MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Teachers are going back to school this summer, learning to "flip" their classroom with a new free professional development certificate being offered by SOPHIA. SOPHIA is an innovative online social education platform that provides more than 25,000 free academic tutorials on a variety of subjects as well as tools for teachers to get innovative in their classrooms.
Since introducing the Flipped Classroom Certificate in April 2012, nearly 100 teachers have earned the certificate and more than 500 are currently enrolled in the process.
The flipped classroom is a relatively new teaching method that reverses the traditional homework model. In the flipped classroom, students watch multimedia tutorials as homework and then use valuable class time to complete assignments when teachers are available to provide one-on-one assistance and delve deeper into a concept.
"The response we've received to this program illustrates that teachers are looking for new ways to connect with students," said Steve Anastasi, president and chief technology officer for SOPHIA. "Today's students are already online an average of seven hours a day. It is important to not only reach them where they are, but in ways that are relevant to how they communicate and learn today."
To earn the certificate, teachers complete a series of tutorials on several topics including "The Teaching Paradigm Shift," "Differentiation Via the Flipped Class" and more. The Flipped Class Certificate, which takes approximately two to four hours to complete, is endorsed by Capella University and was developed in partnership with Capella School of Education faculty [http://www.capella.edu/schools_programs/profession/k-12_ed.aspx]. Teachers may also apply the certificate toward continuing education units and professional development by submitting their certificate to the appropriate personnel at their school.
"At the Capella School of Education we are committed to giving teachers tools to help them teach effectively and increase student outcomes," said Barbara Butts Williams, Dean of Capella's School of Education. "SOPHIA is a wonderful resource for students and teachers and we are delighted to support this innovative professional development opportunity for teachers."
The Flipped Classroom Certification is available online at www.sophia.org/flip.
SOPHIA Offers Free Webinars
SOPHIA also regularly hosts free Flipped Classroom webinars [available at http://sophialearning.eventbrite.com] featuring teachers who are currently flipping the classroom. The next webinar will be held at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. CDT on August 14 and hosted by Crystal Kirch, a high school math teacher in California who has spent the past year "fully flipping" her classroom.
Earlier this year SOPHIA surveyed 400 teachers about the flipped classroom model and found that more than 85 percent who have used the method saw improvement in student grades. In addition, half of the teachers surveyed have "flipped" their classroom and nearly all who have would recommend the new teaching technique to others.
"It is exciting to see teachers embracing this new method, which can improve student engagement in a variety of academic subjects," Anastasi said. "This is just one of the many ways that we are continuing to improve the SOPHIA platform to provide tools for students as well as teachers that can enhance learning in and out of the classroom."To learn more, visit www.sophia.org.
SOPHIA is a first-of-its-kind social education platform that offers students many ways to learn by making free, credible academic content available to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. The site offers more than 25,000 tutorials created by hundreds of teachers and experts taught in a variety of ways. The platform further enhances the learning process by offering quizzes, assessing learning preferences and providing learning paths that lead students from one topic to the next so students of all ages can learn the way they learn best. SOPHIA is owned by Capella Education Company. For more information, visit www.sophia.org.
Laura Telander Graf