Flipping for Mastery

Flipping Your Classroom


Rethinking the Flip

  • What do you see as some potential advantages and/or disadvantages to the flipped classroom model for your practice?

“Now, they’ve taken a step back and realized some things shouldn’t be in lecture form, and therefore shouldn’t be videos either. Instead, the two teachers have embraced what they call mastery learning, with an emphasis on students taking control of their own learning. Instructional videos are an optional part of a bigger move towards asynchronous learning. “The best use of class time is to meet the individual needs of each learner, not driving the class with predetermined curriculum,” Sams said. “


So, what is Mastery-Based Learning?

  • Similar to competency-based learning, but students do not move to a new challenge until they have mastered the content or skill of earlier prerequisite challenges.  The knowledge must be tightly scaffolded (i.e. math and science)

And, what is competency-based or proficiency-based learning?

  • Competency Based Learning – earn credit by showing you are competent in specific skills, knowledge, understandings and attitudes/dispositions

  • Proficiency Based Learning – similar to competency based, but the learner earns credit by being proficient at ‘getting the job done’

“With a competency model, you can master all the competencies and not produce the desired results on the job. In other words, all the pieces don’t add up to the whole.

With a proficiency definition, the end result is completely spelled out and training doesn’t end until the employee becomes proficient. The result is important rather than all the pieces and parts.” []

Other related Terms:

  • Self-Paced Learning – students can move through lessons and assignments at their own pace, but the assignments can be teacher created, standardized, or personalized.

  • Asynchronous Learning – when students are learning the same content at different times.

  • Inquiry Based Learning – “Students explore a question in-depth and ask further questions to gather knowledge. This method is often done in science but can be done in any subject area. The term “inquiry” has been around for years; some people say that problem-based learning is just the new term for the same thing.”  The question is often driven by the content standards of a particular course.

  • Problem Based Learning – “Students investigate and solve a real-world problem. To do so, students must identify what they already know and what they need to learn, and then they find and apply knowledge.”  The problem can be chosen by the teacher or the student.

  • Personalized Learning – when students have greater control over how they learn, what they learn, and how they will present their learning. There are different levels, from completely student-driven to almost entirely teacher-driven (i.e. a student must learn about a topic that relates to the course or subject, etc)

Beware of the many meanings of ‘personalized learning’!

“Make no mistake: They want to make education more cost-effective by eliminating your profession and eliminating you. Their ideal would be 100 children in front of computers, monitored by classroom aides.” ~Diane Ravitch~


Why do we need ‘real’ personalized student learning?

“In my mind, it’s about giving students more freedom to choose what they want to learn, how they want to learn, and how they want to demonstrate their learning. It is about creating environments where students want to learn and where there is minimal coercion or force required to make them learn.  It is about creating an environment of learning built on relationships and trust. It is not entirely student centered, there must be wise guides on the side.”

How can we create more personalized learning environments?

Flipping is just one method.  What are some others?

  • tiered assignments

Quick Flips – Where can you find great video content?

Start with the following sources:

  • Google Video Search (searches all of Youtube plus Google Videos and many other video hosting sites)

  • Youtube and Youtube EDU

  • Vimeo

  • Schooltube

  • Teachertube

  • Discovery

  • History Channel

  • PBS

  • Frontline

Or for free documentaries –

Flipping Tools



  • *Screencast-o-Matic

  • Camtasia ($)

  • *Omni-Dazzle

  • *LMS (Schoology, EDU, Haiku, Edmodo)

  • Bamboo pad

  • Vocaroo

  • *Prezi

  • *Air Server or Reflector

  • Badgestack, BadgeOS, Mozilla Open Badges, Credly, Class Badges, etc.

  • iMovie, MovieMaker

  • *Wevideo

  • Explain Everything

  • Educreations

  • ShowMe

  • Screenchomp

  • Skitch

  • Story Kit

  • iMovie

  • BrainPOP

  • StudyJams

  • TED ED

  • Khan Academy


You will need a few tools to flip your classroom:

1) A Presentation Tool


  • PowerPoint

  • Keynote

  • Google Presentation

2) A Screencasting Tool

Paid Options

  • Camtasia Studio (PC) or Camtasia for Mac ($)

    • Techsmith (makers of Camtasia) are located in Okemos, MI. Very educator friendly and give significant educator discounts.

    • You do have to pay for this but you can get a free 30-day trial to test it out.

    • Unlimited time, lots of editing options, allows you to save in different formats

    • Dozens of free tutorials on how to use it.

