If you haven’t heard of Flipgrid yet, you’ll soon find it being spoken of in teaching circles. This discussion platform is relatively new but its value in the classroom is quickly being realized by teachers and students around the globe. It is indeed a powerful tool to enhance student voice.
Essentially, a teacher creates a “grid” which acts as a kind of classroom, or digital discussion board. Within the grid the teacher posts topics. In each topic, you can add a description and if desired a photo or video explanation of what to discuss. Additionally, a document can be linked as well (perhaps with resources or a more detailed explanation), and there are other topic resources and attachments such as image, gifs and video links. Students view the topic and respond with their own video. Additionally, students can respond to each other’s responses. (this feature can be controlled by the teacher) What do I love overall about Flipgrid?
- Students use Flipgrid for free and do not need accounts.
- The interface is intuitive and user-friendly.
- Student (and teacher) voice is clearly enhanced in a way that all students can speak and respond to each other.
- Differentiation is supported through self-paced recording; students can record-pause-record-pause, taking their time (or completely delete a recording and begin again); conversely, students can create an edited video and upload or link to YouTube; students who don’t want their face in a video can point the camera away.
- Teacher-controlled privacy settings (owners of a grid and topic can choose who sees what and moderate posts).
- There is a Topic Discovery Library with thousands of grids with many ideas.
- Your own grids and the individual or group responses can be shared via social media, as well as embedded in a variety of learning management systems.
- It’s fun!
How have I used Flipgrid thus far? For a Grade 8 unit of inquiry on epidemics and the spread of disease a colleague of mine and I recorded a zombie attack on the school, challenging the kids to create a video that demonstrates they’ll be prepared for a disease outbreak. (so why not make it a zombie virus!) Here is the topic https://flipgrid.com/3f8e3d, and here is the lesson document: https://goo.gl/TiRNK2.
In a Grade 9 class we had a more serious unit of inquiry on civil wars. https://flipgrid.com/5815d4 Students had to research the Syrian civil war, giving causes, consequences, peace initiatives, and demonstrate their opinions and deeper thinking by assigning blame to individuals or organizations, and ultimately a strategy for the international community to follow that will end the conflict. Have a look at the assignment here and feel free to copy! https://goo.gl/qxrnVL
Finally, for a fun school event day of learning activities I used Flipgrid for a One-Act Film Challenge. https://flipgrid.com/231b40 Students had one hour to conceive, script, and film a video in one hour. We uploaded to Flipgrid. (at the time of writing there is only one video, but a few more will follow and I intend to develop this topic) Have a look at the activity in greater detail here and give it a go! https://goo.gl/iosQDV
How will I use Flipgrid in the future? I’m certain this list will evolve and no doubt there are people out there using the tool in these ways.
- Classroom connections in the “Global Grid Connections” tab (such a “Who am I?” or “What event was this?” in history)
- A brief description of a current event
- Beginning of year introductions
- Student-made tutorials
- Review (what can you remember in your head)
- Debating / Four corners discussions
- Getting teacher feedback for presentations via Flip
- Lesson idea sharing
- Lesson exit tickets
- Oral testing
- For a new Google Educator Group, we’ll direct our members to offer a video introduction
- Career days - parents who don’t have time to come in can record on the grid
- Question asking (for a unit or for review)
- TED Ed Club Grid
Teachers have the choice of the free Flipgrid One or the paid Flipgrid Classroom. Needless to say, you have much more flexibility and more features with the paid version. Like many platforms, there are programs and badges to help motivate teachers to use the tool. How about for students?
As for my own use of Flipgrid, I’m just scratching the surface of the potential.
Sign-up at https://info.flipgrid.com/
Want to learn more? Download the 22-page PDF guide https://goo.gl/dxVNbX or have a look through the Flipgrid Help Center at https://help.flipgrid.com/hc/en-us .