. i hope someday that learning for the sake of learning will be encouraged. but from what i have been seeing lately is that corporations that dont allow free flow of ideas and service the needs of the people are slowly going the way of the dinosaurs. innovation requires creativity and creativity doesn't always follow a 9-5 schedule. successful comapnies are figuring this out slowly, but surely....

      January 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Christine

      I completely disagree with you. This program forces students to learn on their own, at their own pace. It also provides them with help they can ask for when needed. It puts the students in charge of their education and it works, they are now studying more. It makes them responsible. I applaud this initiative.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
      • MW

        I agree that it puts more responsibility on the student. They really have to be prepared for class, and to do work in it. My daughter goes to a private college preparatory school which loads students up with many hours of homework and preparatory readings for class discussion and in-class work. There is some lecturing, but the environment is often dynamic and interactive. Students can ask for help in class, after class, and remotely, via online communication. The students work incredibly hard because they enjoy learning and want to succeed. For a poorly-funded public school serving economically disadvantaged students to try something different and achieve success–that is something that should be applauded. Kudos to the principal for having the guts to actually do something, and for the staff and students to buy into it. Kids don't want to fail; but they have to learn how to succeed, and that they deserve to succeed.

        The flipped classroom may not be perfect, or perfect for every school or student, but no one model can be. Yet it works for this school, and may work for others. Unless the critics here have also done something to affect real and positive change in education, maybe they could just appreciate that some educators in this country are trying new ways and working hard to refigure our failing system.

        January 19, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • mrdworldhistory

      I teach high school, in a nice part of town. I don't have a large population of English language learners, I don't have a high percentage of low income families. What I do have are a number of students who don't do their homework at home. They wait until the morning the assignment is due and they try and finish it in the class they have before hand. They aren't learning anything by doing this, and they admit that. They're just trying to finish the assignment because it's worth points. My point is that if there is a better way that helps make kids learn and think at higher levels, then I'm willing to try it. The one question I have but haven't heard anyone address is; if kids won't do their homework at home, what motivates them to watch a lecture at home? What if they don't have the technology at home and won't stay after hours at school? I guess they still fail, but I'm interested in the concept.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  29. Lenny'sbrother

    At my school we have started a new and revolutionary program. Teachers actually assign homework, test and quizzes and then do each student's work for them. Our school system has seen attendance rates skyrocket, fights are a thing of the past and the graduation rate has been at 100 percent for the past two years. This provides students with plenty of time to text, date, have relations at school, and plan for their future. If America wants to pretend like it can get back on "top" in the world rankings then switch to this system.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  30. agit-prop

    Once agan, we dumb things down, using "technology" as our excuse.

    Since when did we decide that the idiocy of student fads should dictate pedagogy? (for the utterly illiterate out there, why don't you exercise your hands and nav to wikipedia for "clarification" on the term "pedagogy").

    iPad, iPod, iPhone – i am sick of the bleeding heart excuses. I am a left-leaning politico, and even I find this article vomitous.

    Get a grip, America, sooner or later the power WILL run out. Then what do you have? The IROSH and the IROCS won't be able to function! NOT a good thing!

    sixty-somethings: were you this stupid even when you were on drugs an listening to Jimmie?

    January 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Blessed Geek

      You are obsolete. Humans evolve. The next evolution of the human kind is technological.

      One day, we will be equipped with bio-technological appendage. We will see better, think better, learn faster. We will collaborate much more effectively.

      Your model of life is outdated. You will be left-behind in this technological rapture. Bye-bye.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
      • Real teacher

        So you want to be an insect?

        January 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
      • ThsIsNotReal22

        Haha, ok buddy. Time to lay off the star trek for a bit.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
      • KanneM

        The Universe allow, please, that I am long dead before then. That sounds like a horrific and inhuman life.

        January 19, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • kris

      just because it has been done that way for a long time, doesn't mean that it has been done right this whole time. the system needs to change in a rapidly changing world. its not the 60s anymore. and if you really did any research on the past, then you would realize it wasn't as great a place to live as we romanticize it to be in memories, tv, or movies. a lot of people died from illnesses that we now think of as obsolete thanks to technology. maybe it sounded as dumb to you as it does to all of us after you wrote this comment...

      January 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  31. James

    'Iran war could end life on earth'
    US warnings to Israel for not attacking Iran is to avoid responsibility for the war Washington has prepared, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts wrote in an article on Global Research.
    "If the war gets out of hand, and if Russia and China intervene or nukes start flying, Washington wants the blame to rest on Israel, and Israel seems willing to accept the blame," Craig Roberts said.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Lenny'sbrother

      Dear James: "Stick to the topic"

      January 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Blessed Geek

      You deposited your stuffs on the wrong article.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  32. Joshua

    I remember throughout my entire time in pubic school – the classes which I learned the most were classes in which the teacher got up and taught – they lectured – they engaged the class.

    However most of the classes which I experienced were nothing more than puzzle searches for word sheets (find the answer to the question by skimming the textbook).

    Schools need to focus upon direction, purpose, and communication – not just a textbook and worksheet. Students can do worksheets for decades and still not learn anything.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Diana

      I have used both styles....lecture in class and more online types. Even in college, when I was in a classroom up to 3 hours, I still learned more using the online style. We had one night a week to be on with the professor to discuss the material we should have read by that point. Any questions could be asked and, even better, the entire session was recorded and available for review the following day. The ability to go back and forth in the recording to go over things as many times as needed was a life saver. If they had had this type of format when I was in high school, I may not have come sooo close to not graduating. Some students just do not learn well in the standard setup in most high schools, and I was one of those.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  33. Bobby

    Can't afford lunch, but can affoed an I-Phome. Yep. Education is about motivation. You are either motivated to learn and take advantage of the opportunity or not. It cannot be "purchased" or paid for by someone else's money. The HS dropout is escalating because our government is encouraging it. Sit on your butt. The government will take care of you. No need to get an education.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Christine

      You would definitely fail in that school. The idea is that you read the whole article first, and then you move to the forum to discuss its contents. You missed the whole paragraph in which they tell the reader that many students do not have access to the computers at home (too poor) so they can watch the lectures at school int he computer room or even in the principal's office.
      So, let's try again, but this time read the whole article. You can even go over some difficult paragraphs a few times to make sure you understand them. Then come back to the forum. You are welcome to ask for help understanding some of the most complicated words.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Jerry

      Man, you KNOW you gotta have that iPhone so you can take care o' bidness but you can't expect the homies to be spendin' dey crack money on sh!t like "school lunches"!

      Teach kids to read and turn them loose in a library: the stupid ones will stay stupid while the smart ones will read and learn. I never needed a teacher for anything other than math & foreign languages after the 3rd grade, (I've always hated math). Kids who want to learn will always learn and kids who don't never will, no matter how much time, effort, and money is wasted trying to stuff knowledge into their vacuous little minds. Even if a way was found to make all those little facts stick in their memories it wouldn't do much good because rote recitation is not THINKING. They may be able to pass tests, even to graduate, but when you hand them that diploma you'd best hand them a shovel, too, and send their iPhone a Google Maps route to the Ditchdiggers' Union hall.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  34. DY

    I have never agree with the idea of homework. I feel that if they can't teach students what they need in the 7-8 hrs a a day your are there, then they need to restructure the system. Students should not have to be in school for 8 hrs, then go home and spend another 3-4 hrs a night doing homework.

    I have 2 children both just starting school, I told their teachers up front "I will not MAKE them do homework. If you can't teach them enough during the day, then you need to find another job."

    January 18, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Doktor

      Let me understand you correctly, you say that a student should be expected to learn a concept,say algebra, in one school day and not practice it? Please elaborate on how you expect this to succeed

      January 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Warrior Chick

      Homework is reinforcement. It's practice makes perfect. Sometimes kids get it right away and the homework makes us feel great because we have mastered it.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • SD

      Your state decides what children have to learn in school, not your child's teacher. It is physically impossible to teach students everything the state requires during the school day. Teachers don't have the power to "restructure the system". It may make you feel powerful to say that to a teacher, but the conflicting demands of the job is what is driving a lot of teachers out (so I guess you are getting your wish). Unfortunately, your children will be the ones that suffer when they get up to the higher grades and they can't keep up because they haven't practiced their skills.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Jessie

      Don't complain then when your children fall behind and don't perform as well. Make sure that you are enriching their learning experience at home on your time.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Ed

      Yeah, it's the teachers job to teach. You sure don't want parents involved in their children's education. They might end up just like them!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Andy Davis

      I know your kids are gone for 7-8 hours a day, but the actual instruction time is faaaar less. My wife teaches fifth grade, and after lunch, recess, art, PE, music, computer lab, kids being pulled out for ESL and special education, assemblies, etc., she gets maybe 3 hours a day with the kids.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • KA

      What a poor example to set for your children! This is part of the problem in schools...lack parental support. Instead of working with teachers, some parents work against them. The government should start holding these parents accountable who do not attend conferences or take an interest in their child's education. Parents want teachers to not only educate their children but practically raise them. Some parents can't be bothered to teach their children any values or even send their child to school with clean clothes or a good nights sleep. Just because you are poor does not mean you need to be dirty or not have a routine for your child. That is just pure laziness and selfishness. Many parents are more interested in their own lives rather than their children and this is happening all over the country. It is an epidemic.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • LMC

      Homework can be overdone and it can be meaningless. However, there is often not enough time in the day to allow for enough practice. Homework can allow for that priactice time. If you aren't helping your children with their homework, you are giving them the message that they don't have to folllow directions and their teacher is unimportant. That's a message that is hard to counteract at school. We see many students who are given the message that school isn't important and I'm afraid that is the very message you are giving your children. No doubt you will blame the teacher if your student doesn't do well!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Seb

      It looks like you could've used those 3 or 4 extra hours yourself

      January 18, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Blessed Geek

      Lack of having had/done homework in your past schooling is indicated by your style of writing.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Nate

      I agree that homework is not really beneficial in the early grades. I teach 5th grade and have stopped assigning nightly homework, but rather assign it to the kids that need it when they need it. I have also found a majority of my parents fully support it. Those parents that don't, ask for additional homework for their students, which I assign, but then come up with excuses when I ask for it and it's not done. Also, why is it that we expect innovation in all areas except education. I'm tired of hearing "When I was in school.." The way we educate must change, and it will not look like it did when you went to school. Nor should it.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Christine

      Practice makes perfect. Sports require practice, cooking requires practice, learning new concepts requires practice.
      I guess you don't want your kids to be as close to perfection as possible?

