The Flipped Beit Midrash

December 22, 2013

Source: Tech Rav Blog


Tzvi Pittinsky of the Frisch School recently shared with his blog readers a unique approach to Talmud studies in Frisch's iPad equipped classes – The Flipped Beit Midrash. Based on the "flipped classroom" approach, Talmud teachers produce short videos on the new Talmud material which are then studied by hevruta pairs in the Beit Midrash on their iPads in preparation for the in-depth lesson which follows in the classroom.


Teachers have found this method to be VERY successful for the following reasons:

  • Students report that they prefer watching the videos instead of first hearing the Gemara being read in class since they can learn at their own pace.

  • The teacher finds that for the first time he can really monitor how the students are learning while they are all watching the video.

  • Teachers report that these videos are VERY easy to make since all he is doing is reading and translating and marking up the text.

Basically, these flipped videos allows the teacher to focus in class on the areas in which he is needed most and where his unique skills as an educator are most apparent while “outsourcing” the VERY important but often tedious reading portions to the videos, simultaneously helping the students to become more independent learners through their watching, note taking, reading.


So if your students have iPads or other web-based devices, even smartphones will do, give the Flipped Beit Midrash a try. You might find that students will enjoy the learning, gain more skills to learn more independently, and your shiur that follows will be that much deeper with more student input and higher order thinking because they have already mastered the basic "pshat" and are ready to bring their learning to a higher level.

Updated: Jan. 22, 2014