Working with supportive networks

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Flipped learning works best when implemented in a supportive environment. Among the instructors involved in the FLiP project, those who had the most difficulty sustaining the changes that they were trying to implement were those who worked alone. In fact, when Icelandic instructors who were involved in the FLiP project were asked what beginner flippers most need, almost all responded that they need a supportive team to work with. Instructors in other countries also expressed a need to have access to collaborative environments where they could access and share resources and get peer support.

The types of support that instructors feel they need are by no means limited to technical support. They also expressed a need for the support of networks of other instructors and school administrators to be able to exchange ideas on pedagogical practices and useful learning resources.

Instructors’ networks need not be confined to a single organisation. Networks may include instructors and technical support staff from other organisations. In Slovenia, instructors from two organisations participated in the FLiP project. In one organisation there was an instructor who was intensely interested in learning technologies and spent a lot of time looking for, and testing, a range of technologies. He diligently shared his experiences with other instructors within his organisation. As a result, the flipped learning environments within that organisation were quite technologically sophisticated. The other organisation involved lacked this element and, while instructors there had effectively flipped their learning environments, they could have benefited from the insights of the instructors at their partner organisation.

There are a number of networks of educators that either are, or are interested in, flipping their learning environments. This includes groups on Facebook, loosely connected networks on Twitter (look for related hashtags like  or ), and on other social media. Often the most active members of these communities are the most enthusiastic instructors that have the most experience and are, thus, valuable resources for beginners. Many of these online communities are international and communicate in English. However, instructors from specific countries often establish their own communities where they can communicate in their own language and share localised resources. As long as these communities are fairly active, they are usually easy to find by searching Google with the appropriate terms.