Putting Students at the Center

Aaron Sams teaches biology, chemistry and AP chemistry at Woodland Park High School in Colorado. His ultimate goal as a teacher is to "help students become learners who can learn for themselves and by themselves."

Before flipping his classroom, Aaron took a step back and realized he wasn't fully meeting his goal. "One of the problems that I was guilty of is that the classroom was centered around me."

Now, in Aaron's flipped classroom, he records screencasts of his lectures which then become the homework for his students. The kids watch the lectures at home and come to class with time to do more experiments, explore the content, and interact with each other. "When the students come to class, they don't show up to learn new content, they show up to apply the things they learned at home through the videos," Aaron said.

"Students are more engaged in my class now that technology has allowed me to flip the classroom. I have virtually no D's. D's have become C's, C's have become B's, and B's have become A's. And student engagement has massively increased. They are excited about learning. It's great to see the 'lightbulb ah-ha' moments when students are working collaboratively," Aaron said.

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When the students come to class, they don't show up to learn new stuff, they show up to apply the things they learned at home through the videos.

- Aaron Sams,
teacher, Woodland Park High School
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