      January 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Jerry

      I never did homework that someone wasn't paying me to do for them. I read all my textbooks at the beginning of the year and never touched them again. I minimally participated in class, often using the time to read a book checked-out from the library before first hour and returned, finished, after sixth hour. I always aced my tests.

      Homework is an altogether stupid concept; the kids who do it and get good grades on it learned the material in class and benefit little or not at all from the exercise while the ones who struggle with it fail classes because they didn't pick up on the material during class and don't have access at home to the main resource they WOULD have if they were doing the work in school, (the TEACHER).

      January 18, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  35. DP

    So, I could have done my homework in the classroom instead of on the bus. I would have had to give up the five hours of staring out the window a day. That would be silly to do at home.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  36. J

    Unfortunately there is little detail here. The story is great with a great ending except that he then prosthelytizes after only 18 months. My fear is that there are so many gurus ready to say they have the answer then don't. We need to see how these kids get on, it concerns me that a educator would sing success after 18 months. I wish him and his school all the best and give them credit for making things better, good for you to have the moxy to break with the same old same old! I think education is a truly noble profession!

    January 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  37. Highschool Student

    I have to say, that yes this would work for some students. However, in my AP United States History class my teacher tried this and it ultimately failed. The majority of my class did not bother to listen to the lectures beforehand, so when we came to class our teacher would end up reviewing the material anyway. My science teacher tried this, and it did not work at all. I personally did not see it as a helpful switch, because I like asking questions after a lecture to get my notes straightened out.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Len

      No offense, but if your class is too lazy to watch the material, than they shouldn't be in AP classes. AP is suppose to be college prep, not walk your hand through the material. If there is anywhere this should work, it's college prep classes to give you college credit. This is the real world and you will be sitting through a lot of lectures – recorded and not recorded.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
      • J

        Huhm, no teaching then, only homework, I am not convinced, both, like an after school program I can see. Well let's here back, these experiments take years so please for the sake of science, that thing we learn in school, let's not jump the gun.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
      • Lenny'sbrother

        Lenny, in my 20 years experience as a high school history teacher I can tell you that kids not wanting to open their books up, take notes or even look at a video is not so unusual. Apply this to AP classes where students would be expected to get the work done and what you get is a clash of two policies. One, the administration in most high schools drive kids to AP classes although they are entirely unprepared. Why, you may ask? Because it makes the school look good on paper for the number of students taking "AP" classes, although they are AP in name only. Flipped schedules are nothing new and more or less the latest round of "reform" coming down the pipe. I am glad it works at this one school, but for every school it works at, it doesn't work for ten others.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  38. Anne

    What a wonderful concept! This is something I could use to good effect in my college writing courses.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Lenny'sbrother

      Actually, it's not a new concept. Some states have been doing this for the past five years. Some have given up, some are still working on it.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • J

      I went to their web site. Very strange, very commercial looking. Maybe I missed it but I did not see any ranking, ratings, test scores, nothing. Advanced lectures on-line. Hum, don't some for profit colleges do this and not very well. You will learn algebra but can't ask a question? Well, unless he post his test scores, I mean standardized, and yes even Korea uses them, they just use other things as well, so no standard at bashing please, I can't see how anybody can get so excited.

      Educators please, science, science, science, you are teachers acting like left wing east village liberals jumping at any idea without PROOF, god help us!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
      • Lenny'sbrother

        As a teacher, I have to say "great point!" We are alway's ready to jump on the next great thing before it's proven as being great.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  39. aflarend

    I have one more question. The failure rates for classes were given. What about on the standardized tests. Maybe I missed it. If the teachers used to grade on homework completion and now there is no homework to turn in ( or even less of it), then the grades of students can change drastically since there will be fewer zeroes in the grade book.
    I just want to point out all the messy details that go into changes in schools and evaluating their success. It is rarely straight forward. And education has a history of following fads only to have them not work out when the details were examined. The only thing that consistently works is to have the individual students really dig deep into the topics and spend time constructing their knowledge by building on what they previously know and by addressing their misconceptions, usually by using written or verbal language. This is incredibly hard work for both the student and teacher and there is no template or game for it.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Len

      Wow, you obviously aren't a teacher then. What this is doing is allowing more verbal time and hands on activities to discuss the topic. The flip model, with how I am understanding it is mostly just having more experienced lecturers on topics that kids can watch and learn from on their own time. This means they aren't getting distracted and can spend the time on it they need. They can learn without disruptions, fire drills, or social activities getting in the way. As a high school teacher, I view this as absolutely amazing. Standardized tests aren't everything. This type of model prepares them for the real world.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
      • Russ

        I am a teacher. I do not see a majority of my students watching anything to do with school outside of class. Therefore, I would end up just reteaching instead of the one on one.... IMO

        January 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
      • aflarend

        I am a physics teacher of 20 years and you missed my point. I see the principal attributing the success to the online lectures and only that. My point was that there are other changes that accompanied the online lectures. Perhaps on one is watching the lectures...there was no data given about monitoring the rate of watching. Lectures are pretty useless in a lot of classes. Students are passive and most if not all of the learning occurs when they actually do something in class. So maybe the lectures are not even a factor.
        Also, if homework used to count for 30% and most students did not do it, then 30% of their grade was zero. Therefore their course grade was really low, even if they aced everything else. Now that there is no homework, their grades will automatically rise because 30% of their grade will not be zero.
        If this idea gets the students more active in the classroom, then great. But they need to evaluate the use of lecture as a means of learning. Also, they need long term data to see if it still works once the novelty wears off. I want to avoid everyone switching to this model, spending lots of time and money, when it will fail once the shine wears off.

        Better to spend the time and money just making classes more active and engaging in deeper activities.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  40. aflarend

    i am a teacher and proud of it. I have insight that non teachers have. It pains me that people purposefully post that they are not teachers and therefore their opinion is worth more!
    Like all things in education, this is new and exciting. But I fear the kids will get board eventually, especially if all the classes do it. Educators constantly look and find new ways to engage their students. I question the idea of lectures at all, especially if they are over 15 minutes. We know that just telling kids stuff is not a way to make them truly and deeply understand concepts and overcome misconceptions. If all you are after is basic memorization, then it is fine. But we should be after more than that. I hope that these online lectures are accompanied by some kids of writing assignment to make them less passive. Also, are there any stats to show how many students are viewing the videos. Perhaps they are not really watching, but the changes in the class time are what is making the difference. The teachers could be planning more in depth activities or pinpointed problems. MAybe the lectures them selves are irrelevant.

    Bottom line folks. There is no single magic bullet and the target keep moving.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • perpetual student

      I hope you don't teach English! "Board" and "bored" sound the sme, but do not have the same meaning. It looks like you need a refresher in composition, too.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
      • aflarend

        Can't resist this, but if you are going to point out a typo then make sure you do not have one in your post.

        sme? Did you mean same?

        January 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Len

      I think the best type of work on this interactive. I have worked in special ed. classes that have used this concept for quite some time. The kids have questions and work that is to be completed during the lecture – as well as usually a chat they can join to talk to the teacher and other classmates.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Sewchick

      Your vocabulary (board for bored) and absorption of the information provided (article clearly states that class time is for discussion and participatory learning activities) give me pause. Change is messy. Life is messy. These students are not harmed by this experiment any more than they were harmed by the previous model. We must try in order to succeed in any field. I applaud the effort of these educators and their willingness to suffer through the heartburn at the launch of this program. They are to be commended.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
      • aflarend

        I agree the teachers and principal are to be commended. But before everyone stampedes towards this model, it needs to be evaluated. I merely urge caution.
        In general, lectures are not very useful for deep understanding. Those of us who went to college may disagree,but then obviously that model worked for us because we succeeded in it. I questioned what the kids did DURING the lectures at home, not during the class. I question whether the lectures had any effect at all. I did not misread information from the article.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Sarah

      Dear Teacher,
      I find the article very interesting, and the comments worthwhile. Please check your spelling before posting nation wide. (Board vs bored). Sorry, I still believe in using a red ink pen to mark papers.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • BW42

      If you had written "bred", "boored" or "bord" I'd agree that it was probably a typo. But you wrote "board."

      January 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  41. Mathteacher

    II am a math teacher. I am a non-union teacher. I like this idea.

    Couple questions: For students on supervision plans, who are never allowed to access the internet (even in their home life (this is court ordered by a judge)), how do they prepare for lessons?

    Was this plan implemented before or after they became a choice school?

    Is there a business partnership (such as IBM has done for my school) that provides computers and internet access to students who do not already have it? (Apple has leased Ipads and Ipods and Iphones to our students who do not have smart phones.)

    Do the students have online textbooks in addition to the online lectures?

