I have read several of the posts on flipped classrooms. I love the idea, but I am also wary of it as a new name for old tricks. We used to expect the students to read the textbook before coming to class. Then, when it became near to impossible to ensure students complete this outside of class, whether due to parental concerns about too much homework or students not being able to read it outside of the classroom due to reading levels, we moved that work into the classroom.
Flipped classrooms don't always have to require students to watch videos at home. Another take on it is the video being watched in class allowing the teacher to work in small groups, or allowing the video to pose as a jumping off point for class discussion. A flipped classroom doesn't always have to feature the teacher either! Students can be the stars of the video which could then be used as assessment.
There's an article on Wired.com regarding the Khan Academy's new iPad app that allows for flipped classes in any location i.e. no longer need to be connected at home, you can download and watch the videos in any location now. Complete transcripts are included (http://www.wired.com/cloudline/2012/03/flipped-classrooms/). TED-Ed also has a new initiative where they put an open call out to instructors to submit videos of lectures and enhance them through their animation team as well. We all have had great teachers and professors and I think its great that we have the technology to share their lessons to the world.
The Los Altos school district had a pilot with the Khan Academy (http://lasdandkhanacademy.edublogs.org/) last year where students would be watching videos and completing excercises online; the role of the instructor was to assist those who needed additional help.
The biggest issue is the quality of content. No matter what you are using i.e. reading a text book ahead of time, or watching videos, you need captivating content that engages the student to actually do it. i.e. a boring book or a poor video won't have students doing the work ahead of time.
I like the ideas that I have read about this new method of teaching. Once my school becomes technologically ready, I will try it.
Flipped classrooms sound like a great idea. However it does put more responsibility on the student to do assignments, or watch the video at home. You may a group in class that is playing catch up because they did not do the at home assignment. You also have to think about the students that do not have technology at home and come up with an alternate way for them to get the background information before class.
I have not tried this in my classroom but the Khan Academy is a great site for more information. The creator recently did a presentation on TED. I feel that it would be beneficial for the class. They students are able to learn the skills prior to the class meeting and then are able to really get in to deep into the skill in class and own it.
I think in theory this a great idea, have the students learn the concept before class and then spend the entire class period digging deeper or putting what they learned into practice. As a college student, I have had teachers try to do this for one reason or another. A class gets canceled or they tell us to go watch this video for class because it will help us with what we will be doing during our next class session, but it doesn't always work that way. Unless you can guarantee that students are watching the videos that you post, for some students it will not help their learning at all because they won't watch them, some it will definitely benefit because they can then spend the whole next class applying what they learned, and for others they might need to have the learning and applying done at the same time. It all just depends on the student and how they learn.
I would like to try flipping my classroom, but I am not sure how successful it would be in a World Language classroom. It is very hard to have a conversation with a video or a computer. I would need a lot more information before giving it a try. Maybe even an actual 'conference' so that someone could demonstrate it for me in a language and not some other content area.