How do you get input from your students? Do you use a “Fist to Five”? Do you use a discussion board on Google Classroom? You may have read about Flipgrid, my favorite tool to collaborate, communicate, and give and get student feedback!
How I Use Flipgrid
Flipgrid gives students the opportunity to respond to a teacher prompt via video. They can record their own thoughts, feelings, concerns in the privacy of their own space, and then you can watch, reflect, and even have a follow-up conversation. This shouldn’t be an innovative idea, but Flipgrid has taken what could be seen as “Substitution” on the SAMR scale all the way up to “Redefinition”. What teacher wouldn’t want to find a better way to help students reflect on their own learning?
In my classroom, I use Flipgrid to gauge where students are in their Genius Hour Projects. Genius Hour is where students spend an hour or so of their work time working on a project of their choice. The rule is there must be a research question that cannot be answered with a simple Google search, research, writing, and something that is created to share with a community (in the classroom, school, or even world).
The first Flipgrid prompt for their Genius Hour is their elevator pitch. Think “Shark Tank”. They have to sell me on their idea. Then, I give my students weekly prompts asking them what they feel is going well, what they’ve learned, and where they feel they are stuck. This works well for me because I can watch the videos later when I have time to process and help craft a plan of next steps. Since Genius Hour is different for every student, the videos can serve as checkpoints.
Much like other EdTech products, Flipgrid uses the summer to update their product. This summer, they knocked it out of the park! Some features that teachers have BEGGING for finally came to fruition! Check out these flipgrid updates to see what’s new as Flipgrid Grows!
The recording tool Flipgrid uses has gotten a facelift! Instead of being limited to recording everything in one “take”, students can now cut, trim, paste and add clips together to create exactly what they want. (My students are SO EXCITED about this!) There’s no more re-recording when someone walks in front of them in the hallway or when their partner sneezes! Filters have also been added, along with the ability to add stickers like emojis, text, or even pictures from your camera roll. Lastly, and the update I am most excited about is the WHITEBOARD FEATURE! I can’t wait for students in Math, Science, or any other class to be able to write out their problem-solving while recording their thinking. As a teacher, this information is invaluable, and tells us whether or not the student has truly grasped the concept or skill.
Not the ever-beloved short-legged clothing option, the “Shorts” option in Flipgrid updates is a way for educators to create a video that is not attached to an assignment/grid. As this stand-alone recording, teachers can introduce themselves, record a video tour of their classroom, or remind families of a calendar event coming up. Teachers can then share the video via Google Drive, a Flipgrid QR code, or on a website. How cool that teachers now have this sharing option without having to create a grid!
Educator Administrator Dashboard Improvements
The educator admin dashboard was not user-friendly. (Sorry Flipgrid!) Now, it’s what every teacher has been asking for! There is the ability to divide grids into topics or to “pin” a grid to the top of a class so that it is always the first thing students see! We can also finally make batch adjustments and move videos and responses around whenever we need to! I am so excited about how much easier this update has made my Flipgrid life!
Flipgrid Disco Library
Have you ever had a day when you just.can’t.think.of.anything? No? Just me? Well, if you have, you will love the new “Disco Library”! (Not to be confused with the 70’s dance craze, “Disco” is short for “Discovery” in this instance.) There are over 8000 different topics to look at, get inspired by, or straight-up steal. #Sharingiscaring! You also have a “MyFavs” playlist you can save idea to, including your own rock-star topics that you want to make sure and revisit.
Another Flipgrid update perfect for the classroom includes the ability to include additional media resources as a focus of engagement for your students. My district uses Newsela across multiple curricular areas (Social Studies, Science, English) to have students practice reading skills and keep up-to-date on current events. Flipgrid includes the ability to link Newsela activities and articles within the Flipgrid topic!
If you aren’t excited about the updates to Flipgrid, you should be! As Flipgrid Grows, I can only hope they continue to listen to teachers. The Flipgrid updates are such a wonderful addition to an already amazing platform, and I am so excited to get started with my middle schoolers this year!
Share how you use Flipgrid in your classroom!