Debunking the 2 Most Common Myths About Flipped Teaching

Think you have too many obstacles to overcome in order to flip your classroom? Think again. When we released our Flipping the Art Room online grad class, we heard from many teachers that told us they couldn’t take it because they couldn’t guarantee that students would have access to technology at home. Sure, one way to flip a class is the narrow definition from Wikipedia below.

“Flipped classroom is an instructional methodology and a type of blended learning that delivers instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom and moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom.”


However, this take on flipped teaching is generalized and outdated (and, unfortunately, the first result that comes up in a Google search). Sure, this arrangement can work well, but it’s misleading because it’s not the only way!


Today we will explore some of the most common myths about flipped instruction to help you see the possibilities in the art room both for you and your students.


Myth 1:  Students must have technology at home in order to participate in flipped instruction.


At AOE, we like to look at Flipped Instruction more like differentiation. Many “flippers” have students watch the demonstrations in class, using a class set of iPads or other obtained technology. This arrangement allows students to move along at their own pace. High school art educator Donna Bonavia, who has 50 students in her Art 1 class, chooses to have students watch the demonstrations all together as a group. “I have large classes and I have kids pulled out of my room for testing, field trips, college visits and extra-curricular activities. I use the flipped classroom model as a means to address all of these challenges.”


flipped teaching


Myth #2: I can’t flip if I don’t work in a wealthy district with lots of technology.


flipped teaching set up


This idea just isn’t true. Yes, you will need some type of technology in order for students to watch your demonstrations, but there are so many creative ways to obtain technology. Johanna Russell, who is one of our AOE Instructors teaching Flipping the Art Room this summer, has found some really interesting ways to overcome this problem. “At the very least, you will need a projector to play videos – rent it from the media center if you are unable to secure one of your own at first,” explains Russell. She goes on to state some other creative ways to ask around to get the tech you need. “You can hit up principals, administrators, school board members and parents, and ask them to donate any old devices. Any old phone that can connect to your school’s WiFi and can store videos will work.” Russell went on to explain how supportive parents and staff are once they see the setup and learning in action.

“Remember, it’s not that you want to flip, but rather that you are going to flip, and here is how they can help,” reminded Russell.


Remember, it’s not that you want to flip, but rather that you are going to flip, and here is how they can help. – Johanna Russell


Revisiting the idea of defining flipped teaching, we can turn to this wording found on the Flipped Learning Network:


flipped teaching definition


Although tricky, try not to let barriers that are out of your control get in the way of teaching methods you want to try. If you are creative enough, you can make it happen. I encourage you to look closer at ways you CAN make something work, and become the ‘fighter’ who gets the job done.

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What are some concerns you’ve had in the past about flipped teaching?

Any flippers out there who have other words of encouragement about these common myths?


Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Thanks for the article, Jessica. I think this info will be helpful for many people. Flipping the classroom is certainly something I want to investigate for my classroom. I wonder how media engagement outside of school might affect my K-3 students for demonstrations and introductions for units. Lots to research that’s for sure!

    • Johanna Russell

      Jeffrey, my daughter (K) loves watching and doing art through video at home. It did take some time to each her a model for watching (watch the whole video first, then she watches and does, but she has to pause if it goes too fast). Here is a link to the first video she found success with independently.
      We LOVE Mr. Lungren’s videos (another art teacher who shares tips and tricks in the AOE Flipping the Art room course).

      • Thanks for the tip, Johanna. I actually have a couple of Mr. Lungren’s videos saved in my YouTube queue. I will investigate some others. And, that’s amazing that your kinder-aged daughter has the patience to watch this video and then follow along. It’s a long lesson. Great job teaching her patience and perseverance!

        • Johanna Russell

          Jeffrey, if you happen to have a youtube channel, I would love to check it out.
          I was also surprised that she is willing to sit for the videos. I would have thought the younger the student the shorter the video- but Mr. Lungren’s videos have me changing my mind about that. She can’t seem to store all of the knowledge in her head (she remembers the end product and some of the steps, but not the order) so it is very important that the video not go too fast so that she is able to watch and do.
          I am also surprised by her want for independent learning. I didn’t realize that Kindergarteners still held on to the 3-year-old “I can do it myself” mentality because normally when we do art stuff together she wants me right there all of the time. But now I have figured out that all she wanted me for was for instant problem-solving… Anyway, sorry to go on and on, I am just fascinated by how different this generation of learners will be.

          • Actually, that is on my to-do list! I just relaunched my website,, a couple months back. So, I am staying focused on posting regularly and building a readership. I’m also gathering names for starting classes. Summertime will be my time for focusing on lesson planning during which time I plan on experimenting with lesson delivery using a flipped classroom model. Perhaps you would join my sites email list and we can keep in touch. I always can use feedback!

            I’m going to try this video on my kids: daughter who is pro-art, son who is neutral-art. Curious as to the reaction. : )

  • Helen Burns Iglar

    I’ve recently started a small version of flipping. My teaching assistant uses an iPad to video my demonstrations. Students who missed the class (or the demo) can use this individually to catch up on instruction. I can also use the videos for kids who need to see the demo again, and to reflect on how well a lesson or demo worked. My biggest issue is storing and labeling the videos for easy reference.

    • Johanna Russell

      Helen, what you have started sounds great. There are several storage options (google, YouTube), but I would recommend QR Codes as a way to share videos with students. There are many quick and easy qr code generator apps and then I just print the code and stick it on the poster/ board/ handout/ student examples of that project.

    • Great idea to utilize an assistant who is already in the room to help video tape your demos!

    • That’s a great idea using your TA! I don’t have one of those, but I’m wondering if I could get the woman who helps me with posting artwork to Artsonia to help me out. Definitely now on my list of things to explore before the end of the school year!

      Johanna’s recommendation for using QR Codes is a helpful one. I would add that creating a YouTube channel for yourself also opens up the opportunity for others in our field to use your hard work (as well as non-school Moms and Dads who are looking for stuff to do with their kids to do at home!).

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