Connecting with Students via Flipgrid

The new school year just started this week, and like all teachers, the task of learning about my students and connecting with them needed a touch of tech creativity.

Aside from the innate attractiveness of using the 1:1 technology available to my students, I was also tasking myself with a new way of getting to know my students without all the “about me” paperwork since our copy numbers were reduced this year.

At first, I considered the typical verbal icebreakers, but often students don’t want to stand up or speak out of the first day or two. Solution: Flipgrid

Flipgrid is an interactive discussion board. Teachers can post a topic and invite students to record a video response. Other students with the link or code to the grid may post their replies and respond to classmate video responses.  It’s a great way to get students talking, and it also opens doors for collaborative discussions with other classrooms across the hallway or across the world. It can also be easily integrated into your favorite educational platforms.

Flipgrid One is the free trial for educators, allowing for one grid and topic. A classroom subscription is $65/year, a value for the quality interaction and engagement amongst students. However, you can try the full classroom version for FREE until September 30, 2017 by using the code JORNEAERWIN. She’s a local instructional partner turned Flipgrid advocate. I had used Flipgrid during a PD session, so I figured I would try it in my own classroom.

This year I began a new learning journey with my freshmen. I posted a personal introduction topic using the 3-2-1 strategy. Aside from their names and blocks(periods), I wanted them to share three things about themselves, 2 things they were excited about this year (Did I mention I have freshmen?), and 1 way I would be sure to remember them. Of course, I began with a video about myself, and I share the link via our course LMS.

Not only has this been a wonderful tool for me to put faces with names, but it has also allowed my students across blocks to interact with each other.  I not only can name my “kids,” but I can also say I know a little more about them within these three shorts days at school. So far, I would say this has been a great success in making the technology work in the classroom, and I look forward to more online grid discussions.

6 Replies to “Connecting with Students via Flipgrid”

  1. I’m a big fan of Flipgrid, Angela. I used it for summer reading and asked my incoming sophomores to record three different videos and then post to my grid: an introduction, an answer to our essential question before reading the summer novel, and then an answer to our essential question using the summer novel to provide textual evidence. Before they even arrive, I can put names to faces and gain a sense of their personality. I’ve also used it for Genius Hour activities and reflection. I love your 3-2-1 strategy. Clever! Flipgrid is building quite the fan base. Thanks for sharing!

    1. This is my first real foray into using with all of my classes, and so far it has been successful. I am interested in learning more about your use of it for summer reading. What is your EQ? Are there different novels or the same ones for all? Using it definitely has helped me make more of a name connection with them. I am confident that I already know at least 70% of their names after 3 days. I’d like to trade flip grid ideas with you sometime. You have some great ideas!

  2. Ooooo…I’ve never heard of Flipgrid, but I’m liking the sound of it. The “1 way I would be sure to remember them” piece of your Flipgrid activity reminded me of an article I recently read on the importance of truly knowing about our students (more than just their names and favorite hobbies). What a great step in doing this in a non-threatening manner! Here’s that article too, if you’re interested: https://www.handsfreemama.com/2016/09/09/the-index-card-every-kid-needs-to-get-today/

    1. I read the article you shared, and I loved it. It has always been a priority of mine to connect with kids, because, otherwise, how can I really teach them? I have another idea for connecting more deeply that I plan on sharing in a future blog post, so be on the look out. Students are the focus, and if we make them feel like a priority, there’s no limit to the learning.

  3. This is so cool! I would love to do something with this where I post a question on a Monday and the kids have to respond to it by Friday and then we can watch some of the responses in class. I love how it is a different way for students to interact and to through in some more great tech! Thanks!

  4. Flipgrid, flipgrid.. I have been hearing this term for quite a while but never quite knew what it did or who it could be effectively used in the classroom. You just solved all two of my questions. Getting all of the student names down is on the top of my list. Any tool that can help me make this easier (I just can’t seem to get this name thing down as much as i try) I am game for.
    I just signed up for the account and used the code you provided (thanks so much) and I am now all set for the start of school. Yes!

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