So, for a long time, people have been asking me about doing a Flipgrid post (here’s looking at you, Alison!) and I think that it’s pretty timely to do it now that Flipgrid’s new features launched last night. I am proud and not at all ashamed to say that I spent last night from 8-9:30ish PM watching the new features.
Even if I wasn’t a Flipgrid Ambassador, I’d use it! I’d still tell you about it. I don’t get paid to tell anyone about Flipgrid – I just love to share the things that I love!
So, a quick intro to Flipgrid:
When you create an account, they always use three specific words:
- Grids: Grids are the biggest part of Flipgrid – they let you divide your content into whatever areas you want. I’ve seen people use a grid per class, a grid per response type (story retellings, interpersonal convo practice, etc.) – some people use grids as units within their bigger curriculum – the sky’s the limit on how you divide them.
- Topics: Topics are housed within grids and are the stimuli that your students will eventually respond to. I like to think of these as questions, and the grid as the “theme” that each question falls under.
- Responses: These are the video responses that your students record for each topic you’ve created.
An example: I think that this year, in AP, I’ll have a grid for each AP theme (ie: Global Challenges). Within that Global Challenges grid, I’ll have different topics throughout the year, like this question: “how can we reduce food waste in our own homes?” Then, students will record reponses to that specific topic, all while being able to see the other topics that fall under this theme.
Need a more concrete example? I’m a visual person too! Here is the “What if…” grid. The grid is called “What if…” and every topic is a question that follows “what if…” If you click the black title of each topic (for example, “What’s in your suitcase”) it will take you to the page of student response videos to that particular topic. Make sense?
Things that I love about Flipgrid:
- No more “back of the class!” – you get to hear each student’s voice
- If you have extremely shy students, they can record at home – I love seeing kids come alive with their puppy at their side, or on the comfort of their bed in their favorite hoodie.
- Students can watch each other’s videos and like their classmates posts, or (with the paid version) respond to their classmates’ posts.
- Students get a chance to redo their video as they need to. Now, I don’t advocate re-recording 50 times, but if they totally blank, they can start over.
- As a teacher, they’re easy to listen to – I can pop in one headphone and listen while I’m looking over a rubric, and it doesn’t take the in-class time of speaking with every student.
So what are those new features I’m so excited about?
- In the past (even before this year,) the teacher created a video as a topic that students respond to. Now, the sky is the limit! Flipgrid lets you use a ton of things as a video stimulus. Import from Youtube and let students respond. Youtube is blocked at your school – no problem, Vimeo is supported too. Don’t have a video in mind? Use an emoji or a giphy as your topic photo. You can even import from your camera roll on iPhone or iPad.
- Can’t fit everything you need into one topic, like extra materials, a link to a rubric, or an article that you want to be your topic, rather than a video? Flipgrid now supports all of these attachment types:
- Did one of your students have an AMAZING response that all of their classmates are inspired by? Now you can use that video as a “spark” – this will make your student response into a new topic that all of your other students can respond to!
- For both the free and paid version of Flipgrid, the “elevator pitch” mode is now active – you can set the time limit for students to record as 15 seconds!
- PARENT SHARING – this may be paid-specific, but you can request a “private link” to a particular student’s video, and only that video can be shared via link with parents – how awesome!
- Stickies – when I record a topic, I’m always looking at a piece of paper to remember what I wanted to ask. Now, students can add a “sticky” to their screen that reminds them to add information about a particular topic! (don’t mind the morning shot of me!)
- Flipgrid now allows students to do more than “like” their peers responses – if you choose, they can react in all of these ways, including the mic-drop!
- Students can now add hashtags to their responses. So, if you’ve grouped students, have them their group number (like #group1) or, if you’ve got the free version and only have one grid, have students #1stperiod, #3rdperiod so you can sort responses for easy grading or check ups! (disclaimer: I’m not sure if the hashtag is a free or paid part – they did not specify last night, so I’ll update when I know! UPDATE: this is free! what an awesome way to make use of one grid)
- Flipgrid has always required that you take a selfie when you respond to a topic so that the teacher can see who responded at a glance. Now, Flipgrid supports drawing and icons – at the teacher discretion – so that kids can be silly and add to their photo. This really will be helpful for my students who don’t want to take their own picture.
I know that a lot of you will ask: yes, I have the paid version of Flipgrid. It is one of TWO tech tools I pay for (and usually my department covers the cost) and I believe that it is ABSOLUTELY worth $65 a year.
With the paid version, these are the features I love and use:
- Unlimited grids – I organize in lower levels per class
- Unlimited replies to responses – this means my students can respond to their peers and build “interpersonal” skills.
- Time limits – with the free version, you can select that student responses are up to 15 or 90 seconds. With the paid version, you can select 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, or 300 seconds!
- Student feedback and assessment – you can rate students and they get the ratings in their email (if they type their email when they make a response) – they also just launched custom rubrics, which I’m excited to try
- Move/duplicate grid topics – when my grids are organized by class, I don’t have to record the same stimulus video 4 times, I can just duplicate it into other grids.
- Download – you can download student response videos (and they can too, if they’re proud of it!)
Here’s a breakdown of the different types – the free version is called One and the paid is called Classroom. Can’t afford it? Ask your school to pay. The worst the can say is “no” and then you can use the free version. Or, you can try the #flipgridback2school Challenge and win a free subscription for yourself (or yourself and 4 friends!)
I’m doing a Flipgrid presentation next week in my district, so I’ll probably be back with practical ways to use it, but in the meantime, let me know if you have questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.