How I Use It
In my classes, students record presentations on Flipgrid that would have typically been presented to the class (poems about our likes, classroom designs, etc.). This saves me instructional time and allows students who are shy to present with less anxiety. Often I require students to listen to their classmates’ presentation and complete an assignment. For example, I had students listen to the classroom design presentations and vote on their favorite classroom design.
In a different class, I had students record descriptions of celebrities and upload the videos as homework. In class, students were instructed to listen to 10 of the videos and guess the celebrities. The free version of Flipgrid does not allow commenting on the videos, so I had students write the guess on paper and turn them in. It made it a bit more difficult to grade, but it also prevented students from seeing their classmates' answers and cheating.
Additionally, I had students create groups skits and upload them to demonstrate their comprehension of commands and conversation. I uploaded the link to the Flipgrid project to my Twitter account, along with a survey, so that the public could view the skits and vote for the best. The students enjoyed working with one another and creating this project, however it was not the best format for recording skits. It was a straightforward way to publish the skits to the public.
As with most technology, Flipgrid is a tool that can be used in numerous ways. It can be a substitution for having student present in front of the class. I love that Flipgrid offers my students a chance to speak without the anxiety of being in front of the class. It also helps them practice for the AP test, as students will have to record their oral exam in the same space where other students are speaking and recording. When creating a profile, a student can be creative and modify their profile picture with sticker and be silly.
It can also be augmented into a recording tool which allows students to hear and review their classmates’ presentations and comment on their work. This changes the speaking activity into a listening activity, which then requires students to listen multiple times for understanding so they can reply.
These two activities could be done with other technology, example recording videos on the iPads and sharing them on Google Drive, however what I like is that I can share the link to the videos and anyone is welcome to view those videos so it makes it very easy to publish their work. However, it also gives the teacher the option to make the videos private so that it could just be shared by the class or those with a code.
While Flipgrid does offer a place to record and post videos to the public, it does not offer limited free options. With the free version, videos cannot be longer than 1:30 seconds. Students can pause as they are recording and then continue recording, which is a splendid feature. However, they cannot edit the video or cut anything out. If a mistake is made, the video must be restarted from the beginning, which creates more work for the student, but it also requires them to practice speaking many times to improve.
Another feature that is not available in the free version is commenting on the videos. I would love to use this feature and I may purchase Flipgrid Classroom so that I can have my students respond to their classmates. Flipgrid Classroom costs $65 per year, but it makes it possible for students to respond through video or text. It also allows students to create videos up to five minutes, teachers to attach rubrics, and to replies on videos without limits. One of the best new features may be that teachers can be co-Administrators, which allows for collaboration between classrooms, schools and states.
Flipgrid is a great option if you are looking for a platform for students to present information and interact with each other. I think that if you are willing to pay, your students would have a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with one another and with students at other schools. It is tool that I greatly enjoy and find useful in my communication-based classroom.