How I Use It
Because I have yet to actually teach in my own classroom, my experience with Flipgrid is as a student, which I believe is even more helpful in reviewing the technology because I have a clear understanding of what it is like for an actual student to use it. As a student, I experienced Flipgrid being used as a replacement for more traditional discussion forums because it allowed me to respond to teacher-given prompts and my peers' responses through video-recordings rather than written formal paragraphs. For this reason, it is a technology that exemplifies augmentation level of the SAMR framework because, not only does it simply act as a direct tool substitute for other discussion forums, but it also provides a functional improvement by allowing students to see and hear their peers express their ideas verbally. A specific example its potential uses in the classroom is that, in one of my upper-level English classes, my professor used Flipgrid as a means of assessing our understanding of a texts both before and after a lesson. This is because, for homework, we were tasked with sharing our initial reactions to an assigned reading on Flipgrid and responding to at least one of our peers' videos prior to class; and, then, after class, we had to create another Flipgrid post describing one thing we learned or found interesting from the lesson. Another potential way that Flipgrid can be used in a classroom to address a higher level of the SAMR framework--specifically, redefinition--in a secondary English classroom is if, in groups of four, the students use the video-recording feature to analyze a specific recurring symbol in one of Shakespeare's play, making a thread of five-minute videos describing its significance in multiple scenes. This kind of project could replace a more traditional assessment like a short written essay.
Personally, I think that Flipgrid is a great tool for the classroom. It allows students to share their thoughts verbally without the pressure of having to speak in front of an entire room of their peers; therefore, providing extra support to students struggling with social anxiety or low literacy that makes it difficult to express their ideas through writing. Moreover, Flipgrid also has a feature that provides closed-captioning for the video responses; therefore, catering to students with hearing problems as well. It is also important to note that, because Flipgrid only allows the teacher determine the length of the video responses (with a maximum of ten minutes), it makes the experience of participating in class discussion a lot more low-stakes for students and less time consuming than a written response, which is more appealing to students, too. Finally, Flipgrid is easy-to-use and accessible to students either online or as an app on Apple or Android devices for free; therefore, it is perfect for the classroom.