It’s Time to Get Out of Our Silos

Out of The Box June / June 15, 2018

-by Jon Bergmann-

A recent study by Mona Lundin, Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt, Thomas Hillman, Annika Lantz-Andersson, and Louise Peterson from Sweden examined 530 studies about Flipped Learning and concluded, “much of the research discourse on flipped classrooms is constrained to clusters, and in particular, subject-specific silos…”  What these researchers state confirms what I observe as I examine the Flipped Learning community.

It seems as if most practitioners are asking the same questions about Flipped Learning, and in turn reinventing the wheel. I have been extensively reviewing Flipped Learning research for the past six months, and this is the question I see repeatedly, “Does Flipped Learning work in Subject X?” With very few exceptions, the answer has been a resounding YES. The better questions focus on:

  • What instructional strategies are best paired with Flipped Learning?
  • How do we enhance the group space?
  • How do we enhance the individual space?
  • How do we get more student buy-in?

as well as a whole host of other Flipped Learning 3.0 questions.

This emphasizes the need for global collaboration around three central issues:

  • What is Flipped Learning?
  • What are the best practices of Flipped Learning?
  • How should Flipped Learning be scaled?

The good news is that the new non-profit, the Academy of Active Learning Arts has been created for the express purpose of developing the global gold standards for Flipped Learning.

The Academy takes care of the big picture of Flipped Learning, but what about the rank and file teacher or professor? How do you get out of your silos?

I get it… we are all busy, busy, busy. The demands on our lives are at a pace that seems untenable. Where do I find the time to collaborate and not live in my silo? I have three suggestions:

  • Start local: find a few teachers/professors in your school and meet twice per month for coffee. Between meetings, read a book, take a course, etc. about current best practices.
  • Social media: Share what you are learning on social media. Friend or like those who are doing it well and engage with them.
  • Go global: Join and contribute to the Flipped Learning Innovation Center (FLIC). There are hundreds of the top Flipped educators in the world sharing best practices in the Innovation Center. Though this will take some time, ultimately it will save you time. Instead of implementing suboptimal methods, learn from the masters so you don’t repeat the mistakes others have made.

It’s time to get out of your silos. You wouldn’t want your doctor to use yesterday’s techniques on you. He/she has to stay abreast of the latest methods. It’s time for us to do the same.

How have you stepped out of your silo to become a collaborator? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Jon Bergmann
Jon Bergmann Bergmann
Jon Bergmann is one of the pioneers of the Flipped Classroom Movement. He is leading the worldwide adoption of flipped learning through the Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI) He is working with governments, schools, corporations, and education non-profits. Jon has coordinated and guided flipped learning projects around the globe. Locations include: China, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, the Middle East, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Canada, South America, and the United States. Jon is the author of nine books including the bestselling book: Flip Your Classroom which has been translated into 13 languages. He is the founder of the global FlipCon conferences which are dynamic engaging events which inspire educators to transform their practice through flipped learning.

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