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What is Flipgrid and How Does it Work for Teachers and Students?

Flipgrid
(Image credit: Flipgrid)

Flipgrid is a video discussion tool quite like no other as it's designed with the might of Microsoft to work specifically for teachers and students in a digital classroom.

The idea behind this education tool is to use video to create an open platform of discussion and learning that doesn't require a physical classroom to get everyone involved.

Flipgrid is designed to allow students to speak to the group but without the same fear that might constrict responses in a real-world situation. Students can re-record responses, removing the pressure of answering in class, on the spot. Of course, it's also a great tool for use when learning remotely.

So, in more detail, what is Flipgrid and how does it work in education?

What is Flipgrid?

At its most basic, Flipgrid is a video tool that allows teachers to post "Topics" that are essentially videos with some accompanying text. This is then shared with students, who can be prompted to respond. 

The response can be made using the software's camera to create videos that are then posted to the original Topic. These videos can be recorded as many times as needed before uploading, and can have the addition of emoji, text, stickers, drawings, or custom stickers.

The service works online so it can be accessed via web browser from nearly any device, or using the app, making it good for laptops, tablets, smartphones, Chromebooks, and desktop computers. The only requirement on any of those devices is a camera and enough processing power to back that up.

Flipgrid is free to use and can be accessed using a Microsoft or Google account. 

Flipgrid

(Image credit: Flipgrid)

What's Good About Flipgrid?

One of the best parts about Flipgrid is the ability to interact using video, like face to face in the real world, but without the pressure of a live classroom. Since students are given the space and time to respond when they're ready, it makes educational engagement possible even for more anxious students who might ordinarily feel left out in class.

The ability to add rich media allows students to be creative and, potentially more importantly, expressive. By adding emoji, text, and stickers, students can engage with class content as they might interact with friends using social media platforms. 

This aspect can help students feel less apprehensive and more empowered to express themselves openly, engaging more deeply with the task. Ultimately, that should result in deeper learning and better content recall.

On a software level, Flipgrid is great for integration. Since it works with Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and Remind, it's easy for a teacher to integrate into the current virtual classroom setup.

Flipgrid Topic

(Image credit: Flipgrid)

How Does Flipgrid Work?

The process is pretty straightforward to get set up and start using Flipgrid. A teacher can simply go to Flipgrid to get signed up by using a Microsoft or Google account. 

Then it's time to create your first Topic. Select "Add a Topic." Give it a title and you can post a video, such as a YouTube clip, right there. Optionally, add a "Prompt," which is text to describe what's going on and what you want in response.

Then add in the emails of those students you want involved or by adding a student username if they're not using email. This can be setup by adding a student and sending them the required link and code. Add an optional password, if needed.

Select "Create Topic" and then you are given a link to share with the option to copy as well as to quickly pick what platform you want to auto share to, including Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and so on.

Students can then login and use the myjoincode to get into the Topic directly to watch the video and post their response. The video response then appears on the page below the original Topic Prompt. These can be commented on by other students, using text, but permissions can be set and controlled by the teacher as they see fit.

Flipgrid currently offers more than 25,000 lessons and activities, helping you to create new Topics quickly and easily.

Flipgrid Features

While Flipgrid keeps things minimal, making it easy to use, there are still lots of useful settings that you can tweak. Get your offering just right and it can be tailored to get the best engagement possible with the class. 

Here's some lingo guidance and tips to help you understand what's available to use.

Flipgrid

(Image credit: Flipgrid)

Flipgrid Grids

A "Grid" is the term used by the Flipgrid community to describe a group of learners. In the case of a teacher, a Grid could be the class or a small group. 

This is where you can create a custom Flip Code that is then used to share with anyone you want to enter into that group.

Flipgrid

(Image credit: Flipgrid)

Flipgrid Topic Guests

Want to integrate more than your own Topics? It is possible to use Topic Guests, aka, Guest Mode, to allow others to input. 

This is ideal if you want a specialist speaker, for example. Equally, this is a powerful option if you want to include guardians in the process, since this is online and that becomes a real possibility. 

Flipgrid Shorts

This video tool allows teachers and students to create their videos for a custom finish rather than simply uploading a YouTube clip.

Users can upload and edit video, add more clips, cut and segment as well as enhance with emojis, stickers, and text. Add arrows to a graph image as you talk over that section of the video, for example, as a great way to get in depth information across.

Shorts is, essentially, a really simple-to-use video editing tool that can produce a powerful result, depending on how creative you want to be.

Video Moderation

One way to stay in control of the content submitted by students is to set the Video Moderation mode to on when you post a new Topic. In doing so, any video uploaded will not be posted until you have checked and approved it.

This is a useful tool when starting out, but once trust has built and you're confident, it's also good to have this setting off to save time on moderating. When it's off, students can also enjoy more freedom of expression in real-time.

You can always select individual videos to hide or delete at a later time.