Overview: How to Foster Video-Based Discussion in Classrooms?
Video is ubiquitous in classrooms. Turning that power to create videos over to the students creates impactful and purposive learning moments which can generate discussion over a designated period of time. Let’s say you are an English teacher and want to get the students’ perspectives on an autobiography chapter. Rather than asking for responses in class or a written essay, students can create a video response and become a visible contributor to the class.
Flipgrid is a tool that has won several awards including from the American Association of School Librarians and an edtech digest cool tool award. It creates video in an environment that is user-friendly and familiar to students with a variety of privacy options and subscription plans. Flipgrid is ideal for any learning environment. While it is easy to see how it could foster a sense of community in an online learning environment, it can also be used to extend conversations in a blended classroom or to bridge connections in a virtual penpal environment within a face-to-face classroom. This how-to tutorial should get you started in creating your own Flipgrid and thinking more about the possibilities of this tool.
How to Get Started with FlipGrid
Create your free account. This is easy to do. Simply click the big blue button on the first page! The free version comes with one grid of videos. This allows unlimited topics and responses created. A paid version is around $69.95 a year.
There are three sections to your Flipgrid: a dashboard, my grids, and connections. The grids feature is where you will create a new grid for your class. Within each grid, you are able to sort by a variety of functions including grid, code, or latest response. Once a grid has been created, it is time to post a new topic.
The dashboard houses your learning analytics. Here you can see how many videos have been watched, the comments posted, and if any videos have not been watched.
Flipgrid Production Decisions
The choices that you will need to make when deciding on a topic are the name of the topic, the length of the video, the topic question, topic date, an initial video, and features within the grid such as being able to reply to a post, to like a post, or to view videos but not permitted to post videos. The topic can be edited, shared, or duplicated. In order to start participating on the topic, you need to invite students to join the grid. The grid can be shared by:
- QR code
- Google Classroom
Even when you share it broadly, if a password is required to access the grid, students will need to enter that password. One of the nicest features about Flipgrid is that it can be integrated directly into the LMS.
Flipgrid User Experience
It is extremely easy for students to post a response to the Flipgrid. They simply click the add a response button. They can record themselves as many times as possible and can also turn the video around to share their environment. As can be seen from the graphic, the platform is extremely clean for students and their entire attention can be devoted to creating their response.
After a student has responded to the call for postings, you will be notified of this via email. From here, you can view the response. With a classroom subscription, you can pin posts and allow students to post video replies to other students. Flipgrid allows you to give students personalized, private feedback to their video. In addition to simple ratings, a classroom subscription allows for open-ended feedback as well.
Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to using Flipgrid. Students will appreciate the ease of use, you will appreciate the learning analytics and ability for students to externalize their thinking in a way that is comforting and familiar to them. For a more thorough understanding, watch the video tutorial above to see the process from creating a grid to viewing a student response.
Netiquette Tip: Just as you need classroom rules to ensure respect and acceptance of a diversity of opinions, a similar policy should be put in place when working with Web 2.0 tools.