    I found a cure for the "not doing" homework. I posted a poster in my room, and everyday we count how many homework assignments are collected, and how many students are in class. We subtract off the students who missed the previous class, and then find the percent of students who submitted their homework. (This is after homework question time in class.) And then, we post the class (without names!!) homework percentage. (No one but me knows who has not submitted their homework.) I post this percentage for all of my classes, and have seen more homework turned in from all of my students just so they can see if their class can beat my other classes. I have not seen any students cheat off of each other because I grade on completion, not correctness, and am able to reteach students during their classroom work time, when I see their errors on homework. (I do not give out prizes, but the classes gain bragging rights!)

    Oh, one more question, how long are classes, and how often do the students have class? (I see my students for 88 minutes every other day.)

    Thanks for your time, and for all the great ideas!

    January 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  42. Bill

    Do whatever works, but it sure sounds as if this is corporate sponsored education- which will ultimately fail. Try getting some good teachers- and pay them more than a gas station attendant.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Krista

      Wow...and your comment was so...brilliant??? What makes you so certain that "corporate sponsored education" will ultimately fail? And why do you say their teachers aren't already good? Do you have information to back up these claims?

      I think this idea has quite a bit of merit. Nice job, Mr. Green! Keep it up!

      January 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
      • Lenny'sbrother

        Before criticizing the argument answer this question: "Who runs Philadelphia Public Schools?" Edison Educational, which a subsidiary of Edison Electric "How's that corporate education now??????"

        January 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Thezel

      More money... bull... this guy sounds like he's on to something... how about we lose the high paid teachers, and have real world people teach them. May not be needed everywhere, but sounds like it works in economically disadvantaged places.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
      • dlindey

        Get rid of the "high-paid" teachers and bring in "real world" people? How are teachers not real-world people? Most of them are experts in their field, may even have 2nd jobs, have families, and spent at least 4 years learning how to teach. And then they continue "learning" how to teach while they teach. If you think you really know something, try teaching it to a friend, and then try teaching it to a kid, and then try teaching it to a class of 30. There are strategies, goals and objectives, and "ways of learning" to consider, among others. It baffles me why some people find it necessary to bash teachers. Sure, some are bad, but they represent a small percentage of current teachers.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
      • Lenny'sbrother

        Come to my school district "real world" person. I just watched 12 of you "real world" people cycle through my school this year. Seven couldn't take the abuse, three chose unemployment, one turned down a job because of the kids in the class and one quit three weeks into teaching. The batting percentage for "real world" people isn't very high right now.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  43. David in Chicago

    I'm neither a parent nor a teacher, so my objectivity here is fairly secure. This is brilliant. With so many digital outlets for the kids to get the basic lecture, the real work comes in applying it and where better than the classroom. Parents can still get as involved as they want, and the kids run out of excuses for not doing homework. The initial results seem dramatic, and no doubt will be explored further, but this approach is EXACTLY the kind of new thinking that only the feet-on-the-street educators can come up with...let's hope the bureaucrats don't bollix it up. Remember, a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  44. jesslam85

    I started flip teaching this school year. Our high school just went 1:1 (every student has a laptop). I love flip teaching. I find that more students are leaving class better prepared for the next day. It is less stressful for the teacher and student. As for the "teacher" being irrelavent, there still needs to be someone to create and update the videos, be there for the students to answer questions and a qualified person to be there for more in depth thinking for the students. This also allows for the students who were absent to watch the videos and not loose out.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  45. morph147

    the problem here is not so much fixing education but realizing that not all students deserve a full education like we believe now. sadly in this world we have a lot of people who struggle in school not because they are being taught ineffectively but because their brains are not hardwired for it.

    we need to do something more like germany. all students take a test to use their brains at a younger age. the smart ones get to go to college. the unintelligent ones get enough school to learn how to do the basics of reading writing and math and then go get a menial job. and the ones inbetween finish high school and go for middle position jobs.

    high school is not for everyone and college is definitely not for everyone. we as a society need to realize this and take care of it.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Ben

      I went to school in Lubeck and wondered why America didn't have the same thing. It's a great system. The other element that works well is end of year testing. If you don't pass your final exams you don't go up another grade. Period. When you graduate either from Gymnasium or Realschule you really do graduate with an education!

      January 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Solex

      So much for equal opportunity.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Randall "Texrat" Arnold

      You are so wrong, and Finland's educational success proves it.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Michael Connor

      I agree with you. I'm a high school teacher who came into teaching as a second career.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Lenny'sbrother

      I wouldn't call being an electrician, plumber, autoworker, or jet mechanic "menial jobs." Those people in U.S. society make far more than I can dream of making after 20 years in teaching.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • macphile

      Many countries use an O-level/A-level system. Fail your O-levels, and you're done with school. Pass and go on to an A-level exam. Of course, in some countries, university is paid for, too, which I like–there's something wrong with a system in which a child can do everything "right" and still can't go to college. So much for upward mobility.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
      • Lenny'sbrother

        Are we willing to accept the "suicide" rate in these "A" and "O" level countries?

        January 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  46. maglor

    My own teaching experience tells me that the approach in this article will work better for majority of the students. There will be small minority who will do better with "traditional" teaching model, thus if resources are there, it would be better for the school to provide both options, and occasionally let students or teachers cross over to experience the subject material in different environment. If resources are tight, thus if it is either this way or the old way, I would pick this way. Thank you Principal Green for sharing this experience with us.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • wondrcat

      Nice post, Maglor. As an educator, it's nice to read about positive, effective change rather than the usual negative, accusatory diatribe. I would LOVE to be given the opportunity to teach in a district that would allow both teachers and students the chance to flip from one style to the other if need/desire be. I'm always wishing I had more time to be able to 'practice' math (or any other subject) with my students–not just rush through the lessons and assign problems for h/w just so I can keep up with my district's pacing guide. Students are only in school 6.5 hrs. a day; not nearly enough time for both problem solving time and discussion as well. We DO need change, but our whole societal structure would have to change with us.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  47. Involved Parent

    I think its important to realize as our culture and society changes new and creative ways are needed to deal with the countless dysfunctions that are attacking each generation. This is fantastic; educators who actually came up with new and creative ways to make an immediate difference. I applaud you sir and the teachers whom serve with you.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  48. Marie Karlsson

    I believe this "flipped" approach is used by the Khan Academy. This is definitely something our schools need to do more frequently. We need to stop expecting students to do well by memorized and instead teach them to "learn". I had a very traditional education and have been told I am not "innovative". Frustrated, I was surprised to learn that being innovative is not something you are, but something you learn. Our educational system does an incredibly poor job of teaching ALL students to learn, and think creatively.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Lenny'sbrother

      If a lecture is given in class or if it is given on video "isn't it still a lecture??" There's nothing innovative or exciting. Now if the lecture were interactive that would be nice. I see the same thing in the classroom with new teachers doing powerpoints and refusing to write notes on the board, "at the end of the day, they're still notes!!!"

      January 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  49. Graham

    Great job Mr. Green! My colleagues and I have implemented the Flipped Classroom at our school in BC Canada and have also seen some amazing results. It has added a great deal of flexibility to the classroom and made it a place where all students can be successful. If any other Canadian teachers are interested we have some info available about the Flipped Classroom and are hosting a Pro-D Conference in June. http://www.flipnetworkcanada.com

    January 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  50. aoishd

    I think a better idea would be to teach normal classes m-th then set fri to be just for completing the assignments. There are already programs like that for kids who get bad grades and it works extremely well, the missed day of learning doesnt affect them so adjusting the curriculum to include that missed day for everyone would work even better. Homework was a stupid idea to begin with, it needs to be fixed.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  51. csnord

    Pure, dead brilliant.

    January 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  52. Jeff Block

    I applaud the efforts of the current board, high school administration and teachers of the Clintondale District. As an alum, I take pride and celebrate the fact that they still care and are willing to tackle an enormous problem that exists all around this country, all while facing a deficit created by a previous history of poor management and greed. I hope the State of Michigan takes notice and works with them to reduce their debt and allows them to continue positive progress in graduating more Dragons throughout the future.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  53. Katie

    What a concept – learning happening at school instead at home where the parent struggles to understand what the heck the teacher in looking for with a homework assignment that has multiple requirements, involves material not gone over in class, and is supposed to be illustrated in a poster. I'm mighty tired of being held accountable for my kids' grades and even being told I should take a refresher class so I can better help with the staggering and ridiculous homework assignments. One of my kids actually had a teacher who said she was NOT going to teach the class how to write a term paper, that they had to figure it out in their spare time. She was, however, going to grade them on the technical aspects – whether it had a thesis statement, if their research notecards were properly made, and if their bibliography was correctly written. But she was NOT going to tell them how any of those things needed to be done or why it was important. She felt strongly they could only learn by doing... And when my son got a D she told me I wasn't a good parent.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Panacea

      Guess you were supposed to write the paper for him :rolleyes:

      January 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • you are what is wrong with parents today

      You're tired of being held accountable for your kids' grades? Wow, that is such a depressing statement in so many ways. It must be so terrible for you to, you know, be partly responsible for your kids and their education. Parents who just want to ship their kids off to school and leave the education to the school alone are one of the reasons there are so many dumb people around today. Funny, when I was a kid, and I didn't know how to do something, I asked my parents for help. If they weren't sure how to help, we went to something called a library, filled with other things called books. They helped a great deal. Today, it's even easier. Tell your kids to google "How to write a term paper." Oh wow! A ton of results pop up! And on the first page they break down the entire structure of the paper, and how to cite your sources! Amazing! I agree with the teacher – you ARE a bad parent.

