Wednesday, January 31, 2024

5 Reasons to Using Flip with your Students


Flip, formerly known as Flipgrid, is a video discussion platform that allows students to create and share short videos. While it is commonly associated with fostering discussion and communication, it can also be a valuable tool for supporting students' literacy skills. Here are five reasons why teachers might consider using Flipgrid for this purpose:

Engagement and Motivation:

Flip offers a multimedia approach to literacy, allowing students to express themselves through video. This can be particularly appealing to students who may not feel as comfortable expressing themselves in written form. The engaging nature of video responses can increase motivation and interest in literacy activities.

Oral Language Development:

By creating video responses, students have the opportunity to practice and develop their oral language skills. Articulating thoughts verbally can enhance communication skills, vocabulary, and fluency. This oral practice complements traditional written literacy activities and contributes to overall language development.

Differentiated Instruction:

Flip allows for differentiation in literacy instruction. Students can respond to prompts in a way that suits their learning preferences and abilities, whether through writing, speaking, or a combination of both. This flexibility accommodates diverse learning styles and ensures that students can demonstrate their understanding in a manner that works best for them.

Collaborative Learning:

Flip supports collaborative learning by enabling students to view and respond to each other's videos. This fosters a sense of community within the classroom, encourages peer-to-peer learning, and provides opportunities for students to engage in constructive discussions about literacy topics. Collaborative learning environments can enhance comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Feedback and Reflection:

Teachers can provide timely and personalized feedback on students' video responses, addressing both content and language skills. Additionally, the video format allows students to review and reflect on their own communication and literacy skills. This self-reflection can contribute to metacognitive development and improvement in future literacy tasks.

Watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on initiating Flip usage after logging in with your Google account. The tutorial illustrates the process of creating a Group, akin to a Google Classroom, and posting Topics within that Group, resembling assignments in Google Classroom. Additionally, it demonstrates how to enroll students through Google Classroom and seamlessly transfer the topics to Google Classroom as Material posts. I recommend selecting Material as the post type, as this ensures responses are collected directly in your Flip account, eliminating the need to designate it as an assignment within Google Classroom.

Helperbird: A Safe Alternative to the Defunct Immersive Reader Chrome Extension


In the ever-evolving landscape of digital tools, the recent discontinuation of the Immersive Reader Chrome Extension marks a significant change, particularly for the education sector. Immersive Reader, known for enhancing the accessibility of digital content, has been a vital tool for teachers and students alike. Its features, such as read aloud, text spacing, and translation, have made it easier for learners with different needs to access information. However, with this tool no longer operational on Google Chrome, many users are left seeking alternatives.

The good news is that Microsoft's Immersive Reader continues to be available on Microsoft products, including the Edge browser. This offers a semblance of continuity for those who are able to switch platforms. But for the vast majority who are entrenched in the world of Google Chrome, this change poses a challenge.

Enter Helperbird, a Chrome Extension that emerges as a solid alternative. Helperbird not only allows users to access many of the beloved features of Microsoft's Immersive Reader but also brings its own suite of tools to the table. Its functionality is straightforward and user-friendly: simply select the text you want to read, right-click, and hover over the Helperbird option. A menu appears, offering various tools, including the option to open the content in Immersive Reader. This seamless integration ensures that the transition from the now-defunct Chrome Extension is as smooth as possible.

However, it's important to note that full access to Helperbird's features requires signing up for an account. This might be a minor inconvenience compared to the benefits it offers. For a visual guide on how to use Helperbird to access Immersive Reader, see the screenshot provided below. This visual aid can be particularly helpful for getting acquainted with the new process and exploring the available options.

For individuals concerned about data collection and usage, the privacy section on Helperbird's page in the Chrome Web Store provides clear and reassuring information. It explicitly states that Helperbird commits to never selling, storing, or misusing any user data. Additionally, the privacy policy aligns with key regulations such as COPPA and FERPA, ensuring compliance with important standards for the protection of children's online privacy and student education records. This transparency and commitment to privacy and security should offer peace of mind to users prioritizing data safety. Click here to view the developer's privacy policy.