No Video, No Internet, No Problem: The Low-Tech Flipped Class

Out of The Box August / Uncategorized / August 18, 2018

-by Jon Bergmann-

Could you flip an entire province? Could it be done in a place where students have limited access to the internet? Could you do it with limited resources? This past week I revisited the province of Misiones, Argentina, which is doing just that!  There were 1,500 people excited to learn and crammed into a conference center in Iguazu, Argentina.

My Spanish interpreter for the conference was Andres Villalba, an English teacher and principal of a school. Most of his students have cell phones, but the vast majority of them have limited data plans. He has found a unique way to provide access to flipped pre-work. He converts many of his course documents to a pdf and then records himself talking them through different aspects of the learning. The audio might say something like: “Turn to page 4 and look at chart #2. Do you notice that the to be verb is now in the past tense….”?

He delivers both the pdfs and audio files to students through Bluetooth connections to their devices. Once he shares the files with one student, that student can share it with another, and so on.  

His method of creating flipped pre-work has some added advantages over a typical flipped video. The obvious one is that audio files take up a lot less space.

The other advantage is that students will be doing something with the pdf while they listen to the audio recording which makes the pre-work even more interactive. Though this method was designed for students with limited bandwidth, it has some intriguing possibilities for those who don’t have connectivity issues. The added interactivity enhances flipped pre-work by giving something tangible for students to do during the pre-work stage of a flipped class.

This practice connects well to several of the Flipped Learning Global Standards. Two apply in this context:

  • Teach students how to interact with the pre-class media including taking notes and preparing questions for class.
  • Ensure that videos include an appropriate mix of text, pictures, discussions between people, short integrated films, the instructor writing, narration, etc.

Regardless of whether you make some pre-class work that follows Andres’ method, I encourage you not just to have students watch a flipped video, but build in some interaction and some things for students to “do.”  

Even if your students have ample bandwidth, it would be great to hear others share how the added interactivity of Andres’ method might enhance your classrooms.

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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