Flipping Grammar Around

One of my personal goals during graduate school is to become more familiar with educational technology and to develop a clear philosophy about how I should use technology in my teaching. Though I am learning more about the benefits that may come from integrating technology into my curriculum, I cannot bring myself to fully support online education or even certain forms of blended education that put the focus of learning on computer screens.  While others may view a row of students working on computers as an indication of engagement, personalization, and efficiency, I see the potential for isolation and a loss of the classroom community spirit that can make learning experiences memorable.

Blended Learning Benefits

Despite my hesitation to let technology take center stage in my classroom, I do see the potential for blended learning to help differentiate some components of instruction.  In an English class, the flipped classroom model, in which students view instructional material at home and then practice at school, could be particularly helpful for grammar lessons.  Some high school students still need a significant amount of direct grammar instruction while other students have a strong grasp on many grammar principles.  I could give students a grammar pre-test and then assign different videos for different students, depending on their learning needs.  They could then practice individually or in small groups in class while receiving feedback or additional instruction from me.

Blended Learning Challenges

Unfortunately, after a bit of searching online, I have reached the conclusion that there is a lack of engaging grammar videos for high school students.  There are some resources available, such as the Gotham Writers’ Workshop Videos, which cover several grammar principles, but if I commit to flipping my grammar instruction, I would most likely make my own videos.  Of course, creating enough grammar videos for a full year would be challenging, but a part of me thinks it might be fun to create interesting (and humorous) grammar tutorials of my own.

Developing the materials for flipped instruction is not the only inherent challenge in this model of instruction.  As with any technology-based approach, I would need to ensure that all of my students had access to technology at some point outside of my class, whether at home, during a study hall, after school in my classroom, or at the library.

Blended Learning Summary

I do not believe that incorporating technology in education is either essentially good or essentially bad.  A technology-based approach to education will be the right choice if it helps my students achieve the specific learning goals for a certain lesson or unit of study. Traditional grammar instruction has not always been effective, so I am excited to see if flipping grammar around can turn my students’ grammar skills around as well.

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5 Responses to Flipping Grammar Around

  1. Anastasia says:

    Thank you for this summary. I myself keep some skepticism towards worshiping the technology too much. I believe in brick and mortar and some help with the technology.


  2. rlr955 says:

    I appreciate your approach to this topic – namely, blended classrooms being useful if all parts of learning contribute towards achieving the goals.
    And as an aside, I’d love to see the videos you create, if you do make them!


  3. A nice, balanced view! I wonder if it would be a good use of learning time/technology time to have your students propose ideas and/or (co)create fun grammar videos for others – it would be engaging, and it might be a way to overcome the isolation component you mention while still incorporating technology in a meaningful way.


    • That’s a great idea! One of my friends had her students create grammar videos for her future classes, and this is definitely something I would like to try. Since the videos would be created for the purpose of teaching others, I think it would be a great way to evaluate how well students understand their grammar principle.


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