FlipGrid, the video-sharing tool has been growing in popularity in recent years – so popular in fact that its rise has been called “FlipGrid Fever.” The web app has been free since its acquisition by Microsoft.
How can teachers use FlipGrid?
FlipGrid allows us teachers to easily create grids that encourage video discussion. Every grid behaves as a sort of message board that teachers can post questions to and students reply with a video answer. You can share these grids with your class or student groups interested in a common topic.
There is no limit to the questions you can put up on each grid and students don’t have a limit in terms of responses either. You have the flexibility of including a text-based question or spicing it up with videos, images, gifs or attachments while the customizable security settings let you better protect your students’ privacy.
FlipGrid has a wide range of moderation features that I highly recommend you play with so you can understand how the app works and figure out the right settings for your class. One nifty feature is the CoPilot feature where you can appoint other teachers as moderators of grids.
If you do have any doubts, the help section of the website should be of assistance or you can browse the two available – and very active and responsive – teacher communities: GridPals that connects educators and teachers with classrooms around the globe; and Disco Library where you can share grid templates.
How do students use FlipGrid?
Students can respond to your questions using a combination of the FlipGrid app on their smartphone or use the web app and upload a previously recorded video. These responses can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as five minutes – you can set a maximum recording duration if you wish. You can also allow your students to record responses to their classmate’s response. Awesome, right?!
What activities can you do with FlipGrid?
FlipGrid’s innovative approach to education offers teachers many creative ways to enhance speaking skills. Let me share with you how I use FlipGrid in my classroom.
With FlipGrid, teachers can collaborate with teachers out of state or even the other side of the world such as my annual Holiday Card Exchange Project. For language teachers, this presents the opportunity to let their students interact and practise speaking skills with a group outside their class. Students will be able to post videos of themselves speaking in that language for feedback on vocabulary but instead of practising with their classmates only, they can speak and build up their skills with students learning the language in other parts of the world or native speakers who can offer them better feedback on vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.
Share book reviews on FlipGrid
Let your students create a book review on FlipGrid persuading others to read the book they have read. Instead of writing about the book, they talk about it! This creates a very engaging way for your students to share their thoughts on a book.
Create digital bulletin board
Did you know that you can generate QR codes for every video submission on your grid? Once students have finished sharing their video on FlipGrid, you can print the QR code and stick it on your digital bulletin board. Your class or the whole school can then use their smartphones to scan the QR code and watch the videos.
You can even stick a QR code on a library book that links to a student’s review on FlipGrid so that other students can watch the book review to decide if they will like the book.
Make a story
You can have your students record a story using FlipGrid. Discuss with the group, decide on a title and then have a student make a thirty second video on it followed by the second student and so on. It is a fun activity that will easily involve the entire class and at the end of it, your class will have a cool and unique story to tell.
Create a digital vocabulary wall
This is another activity that will engage everyone in the class. Ask your students to record a video where they describe the meaning of a vocabulary word. They will be holding a card with the word on the video so other students will easily understand the word being used in the video.
Have an assessment on speaking skills
I don’t need to tell you how important a skill speaking is and with FlipGrid, you have plenty of resources to help students develop this skill. For example, the free PVLEGS framework has a great rubric that you can use when assessing speaking skills on the app. My advice is to pick one PVLEGS expectations at a time as focusing one all simultaneously can be too much for your students to do.
We can’t assess 30 students in the classroom at once but we can offer feedback and a rubric score to our students on FlipGrid. Simply post a discussion prompt, students submit their video answer, offer individual feedback!
Celebrate Global Read Aloud… all year round
The Global Read Aloud is an event where teachers read a book and connect with students from across the world. The event runs for six weeks from October to November. With FlipGrid, you don’t have to wait till October. You can easily connect with teachers and students at any time and read a book together and your students can do the same.
A twist on the good ol’ student of the week
Ask the students in your class to make a video sharing why the student of the week is special. All your students will enjoy watching videos from their classmates as they share why each person is a valued member of the class.
What advice will they give next year’s class?
Won’t it be cool to have a grid full of videos from your current students to show the class of next year? Ask your students to make a short 30 second- or one-minute video with a line of advice for the next batch of students. This is definitely one of my favorite end-of-year activities!
Reflecting on a lesson using FlipGrid
It is an age-old activity but having your student reflect on a lesson gives us teachers invaluable feedback. Some questions you should seek to answer are how the lesson went, what changes would they like to see and what sections were their favourite. Do make sure to consider that feedback when planning next year’s lessons.
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