  • Jing

    • Free, requires a download and registering for

    • Works on Mac or PC.

    • Up to five minutes of screencapture video

    • Allows you to upload to

    • No editing options.

  • Snagit

    • Similar to Jing but with a few more options – unlimited recording time being one of them.

  • Screenflow

    • Mac Only. Similar to Camtasia

Free Web-based Screencasting Options

  • Screencast-o-matic

    • Free, no download required ($12/year Pro option allows more time and several other tools)

    • Web-based

    • 15 minutes of screencapture video

    • Partnered with the learning management system Sophia.

  • Screenr

    • Free, web-based screencasting similar to Educreations and Screencast-o-matic

iPad Apps for Screencasting

  • ShowMe

  • ScreenChomp

  • Educreations

  • Explain Everything

3) A Video Hosting Solution


    • 2GB of free storage, more available for paid version

  • Youtube

    • Students are already here but many districts block YT.  YouTube EDU is a good alternative.

  • Vimeo

    • Less commercialized alternative to YT. May be blocked but I’ve found districts are much more willing to unblock Vimeo than YT.  Upload limits for free accounts.

  • TeacherTube and SchoolTube

    • Similar to YT but on a much smaller scale.  Education related videos only.  Any uploaded videos must be approved before becoming available.  Time frame for approval can last anywhere from a few hours to days.

  • Dropbox

    • Dropbox is a cloud storage site.  You can get a free 2 GB account and get extra storage by getting others to sign up.  2 GB fills up fast.  Each file you upload to your Dropbox folders has a unique URL for students to watch online and can be downloaded for watching offline.

  • Google Drive

    • Google’s version of Dropbox.  You’ll need a Google Account to sign up.  You get 5 GB free storage when you sign up.  This is great for teachers in Google Apps for Education districts.

You may also benefit from the following tools:

1) A Digital Space to organize your video lessons – a website, google site, blog, LMS, or wiki

  • Google Site

  • Schoology LMS

  • LMS

  • WordPress Blog

  • Blogger Blog

2) A Screen Writing Tool

  • Omnidazzle


3) A Digital Stylus/Tablet for annotating slide

    • We’re not talking about an iPad here (thought they can be used this way)

    • If you’ve ever tried to write using your mouse you know how hard that is to do. Tablets are really just computer mice that look and feel like pens.

      • Wacom Bamboo (shop around, you should never pay more than $60 for one of these!)

      • SMART Slate (buy only if you have a SMART brand interactive white board, more expensive because it’s wireless)

      • Promethean ActivSlate (once again, buy only if you have a Promethean Brand interactive whiteboard, also more expensive b/c of wireless)

      • Many, many other brands that do the same thing

4) Microphone

  • USB microphones work much better than built-in computer mics.  Lots of options.


Other Links:

Creating Effective Content


Moving Towards Mastery

Focusing on “mastering” content rather than just “covering” it may mean you have to make some changes in how you teach.  Here are some resources that can help you move towards mastery in your classroom.

  • Differentiation

    • Differentiation has been a buzzword in education circles for a long time.  People talk about it all the time but actually doing it is whole other issue.  Here’s some resources that might spark some ideas:

  • Giving students choices in their learning

    • Layered Curriculum – I was using the concept of Layered Curriculum before I had even heard about the Flipped Classroom.  The idea is that students take ownership of their learning when they have choice in how they do it.  For examples of LC units go to Dr. Kathie Nunley’s website here.

    • Choice Boards – Brian Bennett shared this example in his Flipped Classroom Conference 2012 keynote.  The idea is that you create a tic-tac-toe board of different ways students can learn the content.  Students then choose three of those assignments forming a straight line.

    • You Choose Assignments – I used these at the end of every unit as a way for students demonstrate what they had learned.  It usually went something like this:

      • “Show me what you understand about learning objective ______ by creating one of the following: (Teacher chooses 3-5 different options that students can choose from to demonstrate understanding).”

Many resources borrowed from –




Other Interesting Resources – Benjamin Zander on the transformative power of classical music – Katie Gimbar ‘ Why I flipped my classroom’ – Gimbar’s Video Flipped on TedEd – Katie Gimbar at TedX – RSA Short Animate Ken Robinson – RSA Animate Daniel Pink on Motivation – RSA Animate Sir Ken Robinson – 5 Things I wish I Knew – 20 minute short film on the future of education – Future of Learning – Blended Learning in Plain English – UDL – Chris Lehmann