CommComm posted on October 3, 2012 06:15

I read with interest how Stanford is going hook, line and sinker into flipping their classrooms. The very first sentence reveals a belief in such a forward-looking system that, by it's very design, is meant to become revolutionary in nature. They're completely buying into the new learning jumbalaya of using class time for more rigorous and engaging activities than lectures. Case you didn't know, lectures are now passé. Lectures are no longer tres chic, they're tres snore. No, that's not a hint of cynicism. There are many who may snicker at all the shiny new educational mental toys, but I wouldn't be one.

Like many sideline observers, we're curious how it all plays out. We, the almost-maybe-possibly-converted-but-still-as-yet-unconverted, are wondering if all this flipping is about better learning or a better learning lifestyle, that happens to involve learning. As the article mentions, there is a call to "show me the data," but it's still too early for data. However, we're all well aware of the success of Khan Academy and Khan boasts a nearly Roman gladiatorial spectacle of videos, online talks and a "knowledge map" that's completely to die for. And do they EVER have a following. Egad---but they sure enough do indeed.

Maybe, as flipped clasrooms begin to take a foothold, those are the only real numbers and data we'll need to look at. It forces us to ask ourselves: are we facing a completely new educational paradigm that's real and irrefutably genuine? Or, are the practitioners only passing along some sweet syrupy drug to assist the ailing cosmology of faltering academia. The Italian Playwright Pirandello says, "Right you are, if you think you are". Sometimes invention and hubris walk in the same footsteps. Not a bad thing. Fresh ideas and directions are rarely polite. They never ask permission. Right now it appears----we roll with the new.  


Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu


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