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One of my favorite tech tools to use in the English Language Arts classroom is Flipgrid.
What is Flipgrid?
Flipgrid is a video platform that allows students and educators to film quick video responses. This is an outstanding tool to capture all voices in larger classrooms, online classes, and allow students who don’t like to speak up in class to share their thoughts.
Ways to Use Grids
Grids are the main “classrooms” where you can post topics and ideas.
Since Microsoft bought Flipgrid, everything is FREE. You can make multiple grids for each class you teach, separate content areas, or even professional development.
You can see that I have grids for each Genius Hour class period, a college course I am teaching, and each Creative Writing term.
Ways to Use Topics
Within the grids, you’ll have topics. These can be thought of as assignments.
With Genius Hour, each week in the term, students posted a reflection. Within the topic, you can post resources, your own video example, or text for the students.
Topics can be used in many different ways in various content areas.
Language Arts classes can use topics to present speeches or monologues, recite poems, perform slam poetry, share book reviews or book talks, or even screencast digital projects.
Math classes may use topics to have students explain their reasoning for a solution to a problem. Screencasting as they share their solutions on Explain Everything, Google Slides, or other apps can help students share their thought process. This can be helpful to classmates who need to visualize a process, students to show their ideas, and for teachers to understand where students are possibly making mistakes.
Science and Flipgrid go hand and hand! Like Genius Hour, students can state a hypothesis and reflect on experiments and the scientific method.
World Language classes definitely can use Flipgrid topics. Students can practice their speaking and communicate vocabulary words or have conversations on Flipgrid.
What other ways can you use Flipgrid in your content area?
Filming the Flipgrid Videos
Making the video is so easy! Your students will login with the address and code you give them, click a green button, and as long as they have a forward facing camera on a phone, tablet, or computer, they can film their video. Videos can be up to five minutes long, but you can set it up to have a shorter time limit.
I always model the video making with my students. I mess up (um, on purpose) so they can see that the video doesn’t have to be perfect. They may review before they submit, but I remind them that it doesn’t have to be star quality. We’re students and learners, not professional actors!
They should record it in a fairly quiet place. Changing tents can be used as portable recording studios, or you may just have students record in small groups while other students silent read or do another quiet activity. If students have access to devices at home, they can also record anywhere they have a wifi connection and a camera.
At the end of the video, students take a quick snapshot and can add emojis, pictures, or words to mask their initial identities or just have a little bit of fun!
A Few Flipgrid Pro Tips
Each grid comes equipped with an idea topic. Encourage your students to use the topic to post questions, share ideas, and collaborate with one another. Make sure to model how to use this idea topic properly in your class.
You can turn on the option to moderate posts to topics before they are viewable by all the members of the grid. Unless I am using this with adults (grad students or teachers), I leave this option on. Definitely teach your students proper posting etiquette, but you may need to delete some inappropriate posts.
Flipgrid is an awesome tool for bringing students to the “front of the classroom”. Encourage your students to share their knowledge, opinions, and voices.
How will you or do you use Flipgrid in your classroom?