      January 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
      • E

        You just said that the way for her to be a GOOD parent was to tell her kid to Google what he didn't understand. I'm pretty sure that just makes you a jerk. I don't think parents should be responsible for their children's grades, and before you start preaching about me being a bad parent too, I don't have kids. I am thinking back to when I was in school myself. When I didn't understand a concept in my homework, it was MY job to figure it out. I even did it without the internet. The wonderful thing about it was that if I didn't do my homework or got bad grades or what have you, I would still have been in trouble with my parents–even though they had nothing to do with making sure I did my homework or studied for my tests. Guess what? It taught me to be a responsible adult.

        January 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
      • St. Paulie

        @you are what is wrong with parents today

        It sounds to me like Katie WAS helping her child with homework. What if per your example you read one site about how to write a term paper but it has slightly different information on it. The teacher then might deduct points for that. It would have been nice if she would have let the students know her expectations for them. Even if the teacher said, look for details on the internet but these are the parts of your paper that I expect to see. Sounds like she just didn't want to teach.

        January 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
      • Mare0568

        I really don't think Katie meant it the way some of you are taking it. I have a daughter in her first year of college and a son in the eleventh grade. Both are honor students and always have been. I went to college although I don't hold a high degree, I have a Bachelor's level in post-high school education. I'm not an idiot. And I have helped my kids with more projects, assignments, etc., than I can count. I don't mind. That is not the point. The point is - and I think what Katie is trying to make - is that some things are still beyond anything we were taught. And a library or Google isn't necessarily going to help. In my children's high school, when a report is due, everything has to be a specific way, done in a specific order, etc. Luckily, most teachers do offer a syllabus or some type of outline to go by. The bibliography is probably the worst. It is absolutely nothing like when I was in high school or college. Most challenging yet for me, personally, is math. I took 2 years of Academic and 2 year of Business Curriculum in high school. I never had the higher maths. There calculus and statistics classes were beyond speaking Greek to me as one would say. I don't think I could learn it in a fast enough period of time to even help them if I wanted to. Math has never been my strong suit to begin with. So when they bring/brought math homework home, if they had issues, they have to wait until they can get with the teacher, preferably before class - and if the teacher will see and help them (which some do not). I finally, this year, got in touch with a friend of my daughter's who is a math major in college and asked his advice. He offered to help and also offered up a great bunch of videos on Youtube.com That was truly the best solution I could come up with - at least so far. We live in a very rural area. We don't have much available nor after hours school sessions or teachers that are available after school gets out. So where does that leave us? Unfortunately, unlike you, I had no one to help me in school - except for maybe grade school. My parents were divorced, my mother worked long hours so we could eat. She had to get a GED. It doesn't make her a bad parent. She was a great parent. But it is what it is. Try not judging everyone based on your narrow-minded personal experience. It certainly sounds like Katie gave it a gallant effort. No, parents shouldn't be expected to know every single subject and everything children are expected to bring home.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  54. musheded

    Wow what about personal interaction? Kids don't get enough appropriate social interaction with adults, or each other, as it is and now they have less and come to school to do homework? Hands on learning? This concept couldn't work, at least not in total, in a biology, chemistry, physics or even many higher level math classes. How is a child going to be able to visualize graphing a parabola (in calculus since the article uses that as an example) if they're just watching a video of it. Many instructors find using hands on in the classroom and group work is much more effective than any other teaching tool. This concept seems impersonal and won't help a school or district spot troubled students who need academic and/or social help until it will likely be too late.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Rooster

      The student-teacher interaction comes during the homework time when their brains are engaged. This is also the time when the most assistance is needed from a teacher, the two-way portion of the learning. The video portion is one-way just like a lecture, teacher talks and student listens. I wish I had this, it would have meant I could ask the questions when I was learning the material, not just skipping the homework question when no one was there to provide instruction.... and the results seem to prove this works.

      January 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • HerrSticks

      " How is a child going to be able to visualize graphing a parabola (in calculus since the article uses that as an example) if they're just watching a video of it"

      Your post makes little sense. Do you understand what the word "visualize" means? If the child is watching a video where the instructor draws graph, how is that child un-able to visualize what they are seeing with their own eyes on screen?

      Not to mention you totally missed the point. This method allows the kids to learn the information, then take that info to school the next day where any questions or problems will be addressed. I remember when i was in HS we had 55 minute periods, which amounted to about 40 minutes of lecture, 10 minutes of nothing and 5 of questions. So i would get sent home with all this information in my head and questions and issues with the expectation that i would just "figure it out" at home. Most teachers will only entertain questions and issues before or after school, and many only do that 2-3 days a week. Which does not work, it does not provide adequate time for the kids, nor should the teachers be staying late.

      You reference social interaction, well that also illuminates how horrendous your reading comprehension is. It clearly stated that kids are not losing in class time and face time with the teachers, on the contrary they are gaining more. This method allows for the majority of class time to be spend addressing and solving problems and honing skills, instead of the time consuming act of giving them the information.

      January 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Panacea

      musheded, I use this exact model to teach NURSING classes at a community college. The model works, and works well.

      I make 15 minute lectures on the basic concept (like oxygenation), then we spend the class time discussing the lecture, working on case studies, or other problem solving exercises.

      It works. Program retention is up. Grades are up. NCLEX pass rates, already good, are up.

      January 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  55. Chavo

    You no what. Like if you no like there wur no techers and we lern from the computer video who cares. Most students will do better. i have a 3.8 gpa and not cuz of the teachers but cuz i work and like study.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Beast

      What language are you writing?

      January 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Claire

      I hope that you use better grammar for your schoolwork than you do online.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • emmy

      I'm not trying to be a jerk – but your comment could be misconstrued such as that. That all it takes is hard work and studying – so many impoverished children and children that are faced with gross amounts of inequality struggle with concepts, and once they start doing poorly it's an anxiety cycle that suffocates many children. Now – I'm going to assume that due to your very very very poor grammar and English that it is not your first language, but the use of abbreviated text makes me think that you are familiar enough with it to understand abbreviation – so I'm slightly alarmed at who would say you have a 3.8 level GPA. If you entire post is sarcasm – then please disregard my criticism.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • grist

      This, dear posters, is a troll. We do not feed the trolls, because it makes them trollier. He's looking for your outrage over how someone with so obvious a deficit in skills could have a 3.8. Just keep walking.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  56. aunttammie

    I've been doing this on a modified basis for a few years–several lessons, not all of them. It works well if the students actually watch the videos that they are supposed to. I'd be interested to know how this school handles the students who refuse to do their part and walk into class without having seen the assigned lesson. My experience is that the students who don't do written homework also don't watch the videos.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  57. ieat

    BRAVO!!! Excellent job, Mr Green. Very creative way to take advantage of what resources you may have. I hope your school continues to succeed and the students as well. Best of luck!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  58. DeepEper

    Has anyone considered the negative impact this will have on employment? "Teacher" is one of the most widely held occupations in our nation, and the replacement of millions of government workers by a high-quality video feed would be economically devastating.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • roc

      It would be interesting to have a school where students did learn exclusively from technology, start them at kindergarten and see how their scores are... only issue I could think of is behavior, someone has to monitor that. Being a teacher myself, I dread being called a "babysitter", and don't want our position to be reduced to that, but clearly technology needs to be implemeted into daily routines much more than it is in most schools.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • MC

      I'm glad the kids are getting a better education that you apparently did, considering that you are clearly unable to read and comprehend a simple article.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Aloisae

      They aren't actually replacing the teachers with video feeds. They have been turned into babysitters who watch over and assist the children while they do the work they are being graded on rather than actually teaching the students during the class time. Of course, the students still have homework.. ie. watching the video feeds.. but since they aren't being graded on being able to implement what is learned in these feeds or the factual material in them but rather on the work product they can produce with direct supervision and assistance, it doesn't really matter if they ever watch the feeds at all because it is irrelevant. I just feel sorry for the poor college that takes any of these kids based upon their grades and then has to teach them the study and time management habits which they should have learned in high school... or even worse the poor employer who hires these kids out of high school and then finds that they have to teach the kid how to work on their own without constantly taking up their supervisor's time because they never learned to complete projects without immediate access to their teacher.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
      • kevin

        I see it the opposite way. These students will be ready to work with others to solve problems, which is what good employers expect. Up until now, schools taught that you do all the work yourself, and never copy someone else's, and if you don't get the ONE right answer, you FAIL. Inability to collaborate in the workplace will sink you every time, but that's exactly what most schools teach. Time management skills come with the expectation that you watch and try to learn from the videos on your own time.

        January 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • MK

      Myopic viewpoint if I ever saw one. Worry about the few jobs now and keep hurting the future generations.
      No one said teachers were going away. They are actually able to spend time teaching and answering questions now.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • FKell

      DeepEper, I think you fail to grasp the concept. You still need the "teacher" in the classroom. The difference now is that instead of giving a classwide lecture, they are instead working individually with the different students on their specific problems. It is more akin to college learning, where there is a lecture (which may have upwards of hundreds of students in it), and then a recitation, which is a class that lets a smaller group of students (typically 20-25) have time to go over whatever they are having problems with from the lecture material.

