Review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2017

Flipgrid

Pose questions, spark thoughtful video responses with stellar tool

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Teachers say (7 Reviews)
$avg_user_learning_rating
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Grades
6-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Short video responses push students to plan their responses and speak thoughtfully.

Cons: Tech may be a rate-limiting step; not every student has access to a device with a camera.

Bottom Line: A simple way for students and teachers to create online discussion, as long as your classroom culture is mature enough to use it wisely.

Flipgrid's teacher tools are stellar: Take a spin through the videos to get a sense of smart ways to use it with your students. The range of tips is astonishing; who would have thought you could use a tool like this in a physical education class? If all of your students have access to a device with a camera, this can be a great way to gather students' responses at their own pace without kids feeling on-the-spot in the classroom. 

Use Flipgrid to further classroom conversations by assigning questions as homework assignments and then continue the conversation in class the next day. Ask students to weigh in on a critical current event for a social studies or civics class; use it in a math class to ask students to describe the process they used to solve a complex problem. You might also use Flipgrid as an opportunity for students to post mini-reviews of books, movies, or television shows. Consider using a "grid" as a way to collect a range of students' responses on a single topic: Perhaps ask students at the end of a unit or the end of a year to reflect on what they've learned and what they'd recommend to other students.

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Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create "grids" of short discussion-style questions that students respond to through recorded videos. Each grid is effectively a message board where teachers can pose a question and their students can post 90-second video responses that appear in a tiled "grid" display. Grids can be classes, sections, groups of students, research groups, faculty groups, or any collection of users interested in a common strand of questions. Each grid can hold an unlimited number of questions, and each question can hold an unlimited number of responses. Questions are short, text-based prompts (think Twitter) that can include basic formatting (such as bold, italic) and links to websites or documents.

Once logged in, you'll create a new grid, name it, then choose whether it will be password protected or not. Then you can begin adding questions to the grid one by one; each question can be 240 characters or less. After your list of questions is complete, you can activate them, then click the Share button to send the link to your students. They'll then follow instructions to film and upload their 90-second answers from home. If you like, Flipgrid will notify you when responses come in. There are extensive teacher tools available, from instructional videos to full walk-throughs for how to use the tool in a variety of subject areas (including STEAM, and, creatively, physical education). Additionally, there are three pricing levels available: the free version gives you one grid with limited features, and the two pricing levels for classrooms offer unlimited grids and far more features. 

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With the tagline "Use video the way your students use video," Flipgrid's developers certainly hope to make classroom discussion appealing: This tool offers a worthy, flexible venue for teachers and students to communicate. Students can learn to distill ideas into 90-second bites and consider alternate viewpoints as they listen to their peers' responses. Keep in mind that 90 seconds is a long time; this app works for K-12 students, but it may be tough to get younger kids to fill the time with a well-organized statement. Also, it may be awkward and uncomfortable for shy kids to be on camera; hopefully, classes who use Flipgrid are mature and have a certain amount of trust for their classmates. It's probably recommended for high school kids for this reason; it's challenging enough to answer a question when called on in class, but for some, formulating a video answer may be more agonizing than it's worth. Still, with a culture of respect in place, this is a visually appealing, unique way for teachers to foster discussion and collaboration in a space that feels like the best parts of social media discussion without the free-for-all feeling of Facebook or Twitter.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Seeing and hearing students' video responses can make discourse fun; personalities and ideas shine in 90-second clips. Design is colorful, clean, and intuitive.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Users have 90 seconds to respond to a teacher's question however they like; that's empowering. They also have to condense answers into a short amount of time, a transferrable communication skill for sure.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
5

A two-minute help video guides students through the process, and the extensive teacher resources make it easy to integrate the tool into classrooms in nearly any subject area.


Common Sense Reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Teacher Reviews

4
(See all 7 reviews) (7 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Kismet E. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Randallstown High School
Randallstown, MD
4
Video response tool revolutionizes music classroom!

Flipgrid is a video response tool that can be used in a wide variety of ways. It is intended to be a verbal response video so that all students can have a voice. For my classroom, it can do that and so much more! I am using it as more of an assessment tool at the moment, but I look forward to discussions that the students have when we start the verbal responses where I allow them to interact within the prompt. There are so many options that, upon looking into this the first day, I upgraded to the paid version the next day. The multiple grids allow me to have a grid per class. The ability to create a rubric and send it back to the student with their score and feedback electronically is another amazing feature. You can also share the “responses” with parents as well. There are many filters you can utilize and moderate. You can decide if the entire grid can see the video or just you and the student. You can monitor responses to make sure they are appropriate. Another random discovery is that when you are looking at your dashboard it will show you the amount of engagement in hours, minutes, and seconds and equate it with something that is done for that amount of time. This would be great to show administrators. I know I haven’t discovered all the neat things that this will allow me to do yet, but I am already extremely happy that I discovered this and can implement its use in my classroom. The only limiting factor for me is that wi-fi is sometimes extremely spotty in my classroom and it makes it harder to send the videos. However, students can create the video and the app can send a stored video from the cellphone at a later time. The only thing that I think could truly upgrade this product would be to create a better support avenue. You can email support and there are a few solutions on a FAQ page, but I think a more extensive list would be helpful or having a link to several different youtube videos that explain different aspects of the app. I highly recommend this app and believe it could be used authentically in all classrooms.

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