Using Flipgrid to Make Learning Memorable and Engaging

For the past few years I have been using this tool in my classroom called Flipgrid.  It is a tool to help amplify student voice within the classroom.  What does that mean exactly?  Well...  we all know those shy kids that never raise their hand in class to answer questions.  Whether is it because they just don't know the answer or they are afraid to get an answer incorrect in front of the class.  They remain the quiet ones.  We all have them in our classes.

What's Flipgrid?

Flipgrid is a video based platform which has students responding to a prompt or answering a question by creating a video of themselves answering the question, in its very basic essence and this is how I started using Flipgrid in my classroom a few years ago.  You can see one of my easy to implement topics in the Disco Library HERE.  This simple topic asks students to think about what their fears are and how they can begin to face them head on and possibly make a plan for conquering them.  I like to use this type of topic early on in the school year as many students have fears about the upcoming year.

My Experience

After using this tool for some time now, I have discovered that it can be used in so many ways not only in the classroom itself, but for collaborating with others in our school building or district, connecting with our community either locally or globally, connecting with other teachers locally or globally, I seriously could go on and on.  If you would like to start using this tool, but have no idea where to begin, check out the INNOVATION STATION.  This is a great place to start!  There is even an Educators Guide to Flipgrid, everything you need to know to get started.

One of my favorite activities we use Flipgrid for each year is when it is Teacher Appreciation Week!  My students make videos thanking a former teacher.  My students create their videos and I send the links to each teacher the video is for via email.  When I first did this a few years ago and watched the videos the students made before sending them, I was in tears and amazed at how my students opened up to their former teacher and made videos that came from their heart.  It really gave me a new perspective of each teacher and I realized that we are affecting these children in ways that we could not even imagine!

Updates to Flipgrid

Flipgrid has just announced some amazing updates.  One of the best by far is a new AR feature using QR codes.  This AR feature takes  QR codes to a new level.  My students made green screen videos of stories that they wrote and uploaded them to Flipgrid.  We then showcased the artwork at our annual artshow.  Parents were able to download the Flipgrid app and open their videos, the videos jumped right out of the wall! Best part about this update is that it is available RIGHT NOW!

The Highlights

# Shorts Camera:  
This storytelling camera will be a stand alone app. Students will have the capability to really use their creativity!  So many features built into this app, trim, add, remove, draw while recording, add filters, rearrange clips, and much more.  Shorts can be embedded in OneNote, Wakelet, & other partner sites!!

# Accessibility/ Transcription and Closed Captioning:  
This is an amazing update!  Even for teachers!  Want to proof your video before sending off?  Turn on the closed captioning and read it as your video plays.  Did it read as you wanted it to?  I think this would be a great tool for those students in our classes that need that extra time to proof what we say.  I often have kids tell their stories before writing them down... some work better that way that just sitting initially with paper and pencil.  This would be great for those times.  

Let's face it our students LOVE selfies.... what better way than to add even more options for selfies.... new stickers!... you can even upload a picture for your selfie!  Maybe you are having your students write and video book talks.  What would be better than taking a picture of the book cover and uploading that for the selfie?!

# Teacher Dashboard:  
Flipgrid has really listened to the educators that use it!  The teacher dashboard is now easier to move responses etc. with a simple click of a checkbox!  In my opinion the dashboard looks more streamlined as well. 

How do I know about these updates in advance of Aug. 1?  Become an ambassador for Flipgrid and you will get some inside scoops before they are released to the public!  

I am just one teacher who has found her go to tech tool for the classroom and wants to scream from the rooftops how this tool has changed my teaching forever!!

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