      This sort of what happens already in school. The typical day is a combination lecture/recitation, but the homework is the real recitation time. That is the time where the students actually have had the time to let the material "sink in" and now they need to show they know how to use it. But the problem there is the fact that not everyone has someone they can go to at home when they do have a problem or question about the material that wasn't answered during class (or that they didn't even realize they had that issue since they were so busy trying to grasp the concept(s) still at that time). If the student didn't grasp the concept, doing the homework can be impossible when there is no one there to help go over the issues they are having at home. The "flipped" method, allows the students to have the "lecture" at home, lets them go over the material at their own speed, repeat sections of it that they didn't quite get, or go back to it after they had the "ah ha" moment. And then if they still have problems or questions, they bring those questions into school and then work with someone who knows how to help them, the teacher. It is there are school that they do the "homework" where they can get immediate help trying to understand what they are suppose to be doing, and figuring out the questions/problems with a person who can instruct them on the correct way to do things, not letting them learn someone that is wrong in the first place, and then have to un-learn what they thought was the way to do things.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  59. flashtrum

    Sounds about right – blaming every problem the kids have and the school has on the "economic climate" rather than holding PARENTS, the KIDS themselves, and the TEACHERS accountable.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      Way to completely miss the point, just so you can make a narcissistic point about how bad everyone else is.
      You are NOT helping.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • UKAS

      Parents, teachers and students ARE being held accountable here... the KIDS are responsible for watching and absorbing the material outside of the school day, thus actually adding to their independent responsibilities and taking their education into their own hands. More often than not, students cannot complete assignments at home because they are detached from their learning environment and don't have the proper supports to help them if they need it. Parents are responsible for their children's education, but many areas in the country that have been heavily effected by the economy require parents to work longer and harder hours, and remember this is a high school, parents at some point need to let their kids be independent and take responsibility for doing their work or not. Teachers are still doing their jobs, just in a different way. They still need to plan lessons and probably take more of their own time to record them all and post them online. This new "flipped" model obviously is working in this urban school or else the data would not reflect that! Personally I think this is revoluitonary and nothing in the past 20 years has resulted in such abrupt changes in scores, hopefully more schools will pickt this up!

      January 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • kevin

        Good explanation, but I'm afraid some people aren't ready to listen and understand. They just want to complain. I guess this comment puts me in that camp, too 😉

        January 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • MC

      Could you possibly be any dumber? It was the teachers who solved the problem, half-wit.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • zz

      They are (teachers, parents and students) trying to fix this problem. I don't think 75% of the students want to fail.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  60. jj

    Really good idea. The kids get to use social media and can watch each lesson as often as they need to to learn according to their own learning style. But I wonder what the teachers think, having to give the lecture to a camera with no audience.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  61. LMC

    Have these results been audited by a third-party with no interest in the school? Also, does this work for children across the learning spectrum, like special ed, behavioral problems, foster kids, etc.? We really need this to be replicated across environments to prove that it works in each and every case.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • JHolt

      LMC, please prove to me that our current modern education system "works in each and every case." I think the whole point of trying something new is that the current system clearly does NOT work, oftentimes for the majority of students trapped within!
      By your response, I would venture to guess that you are a professional within this broken and deteriorating system.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • DJ

      Why should it have to work in every case?? Not every student learns in the same way. Get excited about the fact that this method is WORKING! Let it work for as many as possible. Congratulations to a group of underpaid professionals who are willing to try something new.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Mattski

      I get that imperical results are important, but why do you think it has to work in every case? What if it doesn't? Throw out the baby with the bath water?

      January 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • jTodd

      Part of the current problem with education is the expectation that there is a "one size fits all" strategy that will work for every student. There is no such strategy. The solution presented in the article merely allows education to move from the pre-computer days to meet kids where they live now. There would still be a need for special educators and different modes of instruction for different students.
      If we wait for the magic strategy that is going to fix our system, we will be waiting a very long time. Perhaps we should open our eyes and our minds a little and start trying some solutions like the one presented in the article. Teachers would still have jobs because they would still be at school to help students. Since the lecture takes place outside the classroom, a student would have time to replay the lesson as well as record questions to ask the teacher either in person at school or via email. Parents would be more able to assist their kids with watching a video and asking questions rather than trying to help their children with the homework the student's currently take home in most schools.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Travelista

      As someone who often has trouble paying attention (thanks ADD!) I actually think this kind of thing would be MORE helpful to kids who have learning disabilities or other issues that might make them distracted during the day. They can watch the lecture as many times as they need to absorb the information as opposed to hearing it once while in class. Then, when they ARE in class, they can ask their teacher more in depth questions. It offers them time to collect their thoughts and questions and it gives the teachers the opportunity to go more in depth during class time. How can this not be a good idea?

      January 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  62. woodrow

    That's a very clever idea!

    January 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  63. tffl

    A couple of concerns here:

    This is a "school of choice" – meaning that the parents have already invested more concern and effort in their child's education than many low income parents can (or choose to). In most public schools (especially those catering to low socioeconomic level students), this isn't the case – instead, you have low involvement parents, and parental involvement in educational efforts correlates strongly with student outcomes.

    This "learn outside the classroom" approach assumes that the students choose to put in the effort. Even in this school of choice, the principal indicates that "the students weren’t paying attention, they weren’t doing their homework, they were being disruptive, or they weren’t coming to school at all". He doesn't indicate what about the new program changed that, and without those things changing, no educational approach is going to be successful. Certainly, if they weren't paying attention or doing homework before, demanding them to study their lessons on their "own" time doesn't sound like it is going to (by itself) resolve those problems. Yes, if you have a motivated student, providing them with more interactive rather than lecture time with a teacher is likely to be useful, but with an unmotivated student?

    As others have noted, this approach also depends on the students having technical resources to make use of the on-line material. This is not true of many low-income families, and a public school cannot demand or depend on it. (Comments about all low-income students having smartphones are not even close to true. At my children's high school (a middle to lower economic level school with about 60% of student on free lunch), most students did not – for that matter, my kids (who were not economically disadvantaged) did not.) Providing computer facilities at the school for students to use outside school hours isn't a solution – many students cannot make use of such facilities outside school hours (due to jobs, extracurricular activities, use of school provided transportation (buses) which only run right after school, etc.)

    There are some scenarios where this approach can be successful, but there are many where it cannot, and public schools (unlike private schools, charter schools, schools of choice, etc.) need to serve – and hopefully be successful with – all students, not just selected (whether self-selected or school-selected) populations.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  64. jill

    You have to change with the times and do what works...SO GOOD FOR YOU !! This is not the 1950's and kids don't learn in the same old boring manner that they used to. The results speak for themselves...it works !

    Online learning is the way of the future- if these inner city kids can stay at home and avoid the crime-ridden violence of public schools- then keep them home and send them to public school online. If I had kids in that area – I would never send them to public school- just walking to the bus is too dangerous for these kids.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  65. Rick

    Part of what makes "Flipping" work for Clintondale is what makes how I teach my 8th grade math students so successful. The essential components of my approach include multiple attempts on short, ten-question, single concept tests with the highest grade counting the most. I complement these attempts at mastery of concepts to real life applications having to do with home, college and careers. Amongst the reasons I use this approach are that it ensures that the kids give me at least one best effort on each and every concept with many of my students opting to try for a higher-than-passing grade, many on their own time. Like Clintondale, this approach represents the results of paying close attention to a challenge with an open mind.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  66. Gran44

    Attack the messenger, attack the presentation, argue about details when you don't understand the dynamics – sounds like a bunch of radical conservatives protesting, Rovian, almost.

    Laptops or desktops should work as well as smart phones. Smart phones, however, do not need household Internet access, which is not cheap. They solve many other related and unrelated problems as well. Of course, some students could stay after school to use computer labs or go to local libraries, if transportation and library computers are available.

    Technology is moving ahead. Using technology to implement "flipping" shifts both delivery-time and location, makes it possible for students to repeat material when needed, and allows preparation of materials which include richer (and deeper) presentations to be available to all students. Alternative presentations could be created for students with differing learning styles and/or abilities. It might also reduce the impact of projected shortages of teachers, and allow a more efficient use of transportation assets and building facilities.

    As "flipping" appears to be in the better interests of students (and, ultimately, the economy and us taxpayers), "flipping" deserves a serious, wide-spread, and honest trial.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • GT66

      Gran, internet access for smart phones (especially fast access with unlimited bandwidth) cost FAR more than a home internet connection. Personally, I think principal Green muddied the waters of an idea with potential by mentioning smartphones. Smart phones are still in the luxury realm due to their high internet costs.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
      • GT66

        And yes, you could use the wireless provided by the school or a library but then if you are at the school or the library, you could just use their computer. I'm guessing that Principal Greene's mentioning of smart phones was in the idea that a student could do his or her learning just about anywhere which is true but without carrier provided internet you're no much better off than being tethered with a laptop.

        January 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      "Smart phones, however, do not need household Internet access, which is not cheap. "
      Are you kidding? Smart phones internet access is WAY more expensive than whole home access! Plus smart phones have MUCH smaller screens, making a lot of tables, demos and videos virtually unwatchable.
      I can get a Netflix app on my phone, but why bother? The tiny screen is not conducive to enjoyable viewing.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  67. zz

    That's what teachers need to do. Make things work the best way for their students. Those are the teachers who will make a difference in students lives. Applause! Applause!

    January 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  68. John

    This is an excellent way to use the technology. We have teachers and administrators who in most instances want to implement new ideas but either get their hands tied by the school board or parents. Most of all they get their hands tied by those who still live with the idea that in class learning is the only way to learn. What do people say when you get a child or teenager to sit down and watch videos on learning a programming language or read a book on it, etc...and then go out and create the biggest social media site in the world. You get very lucky but you also learn. The way you learn should not always be the issue but find a way to teach that keeps kids interested. 200 years ago a future president taught himself to read and learn what he could. He did not learn everything in a classroom. Standards are for those who want a line to follow. Exceptional people find ways to keep the line moving forward. We can complain and blame each other for why our children are deficient in the educational realm but we do only have ourselves to blame for not thinking outside the box. The norm is not for us to determine but it is for those that come after us to determine. You want your children to learn computer languages just google or go to youtube. You tell me what is the normal way to learn. There is more information out there for free and it is good information. Check out Purplemath.com and see how you can help your child figure out math problems. This is free and good information. Take it as you will but we as parents need to take the bull by the horn and follow this principal's example. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, BE CREATIVE!

