If you’re looking for an amazing on-line resource for distance and virtual learning, check out the free video discussion app, Flipgrid. Teachers can post video questions, Google Doc assignments, and other activities in their classroom grid. Students can post their responses in video format, giving teachers an easy way to assess learning. This app fits easily with Google Classroom and is pretty simple for both teachers and students to use.
I used this app back when I was in the classroom, and the kids and I loved it. Since I became an interventionist, I no longer have a class of my own. In order to show you screen shots, I’ll set up a new account and create a practice class to walk you through the initial process.
Getting Started with Flipgrid
First, I visited the Flipgrid Website to create my account. I then entered my country and my date of birth. Next, it asked me to start a grid, which is simply your class. I found that I could link my class to my grid via student numbers or email addresses. At the end of the sign-in process, Flipgrid gave me a code that I could paste right into my Google classroom to direct students to my activities. The app then took me to the topic page where I could start uploading my students’ assignments.
Expanding the Topic
Once I finished exploring the screen that will eventually list all my uploaded topics, I clicked on the pencil icon in the area boxed in orange. This took me to a different screen that listed each step I had to take to upload videos and information for what I wanted to share with students.
After I scrolled down past these points, there were even ideas and directions for things I could add to the videos I share.
Once I load an assignment, kids can respond to it with their own uploaded videos where they answer my questions, chime in to discussion, or give a presentation. I can also set the limit on the length of videos they can submit. Additionally, I can freeze each topic once kids have submitted their videos so they can’t keep uploading responses after the assignment ends.
As I explored more, I saw that I can decide if students reply to me, to each other, or both. Students can “like” videos I share and “like” and comment on classmates’ work. Flipgrid is a lot like a safe Instagram or Snapchat in this way. Kids can even add stickers or drawings to their responses.
As I scroll further down the screen, I have grading options. I can use Flipgrid’s feedback model, or I can upload my own grading criteria.
This app could make the world of distance and virtual learning even more engaging. Don’t forget–Flipgrid is absolutely free!
Here are a few ideas for using Flip Grid with your students.
Take Part in the Flipgrid Introduction
The first activity is already done in Flipgrid as a starter for you, and it’s basically just an introduction. You upload an introductory video, then the kids do the same. You can comment on each other’s videos and ask questions as well.
Read Aloud and Discussion
First, obtain all permissions necessary to read a particular book or story on- line. Next, add a new topic and upload the video of your read aloud to your grid. Then you can either attach a Google Doc discussion sheet with questions for your students to answer, or you can ask one question at the end of your read aloud.
For those of you working with elementary students, your video should probably not be longer than three to five minutes. You may want to spread your read aloud over a few sessions. Give students one question to video chat about with each session.
Challenge your students to create a short (30 seconds or less) video about a book they are reading. In that time, they need to include the title and author and a strong statement about why everyone needs to read their book. Doing this type of book talk will help them develop their summarizing skills.
Another way to do this would be to also allow each student to upload a longer video to give more details about their books. If you are teaching virtually, this activity could apply to movies or other streaming shows the kids may be watching. Remind them to keep it PG, though!
A Fliphunt is a virtual scavenger hunt. This is another fun activity for distance or flipped learning. You can use it as a get-to-know you activity, a chance to review material, or just a way to have fun and be silly. Additionally, Fliphunts make great formative assessments. Just create a Google or Word Doc with tasks, upload it to your Flipgrid topic, and have the kids video themselves doing each task. Make sure they title each of their videos so it’s clear which task they are doing.
This app is great for paperless classrooms, distance learning, and virtual education. Therefore, so many classroom teachers in all grades incorporate Flipgrid into their daily plans. In the near future, I’ll be sharing some resources for use with Flipgrid. Check back frequently for some templates, activities, and more ideas! Good luck, and happy Flipping!