Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based around your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.
Have you ever wondered if you could have students record video responses and spark a video discussion based around those responses? Wanted students to use a video format to reply back and forth to classmates?
Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: FlipGrid
First, the basics:
Cost: FREE (FlipGrid One) OR $65 per year (FlipGrid Classroom)
Problem this tool solves: Allows teachers to pose a discussion question, and then students respond with a short video. Students can then respond back and forth to each other, and continue the discussion.
In the past, I have featured different tools for recording video on Chromebooks and in the Chrome browser. Today, I’m featuring a tool that allows students to record video, as part of a discussion response. Students can also respond to each others’ responses, creating a rich web of linked discussions, if done properly.
The premise is simple: a teacher creates a topic for a “grid”. Students then respond to the topic with a video response. Students can also view other students’ replies and respond to them. Teachers can leave feedback and assessment on student work.
Most teachers will ultimately stick with the FlipGrid One version, which is free. An educator is limited to creating one grid at a time, but they can always remove past content and replace with new content. Switching to the Classroom version will allow for unlimited grids, and let educators save them for future use. Students access a created grid with a code, and share their response. Grids can be hidden, and teachers can also turn off stats such as views and likes so that students are not focused on competing to see who is most popular. Grids can even be placed in “view only” mode so that students can only leave a response to the topic, and not to each other’s replies.
To sign up, simply go to http://www.flipgrid.com. Underneath the grid code box in the center of the page, there is a question that says “Are you an educator?” Click the link that follows. Once you have an account, you can go to the same page and click “Teacher Login” in the upper right corner.
Once an account is set up, a Grid will need to be created. If you are using the FlipGrid One version, you can only have one grid, so it’s best to give this grid an over-reaching name like “Mrs. John’s 5th Grade 1718”
It is not recommended to set your grid to “hidden”, unless you do not want anyone to be able to respond to it for a period of time. All grids must be accessed via a code by students.
With a Grid created, teachers can now set up topics for students to discuss. When creating a topic, teachers are asked to fill in some details. They will create a name, add the topic/question, set the maximum recording time for videos, and the date the topic should display. Click the blue “Create Topic” button and the topic will now be ready for students to create responses.
Speaking of students, any created topic can be viewed as a student would see it, and teachers can create video comments this way as well. This is an image of the student side for this topic:
Clicking the + in the green circle brings up the video recording screen. If this is the first time for recording, the site will ask for permission to access the webcam and microphone. A preview image of the video will be seen on the screen, and it will also track volume levels. Students will be reminded of the question once more, and they will also be alerted to the max time allotted for recording video. They simply click the red record button and they are off and rolling!
If you’re like me, and you like to have your key talking points in front of you, FlipGrid even has a Stickie feature that pulls out a yellow sticky note onto the screen. Key points can be jotted down, and will stay on the screen as the video records. No more forgetting what you wanted to say!
Finally, it’s very easy to share with students. Teachers simply need to click the blue “Share” button and then select the Google Classroom icon at the bottom of the window.
A new window will load, and Google Classroom will ask for the class the Topic should be shared to, and what kind of post should be created (announcement, assignment, question). From there, the teacher will have to fill out the usual post information for a Google Classroom post. Of course, Google Classroom isn’t the only way to share topics, so feel free to explore the other options as well!
If FlipGrid seems like a tool you’d like, give it a try. Check out some of the resources below!
Fluco Toolbox image created by Stephanie King (Fan) for this series. Please do not use without permission.