Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Flipgrid for Families

Flipgrid | Empower Every Voice

Flipgrid is absolutely one of my favorite education apps. They are always adding cool new features. I'm loving the new whiteboard and screencasting features. As a teacher of a large amount of English learners, it is a great app to foster listening and speaking skills. In our current situation of distance learning, Flipgrid is becoming more popular. Teachers are relying on it for student wellness check-ins, checking for understanding, learning demonstrations and more. 

If you're new to Flipgrid, like any tech tool, practicing with it in a non-formal, fun setting is a great way to learn how to use it for educational purposes. For example, I mastered Zoom by hosting video calls for virtual happy hours with friends and family. With Flipgrid, you can do the same. 

During the quarantine, my daughter Ashleigh turned nine. Her birthday, obviously, had to be augmented from the traditional birthday parties we've had for her in the past. Since we couldn't gather to sing her Happy Birthday, I shared a Flipgrid topic with friends and family on social media, via text and email. Using this topic, they were able to record a Happy Birthday greeting and or song.

20 people recorded a greeting. What really hit me about those who recorded the greeting is that the vast majority of them were not educators. Even amongst educators, Flipgrid is still growing, but to those outside the realm of K-12 education, it is virtually unknown. Many figured out relatively easily how to use the Flipgrid platform. Others messaged me for help before figuring it out. 

As I reflect on this experience, using Flipgrid for this manner was a very organic way learning the tool as an educator and for reaching parents. It gave parents an opportunity to learn a new app with their kids. As students use it more and more for academic purposes, finding ways to help parents help their kids with Flipgrid, and other apps, is important. Many of my non-educator friends and family thought Flipgrid was pretty cool and were excited to see their kids use it for school purposes in the future. 


Moral of the story is this. A great way to learn the ins and outs with Flipgrid, other "new to you" apps, is to experiment with friends and family. Set up a happy birthday Flipgrid topic for a loved one. At family game night, play Quizizz, Kahoot or Quizlet Live for a fun topic. Doing this can familiarize non-educator parents with these apps and help them better support their students when they use them for school purposes. 

Click here to see Grandma Jan, who has no Flipgrid experience, sing a great rendition of Happy Birthday.
Click here to see Ashleigh's friend Ella sing Happy Birthday. Ella is being assisted by her parents.

If you'd like to learn how to get started with Flipgrid for the first time, click the links below to access a slide deck and view a how-to video.

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