A Teacher’s Journey to Flipped Learning – Steve Kelly

Steve Kelly is a long-term maths and science teacher from Michigan who held the keynote speech at #icmbeyond16 (see this background informations and the recording of the keynote).


„The most important part is what you do in the clasroom, not the video.“ 


Is inverted learning the answer?

Steve doesn’t believe everything that’s shiny and new is the solution, but his experience showed that students improved tremendously. He saw huge academic improvements and changes in passion for learning in his students.


Why should we do it?


Because we’ll have more time for differentiation in class. When we’re actually in class, we’ll have time for smaller groups and for individuals.

Should you spend ages on editing your video?

Absolutely not. Flipped classroom is not about the videos, it’s about the time you get with your students in class. „Teachers forget about the meat and potatoes part“ – the content is what really matters. The videos don’t have to be long, they actually should be short so that students watch them.

Do you have to be an island?

Collaboration is key. Steve Kelly works with a partner – he’s convinced it’s time we share our best practices. Millions of teachers are creating the same thing – what happened if instead, we worked together?

Most common questions:

Should you flip every lesson?  No! If there’s something that works really well, keep it. Rewind and watch it again! Tell the kids to rewind in the video!

What if the students don’t watch the video?Make their life painful! 😀 They’ll do it once and twice, but it’s rare they do it a third time – create the learning atmosphere where they want the knowledge.

Do they need to watch it at home? No! You can put the videos on DVDs, use the public library and school computers.

Do you need videos to flip your classroom? No – you can use audio files as well or get students to read a piece of poetry as preparation.

Should I make my own videos? Absolutely! Students want to see their teacher, especially young learners. Parents want to see you. You can even have the students make the videos for their parents.

What if I don’t have screen capture software? You can use your smartphone!

Why does it take me five hours to make a video? At the beginning, they’re not amazing. Get used to it.



Q1: What are the 3 most common mistakes that teachers make when they start flipping?

  1. Don’t get hung up on a video. Get it done, figure out how to make it better in the future.
  2. Don’t take more than you’re capable of taking up – be smart about what you do and how much you do.
  3. Don’t change for the sake of change – just because it’s the latest thing doesn’t mean it’s awesome. If you were a crummy teacher before, you’re gonna be a crummy teacher if you flip your lesson.

Q2: Does it have a negative effect on handwriting/notetaking?

Notetaking is important. Pause the video to finish the note. On the video, the teacher tells you: Watch that part again. You’re gonna need it, write it down. “What the hand writes, the mind remembers”. Thinking, working and scribbling are still important.

Q3: What do you do in the lesson?

Whatever you have time to create. Steve says he tries to address different learning styles. So the advantage is that we can try to adress different levels.


Play phase is very important. Students get a question in class. The anger level escalates if they can’t solve the question. You can also have a traditional homework day. Practice time is quality time in class. Students ask questions and spend valuable time with the teacher and other peers who are quicker.

Präsentation Steve Kelly


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