How I Use It
I discovered Flipsnack when I was looking for a creative way to organize K-5 lesson plans for a Holocaust Education workshop. I was easily able to upload multiple lesson plans and present them to teachers from around the district in one creative book they could access online. I have also facilitated faculty workshops using Flipsnack to excited teachers. There are multiple uses for both teachers and students. Teachers can create a course syllabus, create and organize supporting materials, and digitize old student materials for samples. Students can use Flipsnack to creative writing journals, themed curricular research books and packets, country and culture brochures, artwork showcasing, or even to creative original books! In our faculty workshop we created an ABC book from scanned original student artwork at our school. Flipsnack allows you to create a free account to explore and play, which is a benefit. There are minimal books allowed in the free account. No music or videos can be imported or uploaded to the books, which can be a drawback when you compare the book with an interactive book creator app. However, it makes no bones about the fact that the final product is supposed to look and feel like an actual book. You can share with others and download as a zip file. You can also copy/paste a direct link from the book to your class web page or Facebook page. If you do decide to spring for the paid professional educator account, you have the ability to set up classes and share flipbooks within the class. There are also privacy settings so no one can access your flipbooks without your permission.
As with all original, creative, Web 2.0 tools, I caution you upfront to plan and be aware of copyright considerations! Planning out a Flipbook is crucial to creating a final product you and your students can be proud of. For example, if you are creating a book, do you need to add a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, etc? If you are creating a class material that contains poems from various poets, are you aware of the fair use guidelines based on the percentage of materials you are copying and the date the poems were created? Not only should teachers be aware of the copyright for their materials, but this should always be modeled for students and "embedded" if you will in your student projects using tools you want to display. Also, with all web 2.0 tools, I always urge teachers and students to storyboard their work before they begin so they have a game plan. And, after you create your first Flipbook, you will want to show it off! What make this tool stand out to me are its flexibility and adaptability. First, you can always edit a book after you publish it! This is not always possible with other tools. Second, there are so many easy ways to share your final project! You can email a link if you want to keep the work from general public access, you can upload it, and you can play it on a computer or mobile device. While this tool may not be geared toward younger ages in the publishing side, you can scan materials created by younger students and upload them into a class book. With older students, they can create individual or group projects easily. And for teachers, you can create supporting materials to share with other teachers when you present at conferences and workshops. The only drawback aside from no music/video options, is the price for a premium account. $144 a year is very pricey unless you are going to use this tool quite a bit. I have been able to do enough with it using the free version so far. Overall, a winning tool for the digital classroom.!