The last two months of the school year I had been experimenting with a new tool, Flipgrid. This post is about that tool, how to use it, and some great ways to leverage it. But first… a disclaimer: The developers were kind enough to offer me a free account so that I could test it out and play with it before reviewing it here.
Flipgrid is a tool for recording quick videos to “Ignite Discussion.” I don’t remember where I first saw it, but when I did, I was really excited, because I try to always include reflection into what I do. I thought that Flipgrid might be just the perfect tool to do that; and guess what? It is.
Here’s how it works.
Educators create an account. With the free account you get one grid, which is a place to post topics or prompts. (Paid account gets you multiple grids to use) Each grid can house an infinite number of topics. Students (or teachers) respond to each topic using a mobile device or computer with front-facing camera. Respondents DO NOT need an account to respond. It’s that easy and quick.
A Few Ideas for Use
Status Check/Journal – For students who are working on an independent study class, or maybe independent challenges in class, Flipgrid can serve as a tool to wrap up a time period of work. For example: at the end of each week, students use Flipgrid to summarize the work that they completed, share any challenges thay ran into and discuss their next steps. It becomes a log of the work that is accomplished.
Student Reflections – One of my favorite things. Use flipgrid as a tool for student reflections at the end of a book, activity, or class discussion. For example: share a prompt “What would you have done in the same situation as (main character)?”
Field Trips – The next time you take your students on a field trip, consider using Flipgrid to record their observations. Perhaps students work in pairs, and each pair finds something new or exciting that they have learned, and creates and shares a Flipgrid response right there!
Professional Development – Teachers never have enough time for PD. Flipgrid is a tool that can be used to expand PD beyond that original hour or so. After introducing a new tool to teachers, Flipgrid can be used for teachers to share their ideas for integrating the tool into their classrooms.
Foreign Language – My foreign language teacher used Flipgrid this year for language practice. She would post a prompt to students, and then they respond outside of class. It provides students the opportunity to craft a response ahead of time if they need it, but also helps prepare them for conversational speaking.
I absolutely love this tool. It’s quick and easy, and leverages the mobile devices that so many student’s already have in their hands. As educators, we need to strive to find ways to give ALL students a platform for finding their own voice. Flipgrid is a tool that does a pretty good job of leveling that playing field. All students can respond from anywhere, on their own time, with their own devices.