    January 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Kat

      I guess I don't understand why so much homework is sent home with kids anyway. I remember when "new math" came out in school in the 70's it was a disaster. My parents, who were not dummies, couldn't even help me with my homework. I was in tears every night trying to figure it out. The best learning was when homework was done in the classroom and reviewed and what was missed was practiced again. And the "new math".....that was tossed out by the teachers at my school. Students and teachers working together in the classroom works the best in my opinion.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  69. JT

    Shucks. We just used to open our books and read before we came to class. I wonder how we ever managed....

    January 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • David

      Sounds too easy. You have to spend at least a billion dollars and use technology if you want to solve these problems.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • ORtoAZ

      Opening books works in schools that actually give students a copy of the book. Schools in our district only have classroom copies and don't allow students their own copy

      January 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      True, but books (hardcopy) are expensive, and remember, in order to cut taxes on the super-rich, we have to make sure that the poorest of schools scrimp a bit more! After all, they're just poor people, and are likely to stay that way, no matter how much you try to smarten them up.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • kevin

      ... and that's EXACTLY what this approach is, except with videos and computer apps. So the kids learn the basics from the materials (like you reading a book), and then work with teachers to reinforce the learning in the classroom.

      January 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  70. Jon

    First, I really like the idea and plan! Great job for thinking outside the box!

    Second, I feel people are getting to caught up about the kids having smart phones and not commenting on the program the school has put into place.

    Third, I do a similar plan in my classroom. I lecture 1 day and then the next day the students do school work on the lecture and the section that was in the lecture. The entire period is dedicated to the work or the students practicing the work and concepts. Then I do another lecture and then the day after that they do another assignment. I do quiz at the end of each chapter that is open note and a test after every 2 chapters (Not open note). We also play a game that the students LOVE, history taboo. I play this game at the end of each chapter. I put people’s names, places, states, events, terms, vocab words on a power point. 1 item per page, I project the power point on the screen where 1 student sits with his/her back to the screen. 1 student is giving clues to get that other student to say the item, he may not rhyme, say starts with or say any part of the item. The students have 30 seconds to get as many items as possible. I build on the power point for each chapter so by the end of the year the power point includes items over each chapter. It is an amazing game to review and to make sure the students don’t just forget the stuff you had just tested about. This would also be awesome for an English class with vocab. I just thought other educators might be reading this article and would like to know about this game.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  71. Ellen

    Owning a smartphone and/or computer but qualifying for free lunch programs – ridiculous, and actually kind of distracting to read the rest of this, knowing that the students have the wealth to obtain technology but not food. However, being able to watch/listen to a lecture more than once is of great value to many students , who can catch more each time they are exposed to the lecture is good, similar to re-reading the text. I would be bored out of my mind to watch a lecture on a smartphone screen, and would prefer to hear the lecture live in the classroom. When are the students reading their textbooks? I also went to all my schooling with the model of required reading in advance of the classroom session, lecture in the classroom to reinforce and extend the text material, homework to use the information and show understanding, testing to show gaining knowledge. Although some/too many students did not do the required reading, this was their responsibility. In the old days, our teachers worked with kids after school, professors iin college had office hours if you dared to access them, and students worked together in groups in the library in high school (lunch, resource period for my high school), and at all hours for college – we came early, and stayed late.

    A valuable part of the lecture experience is all those interruptions, the discussion amongst the students when they hear the information, the questions and answers that the entire class hears. Where you might not have had the question, but another student did, and you all got to hear the answer. I am glad these students are doing better, that the video/audio opportunity is helping, but the biggest value has to be the individual attention from teachers, if it really works as described.

    Totally irritating that the principal took so long in the article to describe his process, after first praising himself for so long.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jason

      I guess Ellen you believe the students still should be using the same text books and methods from your childhood – "Back when I was a kid I walked 7 miles to school in the snow, up hill both ways"... Time to advance, bring on new technology and new ways of doing things.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • smart

      Technology, these days, is cheaper than food. It's not ridiculous, as you state, but a fact. For these kids to have any chance of supporting themselves in the future, they need to be fluent in "technology". So, while it may seem like a luxury, it has become a necessity.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Barbara

      In many schools each classroom is assigned a single set (30-35) of text books, not one for every student. The article also pointed out that there were many alternatives to viewing if a student didn't have internet access at home or a smartphone.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Re Ellen

      So please do indulge us, what should a free/reduced lunch student look like?

      January 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  72. guy cunningham

    it is, however, unlikely that all students have a chance to succeed as personal characteristics still exist. it is more intellectually honest to say that "more" students have the chance. there is just too much hyperbole. it reminds me of the time i heard a physician declare that we are "winning the battle against death." lol

    January 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • GT66

      The staff of Clintondale High should be commended for trying something *anything* to improve the outcomes for their students. Kudos to them for showing an innovative and ultimately caring spirit! I wish them all (staff and students) continued success.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  73. BigguyinTx

    Glad to hear this educator found something that works. I am a little surprised the Teacher's Union didn't challenge it. IMHO, the Union is the impediment to better schools...

    January 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • HHR

      The problem isn't just unions. The problem is that politicians allow educational companies to come into schools and sell educational products and ideas that don't work. Many teachers are forced by their gullible school boards to accept some program that hasn't been proven and change their teaching practices every other year. If politicians, educational companies, and school boards would get out of the way, teachers could do their jobs.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • MumsToo

      Do you work in or for a school? I do. And I find that it's not the union that's the problem. Sure, there are some issues which they fight for which might be best left alone, but usually it's not the union that's the problem. It's the parents who can't be bothered get out of bed to make sure their kids get to school; it's the ones that don't give a rip about education to begin with and therefore, neither do their kids; it's the ones who don't discipline their children, but instead, use teachers as babysitters (which hinders learning for well-behaved and responsible kids); it's the administrators who refuse to fire bad teachers during their three-year probationary period (WI); and it's the whole system being politicized and regulated by people with no training in education, teaching, or managing kids.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
      • JHolt

        You give the same tired complaints that all unionized teachers do, except for claiming that somehow more money is the solution to all our educational woes. I applaud you for not sneaking this in somewhere.
        In every state, whenever innovation or reform is introduced into the schools, the main opponent is ALWAYS the teachers union. ALWAYS. While I believe that many good teachers who want the best for their students do exist, the union only wants what is best for its members.

        January 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Jason

      Parents are the main problem. No discipline.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  74. eme

    "the percentage of students who fall into the poverty category is increasing by the day". If students and their families are in poverty the school expects them to have smart phone in order to do their work?
    "Students watch these videos outside of class on their smartphone, in the school computer lab (which now has extended hours), at home or even in my office if they need to. Now, when students come to class, they’ve already learned about the material" Why can't this be done in the regular school model? It doesn't sound like poverty is the real issue here it is school culture. If these resources were available before then they were not employed well.
    "students to easily communicate outside of class, participate in large discussions related to their schoolwork and learn from each other." So why do they need school anyway? If they can do this now why couldn't they do that in the previous model with the same resources.
    "When many students go home after school, they don’t have the resources necessary to understand, and sometimes don’t complete their homework. Many families are not able to provide the expertise and technology needed to help with their children’s homework, so when we send kids home at the end of each day, we’re putting them into environments that are not capable of supporting their learning needs." This contradicts previous statements. Family support is needed regardless of the learning model used.
    "When students do homework at school, they can receive a meal and access to technology (during a declining economy),". Sounds like economy/poverty is an excuse for poor school administration .
    "When students do their homework at school, we can ensure that they will be able to learn in a supportive environment that’s conducive to their education and well-being." This should be the case all the time!!!!
    "For the first time in history, we can provide a level playing field for students in all neighborhoods, no matter what their financial situation is." Smart phone and technology is not the answer to poor educational practices. Hire well qualified teachers, hire appropriate school administrators and provide and enriched learning environment regardless of the student/family financial situation.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Doodypie

      They did something at no added cost and it's working. Why are you being so negative? This model of teaching has a lot of benefits for one-on-one time with the students that need it.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
      • GT66

        Well actually there is cost. That cost is pushed to students who, despite 75% of them being on school lunch programs now need to drum up a way to gain after hours access to an internet connected computer. Yes, there are options such as (currently being de-funded) libraries, "richer" friends and the like and after hours access to the schools computer labs (which now must be staffed). The point being, there is a cost. I'm not saying that this is a bad idea, it is actually quite a good one, I'm just saying I for one am not naive to think this is a "no cost" solution.

        January 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • ArchieDeBunker

        The idea of "one-on-one time" is a farce. If a teacher has 30 students in a class and the class is one hour long, each student gets 2 minutes. Not enough to do an real teaching. Of course there are some students who don't need the extra help, so maybe that increases the time available to help those who do need extra attention from 2 minutes to 3 minutes. Big Deal!

        I taught chemistry and math for 12 years. For five of those 12 years I tried beating my head against the wall and offering "individualized [learn at your own rate] instruction." Results were predictable. The 5% -10% of the kids who were mature enough to handle it did very well, and were well prepared for college. The 60% or so of the kids who were under the broadest part of the bell curve – the "average" students, if you will – sat and day-dreamed while I was helping the other students and then ended up at the end of the semester trying to rush through all the assignments. Their scores on the standardized tests were predictably poor. Then there was the 35% who didn't give a damn whether they passed chemistry or not. They ended up failing and many of their parents came to me and complained that it was my fault for not "making them study."

        While I applaud this effort to try to change things, I do not think it will work over a broad spectrum of schools. The problem is student motivation. Even if all kids could be provided with electronic media to watch the lectures and take notes, most of them would not do so.

