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.