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When evaluating a new tech tool, I must be able to use it within five minutes, or I just bag it.
If I can’t figure it out by then, my students will be lost.
I was conducting a PD session in Ft. Worth this past summer. A young lady called me over and said, Have you heard of Flipgrid and if so, have you used it? My answer was, No and No.
I made a mental note to try it when the school year started, but I remember thinking, It has to pass my ease of use test. Eight weeks into the school year, I finally got around to it. I’m glad I did!
Flipgrid is a cool way to encourage student’s voice. You record a video question and then kids record a 1 to 90-second video on their smartphones or Chromebooks in response.
I mastered this cool new tech tool in about three minutes. My students figured it out in two.
This tool is great in terms of providing a creative vehicle for student expression. My friend Chrissy Romano warned that ostentatious presentation tools like Flipgrid might unravel introverted kids.
My response, which Chrissy liked, by the way, was to take anxiety away by permitting students who were uncomfortable to interview someone.
My first Flipgrid was pure practice. The students were prompted to ask Mr. Sturtevant a question.
This accomplished two objectives: It got them accustomed to the platform and they learned a lot about their teacher, which makes me more approachable.
My second Flipgrid was powerful. I challenged students to interview a friend, family member, coworker, or classmate. They asked their subject if they knew a Muslim and is Islam a religion of peace.
Aharon Rockwell is a freshman and in my Global Studies class. He knew I had a podcast and approached me about being a guest. I jumped at his offer and I’m glad I did. He’s a great guest, who explains the power of this tool, in the episode embedded above.
Student are limited in terms of expression.
Flipgrid will give your kids a new expressive canvas to paint upon…and it’s a lot of fun.
What you can do Tomorrow
- Watch this brief tutorial from Tina Zita.
- To become familiar with this tool, create your own grid and coerce your family and friends into posting.
- Prompt your students to use Flipgrid in a trial by challenging them to ask you a basic question…see my first Flipgrid.
- Prompt students with a question that gauges community attitudes. This will be an interview where introverted students can breathe a sigh of relief. Check out this Flipgrid for ideas.
Flipgrid is a cool tool that’s easy for kids to master. It’s also a lot of fun!
Author: James Sturtevant
James Alan Sturtevant has taught in Delaware County, in Central Ohio, for over three decades. His first book, You’ve Gotta Connect, details how teachers can build essential relationships with students. He has appeared on many popular podcasts and authored guest posts on Edutopia, the Huffington Post, and Principal Leadership. Sturtevant remains committed to helping teachers forge strong relationships with kids, but his true passion is student engagement. With his new book and podcast, Hacking Engagement, he helps educators create classrooms and schools that captivate kids and empower them to learn.