        I quit teaching after those 12 years because I was forced to teach more and more "dumbell science" classes – classes that were preferred by "students" who were just plain too lazy to put in the study and effort needed to pass a chemistry, biology or physics class. At the last school I taught in, I had built the chemistry program from two classes of about 10 – 15 kids to four classes of 20 or more. During the summer after my last year of teaching I was told that two of my chemistry classes would be given to a biology teacher who didn't even have a minor in chemistry, but who did have seniority over me. I resigned the next day and have never been back in a classroom again.

        January 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Guest

      Your comments that negate what is being said seem to have little to no merit. The school has seen a turn around rate. They have proven that what they do works. This is not just theory. So I am surprised that you feel that it is not good and are trying to blame everyone for the previous poor achievement. They did turn it around and it is working...so.......??

      January 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • MumsToo

      ""Students watch these videos outside of class on their smartphone, in the school computer lab (which now has extended hours), at home or even in my office if they need to. Now, when students come to class, they’ve already learned about the material" Why can't this be done in the regular school model?"

      When I was in school, this was called "read the chapter for tomorrow."

      January 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • Matt the Teacher

        And in your day you used an abacus and a slate with chalk.

        January 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • kyle

      Most phones now are "smart" and most people do not have home phones anymore. It doesn't say the kids have access to these at all, it says they CAN access the lectures online from any source INCLUDING smartphones. Nothing you biatch about has any merit. This is not the "standard" model because the standard model is what was going on 40 years ago. Nothing contradictions in this article and increasing school access to technology and an atmosphere that is conductive to learning is the real point of this article. This method is used in most colleges and post graduate education systems. Lectures, and rote memorization is very ineffective teaching methods so teaching children how to access the information quickly and repeatedly makes the material stick much more effectively in a childs mind.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
      • hasanyonethought

        I have 2 points:
        1) I had an excellent undergrad university where this system was NEVER used – no video lectures, it was reading and other preparation. I got a master's degree in this "hybrid" 1/2 face-to-face, 1/2 on-line crap and I learned close to nothing in 80% of my courses and the on-line time was generally the biggest waste of my life to date. I think the attemps to make learning "on-line" are pushing down the standards of students at all levels of learning.

        2) Why does everyone think that dropping failure rates HAS to be a good indication? Personally, the main ways that I have seen principals and schools work towards dropping failure rates is by making standards lower, encouraging teach-to-the-test and no student accountability methods and suggesting an on-line school with courses they can pass in 2 weeks rather than have a kid in class. Have less kids fail doesn't prove that kids are learning more. Now, it could mean that but 18 months is hardly long enough to make that conclusion.

        3) I see potential in this but think that it is fair to critique it the way that it has been – cost of technology and access to technology, etc. I am particularly impressed by getting teachers with content knowledge to teach – this is rarer than you would think, sadly.

        January 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
      • hasanyonethought

        sorry, point 3 is not supposed to be a point, but rather a conclusion 🙂

        January 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • MC

      You are seriously not to bright. Every one of your points is more clueless than the last.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • MC


      January 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • MC

      "This contradicts previous statements. Family support is needed regardless of the learning model used."

      No, half-wit, it does not. Support is not the same as knowing calculus or chemistry or French.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • MC

      "This should be the case all the time!!!!"

      Yes, half-wit, it should. Guess what, half-wit - it isn't.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  75. Really

    Khanacademy.com was really the first to perfect this system.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Matt the Teacher

      Yes, but a lot of the Khanacademy videos are too difficult for students.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  76. MTL4U

    The two ideas that kids get reduced/free lunch and have smartphones/internet access are highly correlated. Working in Detroit schools... better than half owned and had such technology on them at all times, but many students also couldn't regularly take showers, wash their clothes or stay in the same "home" for an entire school semester. This highlights for you where students place their priorities today, they will find away to get those phones and plans with much more fervor than doing homework.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  77. Eric

    A couple of things caught my attention. One was that the principal took nearly half the article before finally explaining what a "flipped classroom" was. Second, that in such a "financially challenged" school where nearly 75% of the students recieve free or reduced lunch, the students still seem to have smartphones. What's wrong with this picture? I'm doing everything I can to provide for my family on a single income and I don't even have a cell phone of any sort because I can't afford it. Yet 75% of the students' families can't afford lunches but, by God, they can have their smartphones?

    January 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • michele

      He's not saying that all students have smartphones. The ones who don't use computers.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  78. Jen

    It sounds like a well rounded, multi-faceted learning environment, which is how many people learn best.

    Not everyone learns auditorily, they need to see it in action to understand it. As society (and the human brain) evolves, learning from multiple platforms will need to be refined and expanded, and this is a great example of how it can be done seamlessly.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  79. wasserball

    I wish the principal learn how write better, without all the unrelated cliches.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Brian

      Expecting a principal not to use cliches is like expecting a principal to speak candidly...wait a minute: he's got teachers helping kids with homework and grades are up. Big surprise, but I'll bet these kids can count on getting enough help to do the assignments without watching the lectures.

      Our principal brought it up too, but most of us don't lecture any more anyway, so what exactly do we record? Actors portraying students doing class activities?

      January 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Cranberry

      You might want to check your grammar.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • DonnyB4

      I wish you (would) learn how (to) write better before criticizing others. Speaking of cliches, ever heard the one about "the kettle calling the pot black"?

      January 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • MC

      There's nothing wrong with the article. You, on the other hand, sound like you probably have drool running down your chin at all times.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  80. Student

    Those of you begrudging these kids their smartphones are not being very realistic. I went to a very poor high school, and most of the students still managed to their hands on a car (it benefited their parents too, quite frequently). Cars are more expensive than smartphones by far, and probably less useful to the students of today than smartphones are.

    I also vividly remember giving car rides to other poor students who couldn't drive yet, or who couldn't afford a car at all. I imagine that some of the kids do the same thing with smartphones – one kid could lend another their smartphone for a bit to watch a school video, or two friends could watch a school video together on a smartphone and discuss it.

    Or, heaven forbid, the kids might be borrowing their parents' smart phones to view a school video. Just like some of us would borrow a parent's car to go drive to a movie on the weekend back in high school.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  81. UncleVanya

    Sounds interesting, but do you really think these kids EVER watch the video lessons? If they can't do homework at home, what makes you think they watch the lessons? My guess is, most never see them. ANY attention to kids in an economically depressed area, where most parents have no clue what their kids are doing most times, will yield results. Be careful not to confuse innovation with simple focused effort.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • catieduke

      I would say that the proof is in the numbers. The number of students failing in each subject has dropped dramatically, while their state test scores have risen. This tells me the flipped classroom model is working! Congrats to the principal and his staff for being forward thinking and proactive about finding a better way to educate our kids!

      January 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • catieduke

        By the way, my son went to a charter school that used a similar model. All "homework" assignments were actually done in a classroom. His GPA went from 0.14 to a 4.0 in one year.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • hasanyonethought

        Lower failure rates are not necessarily connected to better learning. I have seen teachers pressured by admins, coaches, etc. to give passing grades or to decrease their expectations in order to have more passing grades. I also wonder how this prepares them in anyway for a college that has expectations. There was no work done in-class – that is where we listened to different perspectives of what we read, had meaningful in-person discussions, and got clarification of what we learned or were working on. This flipped model is nothing like that. And hybrid classes in college are a joke when it comes to high expectations and actual learning, unfortunately.

        January 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • ieat

      EVEN if they do not watch the videos at home, they have to do the homework in class. Most kids learn when they do work, not when they listen to lecture. So assuming they put in exactly the same amount of effort, this model is still better.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  82. FormerNYer

    This does sound like a good idea. Perhaps something worth exploring for other school districts. Perhaps it wasn't the best idea for Mr. Green to bring up the lunch program as it seems to be distracting some from the main point of the discussion. All in all, this learning program does have merit.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  83. Texas

    Smart phones? Really?

    January 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Grace

      Not just smartphones. iPods would work too. We have to think like the 21st century citizens, and not be so judgmental. iPods and/or smartphones have become a necessity for every family, much like a car–and you surely wouldn't begrudge a family that. Some families have no computers, except for the smartphone which provides internet access.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
      • Zach

        Exactly this! Working full-time as an English and Lit teacher in Costa Rica, I saw the power of Smartphones first-hand. One in twenty students had personal computers, but nearly every person in the country had a smartphone.

        I like the idea of a "flipped classroom." This concept is already being applied in a number of medical schools under the guise of "Problem-Based Learning." Students learn the didactic material at their own pace, and convene with professors to think critically and receive feedback.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  84. Anna Shelton

    I taught at a school which had over 50% of the population on free/reduced lunch and they did NOT have smartphones or internet access at home. Computer access in the school was rationed with most of the time going to math classes for extra help/remediation due to NCLB. It sounds good to have the students 'teach' themselves at home but then why pay for teachers at all if they can watch a video and teach themselves? I do like the idea of recorded lessons so that students can listen to them over and over or if they are absent from class they can easily get caught up. But some students need the direct instruction model especially in math in order to ask questions and interact with the material. And if students are grade levels behind in reading I don't see how a 'flipped' classroom will remediate them in the 9th grade!

    January 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Hank

      I am not sure if you are following what he means. By watching the videos at home, they can focus MORE time on "direct instruction" and "interaction." Actually, I've always thought it was stupid that teachers had to repeat the same lecture 4 to 6 times per day, often making mistakes or forgetting something. Then, every few lectures are interrupted by misbehaving kids, pep rallies, fire drills, and all kinds of other things. As an 'A' student, I thought it was a complete waste of time, because they were teaching to the slowest student in the class.

