5 Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Flipgrid
Flipgrid is the cool kid in the educational technology world. Let’s look past the hype to find out how we can use this powerful tool to amplify student voice.
Flipgrid is a local education technology startup. With their origins tied to the University of Minnesota, they’re as Minnesotan as The State Hockey Tournament, your mother’s hotdish and Babe the Blue Ox.
The groundswell of support from the more than 20 million PreK to PhD users across 180 countries clearly indicates the power of this tool. If you want to experience the buzz firsthand, search #FlipgridFever on Twitter, walk into any classroom using Flipgrid or ask Microsoft (who acquired Flipgrid in June 2018 for an undisclosed but sizable amount of money and then made it free for everybody). The enthusiasm radiating from Flipgrid’s community is palpable.
Flipgrid created an online video discussion tool that allows teachers to create Grids of short discussion-style questions and students to respond quickly to the teacher’s prompt and to each other through recorded videos. That alone would be a useful in education.
“Using Flipgrid isn’t about recording videos, it’s about learning. Learning that is social, personal, can happen anywhere and anytime.
― Sean Fahey and Karly Moura, The Educators Guide To Flipgrid Version 3.0
What makes Flipgrid so great is its versatility and simplicity. It can be used in every grade and subject area. No longer is talk time monopolized by a few students or feedback limited to the teacher-to-student dynamic. The Flipgrid team has created an accessible tool with a clean user interface to amplify all student voices. Let’s go deeper with five ways to get the most out of Flipgrid.
Flipgrid fosters creativity.
Flipgrid lowers the hurdle to using video in class. Students can focus on capturing their ideas, reflections, creations, experiments and imagination instead of troubleshooting technology.
“This world needs leaders, creative thinkers and problem solvers more than ever. To prepare students for that future, they need a voice. As educators, when we equip and empower that voice, we create a brighter future for the world.”
— Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook
Flipgrid enables students to upload video which allows them to record in their favorite apps. The creative possibilities are endless. Students can create paper slides, wear masks, feature puppets, record screencasts or pretend to be someone else with Chatterpix.
Flipgrid builds community.
The staff at White Bear Lake Area High School — North Campus created a Grid for their school. Teachers posted introduction videos to share with their community. Each teacher took only a few minutes to post, but it effectively built meaningful connections with the community.
Another way to get connected is to do the opposite. Instead of bringing school home, students can bring their home to school.
“If you are looking for a way to get parents involved, send students home with the job of introducing their family to the class. “Family” can include pets, extended family, whomever the child is living with at home. Parents can see their child engaged and get to participate themselves while classmates can learn a little more about their peers!”
Flipgrid allows global connections.
Grid Pals is a community of nearly 5,000 teachers who want to connect their students to other classrooms around the world. The potential connections can be filtered by grade or subject area. Those who wish to join in may simply sign up by making their profile public, reaching out to other educators and launching the meaningful connections!
This opportunity could be used in a variety of ways:
Learning about the 50 states? Collaborate with a classroom from another state. Teachers can share a Grid with another teacher and then their students post daily videos about the local weather, list fun facts about their own state, or ask questions of students in the other state.
Looking for a new spin on literature circles? Select a text with a new connection and include short links or QR codes to question prompts on a Flipgrid topic at certain checkpoints. The asynchronous nature of this literature circle allows students to progress through the reading at their own pace. Also, you might find students in other geographic locations have completely different perspectives on some of the content based on their unique cultural landscape.
Wanting to build oral fluency with video pals? Give your world language students an authentic conversation outlet. Collaborate with a class in Spain or France, and use the Grid as a virtual pen pal, or in this case, video pal.
Flipgrid promotes metacognition.
Flipgrid gives students the opportunity to watch themselves, and it helps them learn from each other. With some thoughtful instructional design, students can use it to articulate their thinking.
In science class, students can record themselves on Flipgrid making a hypothesis. Then, after research, they could reply to their own video, not only to explain the outcome of the experiment but also to reflect on their thinking.
In physical education, students could use Flipgrid to record classmates engaging in reflection, self-assessment and think-aloud sessions.
In math class, students could talk through strategies for finding solutions or corrections showing and describing how they solved a problem or fixed errors.
Flipgrid empowers teachers.
“Becoming a Flipgrid Certified Teacher is a fairly easy process, but it also gave me a deeper understanding of the possibilities within the tool to amplify student voice. It also helped connect me to other educators around the world using Flipgrid.”
— Shannon Treichel, ISD624 Innovation Coach and Flipgrid Student Voice Ambassador
If you’re interested in giving Flipgrid a try, learn how to use the tool by becoming a Flipgrid Certified Educator. The process will grow your understanding of Flipgrid as you complete a few simple challenges.
For more ideas, check out how other inspiring educators are using Flipgrid to amplify student voice. Flipgrid created the Topic Discovery Library by crowdsourcing resources for incorporating Flipgrid into classrooms from educators. If you find a topic template you could use, then copy it to your Grid in just a few clicks!
Back in Minnesota, we’re firmly into influenza season. If you’ve contracted a case of #FlipgridFever, then help spread our learning like an annoying seasonal virus. Share how you love using Flipgrid, promote your favorite topic discovery library resources or show off your new Flipgrid certified educator badge by using #innovate624!