For those who haven’t yet caught the fever, here are the basics on Flipgrid. Flipgrid has been enticing more and more educators to try it in their classrooms because it is wonderfully collaborative with other applications, encourages personalized learning and student expression, and because the community of educators using the platform is so excited about using it with their students. They are also constantly refining and updating their platform, so even though I recently put out What’s Fresh With Flipgrid, there are enough new features to justify this update.
I started out slowly with Flipgrid a little over a year ago and my use of it with students and staff has grown because I have found it to be an incredibly engaging way to inspire my students with disabilities and staff to participate. There are several built-in accessibility features like auto-captioning and Vibe messages that enable my students who struggle with communication to share their voices and understand what’s being presented. I’ve also used stickers and attachments with picture symbols to further clarify communication. These bonus features make it a useful tool for special education classrooms.
I’ve had students with autism who were uncomfortable speaking with adults begin long conversations with the Flipgrid camera. That’s huge as I’ve seen students go from barely verbal to now able to carry on conversations due in part to that video practice. And for those still non-verbal they can still share their voice through hand gestures, picture symbols, and assistive tech systems. So they can still be heard and advocate for themselves. One of the best methods I’ve found for that is helping students to engage in digital storytelling.
Also, teachers (who are initially more reticent to record than students) also became more collaborative during professional development when we started sharing our ideas via video. Perhaps because it seemed more private, I got more honest responses from teachers about their classroom experiences. For more ideas and insight into my work with Flipgrid, you can also check out 20 Ways To Catch #FlipgridFever. Now on to the awesome new announcements that came from Flipgrid’s live event
What’s New & What’s Better
New Camera & Player – You can edit your videos after you recorded it! We were waiting for that. the ability to trim the beginning when you were fixing your hair and the end when you accidentally tripped while recording is now possible. You are also no longer obligated to have a square video. You can make it 16×9 for computers or 9×16 for mobile devices. If your student happens to flip their device in the middle of the video the MyView feature will auto-correct and make it look smooth.
Grid Types – So a recent update required passwords for all grids, but now that’s no longer necessary in all cases. You can choose when you set up a grid either to create it based on a school email domain, a student id list, or make it a PLC/public grid (for those over 16). The school domain and PLC views allow grid users to log in while the student ID list lets you upload a CSV or manually put in student info so they can log in with QR codes and identifiers.
Student View – You can easily view a grid as a student simply by clicking on it in your teacher grid view.
GridPals – While GridPals has existed for a while based on the inspiration of New York educator Bonnie McClelland, Flipgrid has now empowered it on their site so educators can connect to other teachers and classrooms around the world directly from the platform. The instructions are easy, just log in, complete your profile and activate GridPals. Then you can contact a friendly teacher and coordinate across social media. The nature of FlipGrid allows easy connections despite time differences. At last check, there were nearly 3000 teachers across 6 continents on board.
Disco Library – The discovery library has a hip new name and even more topics (4000+) to help you spark classroom ideas and discussions. Check out my example on creating explanatory Math Videos for your classroom.
Grid Guides – Take your Flipgrid certification to new heights and become a level 3 Flipgrid certified educator. It involves contributing more to the community and sharing your Flipgrid adventures with the world.
Improved Grid Resources – You can now add up to 5 resources to each grid as well as including topic tips to help students get started.
Featuring, Spark, & Vibes – In addition to featuring special exemplary responses on your grid you can also use those responses to spark new discussions. Even more, you can leave a brief vibe message (15 characters) at the top of student videos to encourage them.
Bus Tour – They haven’t announced it yet, but expect another Flipgrid bus tour to ride across the country. Keep peeled for details.
Guest Lists – It looks like you may soon have the capability to invite parents and others in the community to collaborate on specific topics.
Mixtapes – It seems that soon we may be able to create compilations of our favorite posts. Welcome back to the 80s.
Educator Guide – Karly Moura and Sean Fahey continue to create comprehensive guides on how to begin using Flipgrid and its increasing set of features. Version 3.0 includes all of the latest updates and will continually be updated as new features arrive.
Webinars & Chats – Flipgrid holds webinars and Twitter chats all year to share the excitement. There is also an Amplify Webinar every month if you’re interested.