      I also agree with the idea because I experienced it in college. The best grade and best understanding I got in college was from a very hard class that had it's lectures online...I could watch them when I was alert, rather than tired or sleepy, and I could repeat sections of the lecture that I didn't understand.

      Lastly, we should measure success by results. Even if some kids never watched the videos, who cares if the results are good? Maybe the good students watch the videos and teach themselves, leaving the teacher more time to focus on the bad students.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Susan

      I don't think you need live interaction for the initial presentation of content and process, as long as there's strong, 1-1 support when it's time to apply and practice.
      As someone else posted, the numbers are the numbers....something about this model is engaging students and getting the content in their heads short and medium term.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
      • aflarend

        The initial presentation is exactly when you need interaction because you need to know the students current understanding of the material. You need to know their misconceptions. You need to have some shared experience that connects the new stuff to the old stuff. Without this, then the new material does not really get learned beyond memorization, if even that much happens. For example, have you ever gone to a movie that you know absolutely nothing about or started reading a book without reading any of the cover or any other connection? It is incredibly difficult to get into it. You are confused for a while at the beginning because you do not know what is important.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  85. Candace Rathbun

    I thought this article was brilliant. I think Mr. Green has touched on something that more schools should try. There is something drastically wrong with our school system both private and public. It seems like no one is listening. It is the same old way of learning. This flipped system is different. Look at how all the percentages got better.... unbelievable. I just sent this article to my brother who is a principal at a hight school and my sister who is a school counselor in California. Hopefully, they will feel the same as I do.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  86. Mr. RealDan

    Almost 75% of our students receive free or reduced-price lunch because of today’s economic climate,

    Students watch these videos outside of class on their smartphone,

    Can you believe these two sentences where in the same article?!?!?

    January 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • f

      Incredible !

      January 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Josh

      And they are late in the morning, if their new Cadillac hasn't been detailed yet.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • responder1

      Did you not grasp the entirety of the article and process the information as a whole? The intent of both statements you're referring to are that information is ACCESSIBLE outside of the classroom. The physical device upon which the students access the material doesn't matter. I'm sure some students have smart phones. I'm sure some don't. But it was pretty clear that the objective here is to provide access using any device, from anywhere, outside of the classroom. The mention of a smart phone is an example. Do you know what an example is? If they have to come back to the lab at the school (extended hours), that's an option too. Maybe next time apply some critical thinking to your comments and not use some one-dimensional racial/class/status motivator for your opinion.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

      Way to miss the point, Dan. I'll bet you were a favorite of your teachers in high school too.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  87. Amy

    Wow – my son has ADHD and homework is beyond challenging. The flipped model could solve SO many issues with teachers coaching him on material vs expecting him to turn in papers that he doesn't even know exist.

    How do we push this model into other states?

    January 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  88. amazonx

    This is more like a college plan. This is how we did our work at the City University of New York. You were assigned reading and you came to class prepared to discuss it. Mathematics was the same way. You studied a section in the textbook, tried some easy problems in the book, then went to class and put the learned material into practice. The only thing is, you have to make sure the students do the prep work. Other than that, this isn't that revolutionary, except the use of updated technology. For me, it was pre-reading a chapter in a book. For the kids, it's watching a video. Same idea.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Steve

      I agree that it's the prep work that makes the class time productive. But I think you're missing something. You would read a chapter in a book and then get a lecture, and then do homework on it that night. The article describes these kids seeing a lecture, then doing homework in school. Maybe the teacher is there to help with the homework. But they don't seem to be reading a chapter from a book. You got the information twice (book & lecture) before doing the homework. I guess if they learn the material, maybe they don't need it twice. I don't know. Is it just that the new technology gets the kids more interested or are they better learning tools than books?

      January 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
      • michele

        "Is it just that the new technology gets the kids more interested or are they better learning tools than books?" That's an interesting question. It certainly helps the students who are better learners when listening rather than reading. It may also be that students get more relaxed when they can watch the lectures when they're in the best frame of mind and in a comfortable setting, thus allowing them to pay more attention.

        Western Governors University has a related model; student do reading assignments and learning on their own; they then have mentors to go to when they need more help understanding.

        January 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  89. D Summers

    The kids can watch "even on their smartphones"? I thought that the economy was depressed and most of these kids are getting free lunch.This is the problem,priorities are misplaced in this society.We dont expect anything from kids anymore;therefore ,they put forth no effort to work hard.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  90. JoJo Deengulberree

    This is similar to how some homeschool students have been successfully learning for years.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  91. Tim Schmitt

    This is definitely an interesting model for schools to look at. Schools have done it the same way for so long, despite evidence that some students learn in different ways and definitely at different speeds. Flipping the school model like this gives the teachers more flexibility to focus their efforts on specific needs of their specific students. Plus, it seems like it would make it easier for a parent to get involved, since they don't have to absolutely know the subject matter to help with homework, they can just sit down with the child and learn along with them. Good job Mr. Green!

    January 18, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  92. Jo Schmitz

    This is an awesome idea!!! How do you handle the students that refuse to watch the videos at home? I have a lot of the same questions as Lisa H. Please let us know so we can look at this closer.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  93. Deathstalker

    Its about time. Homework has always been stupid if you ask me. Teach the kids what the need at school and leave the school work at school. When they go home they have other things to worry about home work is just to much for most kids especially when the parents are not around. If you ask me if you send a kid home with homework and then grade them or fail them based on that homework you are setting up kids with bad family structure to fail and because they cant get passing grades they drop out asap.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  94. Moira

    This is fabulous! I believe it is so important to instil in students a sense of responsibility or self motivation or whatever you want to call it, when it comes to pursuing their education. This model seems to do just that, while at the same time providing a healthy support system. I couldn't aggree more with this philosophy.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  95. Rachael Parker

    I have been working with Greg and his staff at Clintondale for just over a year now on the flipped model and the passion they have for their students is inspiring. It's amazing how much the relationships have strengthened between the students and teachers from this model. Other side effects have been fascinating as well, like the massive drop in behavior issues. Less frustration= less acting out in class.

    I've also been lucky enough to have conversations with many of the teachers on their thoughts on the flipped model. They are inspired by it because they are now facilitating learning rather than just relaying information. Students are more engaged, and so are teachers.

    It’s a fascinating concept and the results speak for themselves. Keep challenging the norm, Clintondale!

    January 18, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Laurie

      Why don't the kids go to school year round? They lose so much by being inactive for 3 months out of the year. The old Agriculture based paradigm just doesn't work anymore. Why can't we get passed it?

      January 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • politics sux

        Because every shoretown, amusement park, disneyworld and every other vacation spot in the world lobby against it. They don't even want the school year extended by one day b/c it cuts down on the number of days that people can spend their time and money at their 'vacation' spot. Everything is about money. It's truly sad.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • La

        Because no one wants to pay for it. Or do you think a person should be assigned 3 extra months to work with no appropriate increase in pay? Especially non-union teachers who make outlandishly low salaries?

        January 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Susan

      Rachael, how many of the students actually view the lectures and such before coming to class to apply the knowledge? I design corporate training, and one of our big frustrations is that very few people complete pre-work.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • ieat

      Great work! Most kids DO want to succeed. When they see progress, they are more likely to put in effort. I think innately we all like having that 1 on 1 support that this school is providing. I can see the students respecting teachers more because the teachers are actually helping them in a more personal level. Keep up with the good work!

      January 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  96. MK Hogue

    I am heartened by your blog and believe that this model really does work best for kids. Can you tell us more about the number of classes that students take during the school day? Do you have 6 periods a day or? What about PE and electives – how do they fit into the model? Are sports and clubs also a part of school day? What happens for students who do have access to cell phones or other technology? And finally, what have you found are the downsides and what would you do differently if you were just starting out again?

    January 18, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • rat boy

      6 periods, gym and electives are more discussion board stuff. Read a fitness article and discuss or reply to the prompt. The school does have sports and the team's study includes computers.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  97. Brian Mull

    Hear more about the work Greg Green is doing at Clintondale High School via our podcast at:

    January 18, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  98. Lisa Hughes

    I LOVE this plan, bravo! I have logistical implementation questions. If your students spend 2 hours commuting each day, like my kids do, when do they watch the lectures? How much time do they spend each night watching videos? How does this work with your student athletes? When can students find time to use school computers if they have to take the bus or catch a carpool? If a family has multiple kids, how will they all have time on the home computer to watch all their assigned lectures? Most kids need the lunch break to rest, socialize, and get nourished. Did you have to lengthen your lunch break?

    January 18, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • clutzycook

      Lisa, the article said they could watch it on their smartphones as well as regular PCs. Now true, not everyone will have one, but It seems like a healthy number of them do. Another possible alternative would be to watch them at the local library. It would also depend on how long the lectures are. Are they only 20-30 minutes long (since the teacher won't be interrupted with questions or distractions from students)? But, I agree that this is a brilliant idea and I wish they had thought of it (and had the ability to do it) back when I was in H.S.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:43 am |
      • An Observer

        Students have the ability to watch the videos in class as well. If a few have not been prepped, they can easily sit at the teacher's computer and quickly watch the video. Also, many of the videos are short and are replayed for the entire class before/during work is done. Teachers may even stop the video to point out a sicking point in the learning process and jump those hurdles right along with students. I have seen it work and the kids enjoy actually learning material rather than trying to memorize items for a quiz.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • rat boy

      Most lectures are 5-10 minutes long and 2 or 3 are assigned per week. Students are held accountable usually through note taking or an online quiz. Videos are not assigned for the next day but given over a period of time to allow for personal(work) or technical (lack of home internet) issues

      January 18, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
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