The video-sharing tool Flipgrid, as we all know, is popular in schools—so popular, in so many countries, that its rapid rise been attributed to “Flipgrid Fever.” The tool has been free for educators to use for over a year now after being acquired by Microsoft.
One of the main things going for Flipgrid is its ease of use. Teachers set up an account and create grids, which act as communities for students to work in. Within each grid the teacher creates prompts called topics, and students post video responses to the prompts and replies to each other’s videos. Most of the videos are quite short, just a minute or two long, and the tool is simple enough that kindergartners use it.
9 New Ways to Use Flipgrid
1. Sharing book reviews: With Flipgrid’s new augmented reality (AR) feature, classrooms and classroom libraries can use the video QR code to create an engaging way for students to share book reviews. After a student records their review, the teacher can print the QR code and tape it on the book, and the student’s classmates can use their devices to scan the code and watch the review as a way to help them decide if they’d like to read the book.
2. Practicing world language skills: Flipgrid makes it possible for teachers in different districts and different countries to collaborate. For world language teachers, this creates opportunities for students to practice their speaking skills with a larger group than just their class. Students can post videos to get practice with the vocabulary they’re learning, and instead of being limited to practicing with the people in their physical classroom, they can engage and build their skills with other students around the world studying the same language or have conversations with native speakers of the language.
3. Increasing accessibility for all students: Flipgrid has expanded many of its accessibility features to ensure that all students can participate. Students can use closed captioning when viewing videos, which also generates a full transcript for each video. Microsoft’s Immersive Reader can be used within both the closed captioning and any text within a topic to read the texts aloud and break up words into syllables for easier decoding.
4. Inviting outside speakers: Using Guest Mode, teachers can invite guest speakers to participate in classroom discussions. Guests can watch student videos and post their own videos. This option provides a way for experts in a field to share their knowledge asynchronously, with students posting videos of their questions for the expert to answer at a convenient time in a video response. STEM teachers, for example, could invite engineers or scientists to discuss their careers and research and to answer student questions.
5. Building student portfolios: A teacher can create a grid for student portfolios. Within this grid, the teacher creates a topic for each student, and students post videos explaining their work, demonstrating a recently learned skill, or reflecting on an in-class experience. The teacher can share the link to a student’s topic with their parents or guardians so they can view their child’s work throughout the year. Since the topics can also be available to every student in the class, students can observe their classmates’ work.
6. Adding annotations: When students record a video, they have the option to write directly on the video, and they can add sticky notes with additional text. For students in math practicing solving problems or students in chemistry learning to balance chemical equations, this feature is a great way to show their thinking.
7. Building a mixtape: The mixtape is a way to curate videos from any topic or grid in a single location. A teacher can select any student video and add it to the mixtape, which can be shared with the entire class. Collecting memories from throughout the year is a great way to take advantage of the feature: As the year progresses, the teacher can save interesting videos or important moments from different topics. Watching the mixtape as a class at the end of the year will help students recall what they’ve learned.
8. Sharing and celebrating work: Celebrating completed projects or finished assignments is often forgotten in the classroom due to time constraints, but Flipgrid makes it fairly easy and quick. Using the student-to-student replies option, everyone in the class can view and respond to each other’s videos. For example, students in a history class could share a long-term project they have completed, walking through what they learned and what they created. Peers in the class compose video responses, providing positive feedback on the work completed. When I do this with my ELA students, I require everyone to comment on two or three classmates’ projects from any of my sections.
9. Supporting absent students: Flipgrid can be a catch-up solution for students who are absent. The teacher creates a topic for work completed in class, and if a student is absent during a given class period, one of their peers can post a quick video about what assignments were completed in class so the absent students can quickly learn about what they missed.