Teachers continue to cope with the challenges of teaching to multiple learning styles. With the help of technology, personalized learning becomes more realistic while the strategies for advancing personalized learning are more powerful. The result is a magical combination of differentiated instruction and flipped learning.
The notion of differentiated learning suggests that students receive the type of assignments relevant to their learning styles. For example, in a class of 25 students, there could be 10 different assignment types occurring for one lesson. The thought of that happening can easily seem overwhelming because every student is working at a different pace. So differentiated learning may sound very useful, but it can be difficult to imagine how to apply it in real-life situations.
In a flipped classroom, students perform much of their work outside the classroom. Lectures and practice activities are done before students come to class. Then, when they come to class, instruction time can be refocused to areas where students are having trouble. The time outside of class is individualized, which allows time spent in class to become more collaborative.
When you merge the two together, you get what Joe Hirsch coins as “Flipperentiated.” The flipped classroom provides some ease to instructors who apply differentiated learning principles. By flipping the differentiated classroom, students complete their individualized activities in their personal time. As long as there are clear expectations and students understand the end goal, you can offer more freedom and leeway in how students consume the learning material.
There’s no need to forgo group time as a class. When you are together in the classroom, that time becomes more valuable because students can now share their individual experiences with the larger group. This means when students return to their personal learning spaces, they have even more experiences to grab from as they create their own path to knowledge consumption and retention.
The happily ever after of it all lies in the fact that with this merged instruction model, teachers regain their instruction time. And because students are building their foundational knowledge outside of the classroom, time in class can be spent on more cognitive learning and discussions.