TCEA Update: The Nuts and Bolts of the Flip

Posted by Matt Berringer on February 8, 2013

By SunGard K-12 Staff

FlippedKimberly Howard, of Richardson ISD, and Trista Hennebry, of McKinney ISD, “flipped” their classrooms when they found themselves running out of instruction time. Inverting the traditional teaching model, they began delivering their instruction on video, which their students watched at home, and then they used their classroom time to facilitate student learning.

Although videos are a component of their teaching, the pair cautioned that educators shouldn’t put the emphasis on that tool. “It’s not about the videos,” said Trista. “It’s really about how best to use your precious class time.”

After flipping their classrooms, they had more flexibility to differentiate learning for their students. They were able to give one-on-one instruction to those who needed more help. They provided practice time for those who just needed some time to get comfortable with new concepts. And for those who demonstrated mastery of the material, they were able to provide challenge exercises to take them to the next level.

To get started, the pair recommended the following steps:

  • Find a partner. Your partner becomes the person who holds you accountable and offers you encouragement.
  • Think about your role in the classroom. Consider how you could use your classroom time to your students’ advantage.
  • Make your first video. You’ll need a camera and a location to post the videos. Trista and Kimberly use their iPhones to record the videos and YouTube for housing them. Although they use iMovie to edit their videos, they emphasized that videos do not need to be very elaborate to be effective. For those students without Internet access, they put the all the videos for a single unit on a DVD or flashdrive. For all those students without a computer, they schedule time before and after school to show the videos.
  • Have fun. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.

They also recommended the following resources:



Explain Everything




Doceri, Educreations, and Explain Everything are apps for iPads. Vimeo can be used instead of YouTube for housing videos. Edmondo and Weebly are collaboration tools.

To learn more about flipped classrooms, they recommended monitoring #flipclass on Twitter and following @jonbergman, @chemicalsams, @crystalkirch, @bennettscience, @ramusallam, and @kadaniels. Also, the Flipped Learning Network offers a host of resources.