Every one of us can admit that the voices of our students don’t always have an equal standing in our classroom. We hear far too little from some students, while others are very comfortable sharing their voice (even when we don’t want them to). We simply don’t have the time to sit down and talk directly with each student daily. How do we make sure we have equity of voice in our classrooms and find time to hear from every student? And even better yet, how can we share the amazing voices of our students with our families, the community, or even the world?
For those of you that have never used Flipgrid, it is a video discussion tool. The teacher creates a prompt or directions and students respond with a short video. For that personal touch, once they submit their video, students can take a selfie and put stickers and drawings on their selfie. It is simple and easy to use, yet is a powerful reflection tool that can be used in dozens of ways to engage your students. It is rare to say this about a tech tool, but it honestly can be used effectively E-12 in every classroom. But before we get into some examples of how to use it, let’s take a look at some amazing updates they’ve made!
Flipgrid has made a number of exciting announcements over the summer. In June, Flipgrid announced that they had been acquired by Microsoft and all their paid features would be free going forward. A couple of those features include longer video posts (up to five minutes) and direct video replies to each other’s posts.
On August 1st, Flipgrid announced a number of other innovative new features. They improved the overall performance of the camera and added simple editing tools so you can trim your video responses in order to add more at the end. My favorite new feature is #GridPals. Teachers create a short bio detailing who they are as well as who they want to connect with, and then they appear on a map of other Flipgrid teachers. This allows users to connect and collaborate with classrooms from around the world. Imagine partnering with a classroom in Australia to compare and contrast the local climate or ecosystem? Or connecting with a Spanish-speaking classroom to discuss daily life with a native speaker? #GridPals makes creating those connections very easy.
For our secondary teachers, Canvas and Flipgrid work perfectly together. You can install an integration which allows you to create grid topics from within Canvas, embed them directly into an assignment, and then grade them using the SpeedGrader. It takes a little to set up but is a huge time saver once you have it up and running.
Here are just a few creative ways you can use Flipgrid in your classroom:
Replace your exit ticket with a Flipgrid video response. You can limit responses to a short time, such as 15 seconds to force students to be concise.
Students can use Flipgrid to upload existing videos they have on their device, such as videos made in Book Creator or Adobe Spark. Have students upload their video projects to Flipgrid to do a virtual gallery walk so you don’t spend all of your precious class time watching every student’s video. Just have students watch five and reply with feedback.
Create a Flipgrid topic, record an introductory video, and send it to your students and their families so they get to “meet” you during the summer. This could be another great way for interdisciplinary teams to share their back-to-school messages with students and families.
Send students home to cook a meal for their family and have the students film their family's reactions/reviews of the food cooked by the student.
Create virtual pen pals using Flipgrid. Have students from other classes/schools/states/countries work together to solve problems, share what they know about their local community, etc.
When students are working in groups, have them do virtual check-in with Flipgrid so you can see what progress they made during class and then explain their next steps.
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