Flipping it with Flipgrid!

19th Dec 2017/Tuesday

This blog post is a dive into the amazing world of Flipgrid. Its one of the most interesting tools I have come across, while searching and exploring tools online for enhancing learning in classrooms. The blog post offers insight into what is [1]FlipGrid, a look into the basic functionality and features, and some ideas of how could you use this tool in your classroom to make learning more engaging and meaningful with some insight on how the tool could help you connect with global peers outside classroom.

Flipgrid as I see it is a video discussion platform[2], where anyone can post ideas, comments, suggestions, share views about something to anything in the form of short video messages (the timing is adjustable starting from 15 secs to 5 minutes) and most importantly its available free online! The only requirements include a webcam installed on your computer, and no worries if you don’t have a webcam, the Flipgrid works perfectly well with your hand held device called mobile phones. You could easily download the app from the android store and start using Flipgrid. It is platform independent and seamlessly integrates into  number of other apps like Google Classroom, Onenote, Schoology, edmodo, Blackboard, Moodle etc. You can begin by creating a free account , create your grid, create a topic , record your video message and share the link either by emailing link, embedding or through social media forums like twitter, Facebook etc[3].

Flipgrid is actually your online classroom where you can initiate discussions with your students, share new topics and encourage debate and questioning, give assignments, provide feedback, share a new topic before the class to engage students etc. You can also add a number of resources along with your topic these include videos, images, URLs, emoji, giphy etc You can also share videos privately with parents too. The only limitation with a free account is the number of grids, you can only have one grid with unlimited discussion topics and record a 90 sec video, with a paid account you can have unlimited grids and topics with increased recording time too[4].

It gives voice to back benchers, students who are relatively less vocal in class and avoid sharing feedback, suggestions or comments openly.  They can record their responses in Flipgrid. I have personally observed this during my work with kids at the SOS Children Village Peshawar. We have been working on iEARN International Book Club project, where kids individually read different stories related to a UN SDG, critically analyze the story by answering a few questions and record this in Flipgrid. There are almost 42 responses by students, even the shy students participated in the activity on Flipgrid, this has really helped in improving their fluency and intonation. They could listen to the recordings and identify improvements to their facial expressions, pronunciations etc . It really boosts the morale and confidence providing equal opportunities for every member in the class. [5]Details in link below.

Some ideas[6] to incorporate Flipgrid in your classrooms could be to begin by assigning a grid to each class, initiate a news channel (topic), every month encourage students to share a news bulletin/report of current affairs (politics, economics, history etc) or reflect on their learning and understanding of the taught topics at the end of every topic. They can also start a book reading club (topic) where every month students share their favorite stories and initiate discussions on the books read, there could be an idea box (topic) and students could be encouraged to share new ideas, new tools, new inventions etc Students could start a TV Channel show “I can cook and bake” and share their favorite recipes etc This could be very useful for creating differentiating learning activities too, thus catering to the needs of all learners in the classroom.

Furthermore, the tool could be very helpful for teachers own PD as well, and they can engage their colleagues too. Staff members could have an PDBox (topic) where they share professional development resources with each other, they could also share reviews on teaching and learning resources they explore, share favorite inspirational quotes on PD, discuss classroom teaching and learning, reflect on their practices ,this could serve as teachers PLN personal learning network.

Moreover teachers can explore from dozens of Flipgrid templates in the Discover section and look in grid Collections too, which are created by teachers all around the globe, they can encourage their students to join in the discussions going on and share their views. One interesting discussion I found was about Quality Education (linked to UN SDG 4) and almost 62 responses were shared [7]. Another important topic under discussion was about Innovations to Save Earth, kids review the UN Sustainable Development Goals, think about the goals and suggest one think they could invent to help with the goal, the topic has 156 responses from people all over the globe [8]. You can connect your classroom with the Flipgrid of your fellow educators around the globe (this is only available in a paid account) you could search by grid, age and subject.You can also add any interesting topic to the Topic Discovery Library sharing it as a template for all other educators around the globe, they can use your topic in their classrooms. One interesting template I found was Go Global which encourages students and teachers to share ideas about new projects and find potential audiences and Tell Us About Your Class, a good opportunity to connect with global peers[9].

One last thing before I end my blog post , its the achievements section, where different badges are rewarded based on your interactions in the Flipgrid community, engagement time, number of videos shared etc.

Overall a very useful tool, easy to use, free sign up, no technical glitches as such, simple interface, offers global connections, a look into  global perspectives, diverse range of topics, caters to differentiation, a step towards building inclusive classrooms and much more. Definitely worth a try and recommended for use in classrooms for both teachers and students.

So sign up for Flipgrid and flip your classrooms.

Enjoy Reading :)

Sheeba Ajmal

[1] "Flipgrid." https://flipgrid.com/. Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.

[2] "Teacher Guide - Squarespace." https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59887cb1ebbd1aa4144128da/t/598b72e36f4ca34c1c34d5ab/1502311143735/Teacher_Guide.pdf. Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.

[3] "Student Guide - Squarespace." https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59887cb1ebbd1aa4144128da/t/598c859746c3c4a7b18fc72b/1502381467583/Student_Guide.pdf. Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.

[4] "PDF overview - Flipgrid." 2 Oct. 2017, http://static.flipgrid.com/docs/Flipgrid_2017_overview.pdf. Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.

[5] "www.technology4acause.com - Activities - Google Sites." https://sites.google.com/view/wwwtechnology4acausecom/activities. Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.

[6] "Docs — Flipgrid Resources." https://resources.flipgrid.com/docs/. Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.

[7] "Flipgrid | Voices for the Global Goals." https://flipgrid.com/7c04aa. Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.

[8] "Flipgrid | Imagine." https://flipgrid.com/9b25bd. Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.

[9] Tell Us About Your Classrooms https://admin.flipgrid.com/manage/discovery/864 Accessed 19th Dec 2017.

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