Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Flipping Out Over Flipgrid

Our students live in a world surrounded by video and social media. They prefer to watch a youtube video to learn how to do something new and to communicate with their friends over video. Hence the popularity of Facetime, Kik, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. among our youth. (Gen Z Media Consumption: It's a Lifestyle, Not Just Entertainment by Nelson Granados)

Flipgrid is one of my newest favorite video apps for the classroom!♥ Inside and outside of the classroom Flipgrid allows students voices to be amplified and heard. Flipgrid teachers are able to create a digital community for their classes. These communities are known as "grids." Teachers post topics, videos, or links for discussions and students respond to the prompt and to each other with short video reflections. Flipgrid is meant to provide a digital space for students to reflect on topics with their teacher and peers. It is an awesome way to get students participating equally in discussions and for students to hear their peers voices and insights.

Flipgrid is available as both an iOS and Android app, and teachers and students can login through any browser as well. Flipgrid offers a free version (Flipgrid One) and a paid version (Flipgrid Classroom) which offers additional features and possibilities. More information about pricing can be found here.

I would recommend that a first time user of Flipgrid sign up for a free account. As a Flipgrid One (free plan) user, you can create 1 grid (with unlimited topics and unlimited students), so this is a great place to start to see if you like integrating Flipgrid into your classroom before paying for a year subscription for Flipgrid Classroom.

When teachers create their grid they have the ability to decide on notifications, and also if they want the grid to be password protected and have moderated responses. It is reassuring to know that I have the ability to moderate responses considering that Flipgrid is all video based. This allows teachers to have complete control over what gets posted on their grid and what doesn't.

The other nice feature is that students don't have to login to an account and doesn't require student authentication. Students just need to know the grid "code" or the URL link to your grid. By default, all grids are private (plus, don't forget that you can also add additional security by requiring a password). You don't need to worry about someone online accidentally finding your grid(s) without being given the link or code.

With the full paid Flipgrid Classroom version ($65.00/year) teachers have access to the full version of powerful tools. Teachers can easily manage activity across classrooms with the management tools, customize the length of students' videos, an unlimited number of student response videos and replies-to-responses, individualize student-video assessment and scoring rubrics, integrate custom LMS and website embedding, and much more...

If you want to learn more about Flipgrid, have access to some awesome resources, and gather ideas for how it can be integrated into various content areas, you can make your own copy of this "Get the 411 on Flipgrid" HyperDoc to facilitate your own professional learning. The 45 day FREE trial of Flipgrid Classroom code at the top of the HyperDoc is good through the end of the year.

I also received a special code that can be used through Cyber Monday (Monday, November 27, 2017) for $25.00 off your Flipgrid Classroom subscription. I wanted to share this code with anyone who has begun to flipping out over Flipgrid in their classroom. This would make your year-long Flipgrid Classroom subscription only $40.00!

Additional Resources to Get You Started:
The Educator's Guide to Flipgrid e-book
Getting Started: Educators
Flipgrid Privacy Principles
Privacy and Security Settings
Moderate or Hide Videos
Lock Grids with a Password
How to Delete or Hide a Video

Tearra K. Bobula
NR21 Professional Development Strategist
Carson City, NV

Monday, November 13, 2017

Keep Up with Google Keep
Although I may love having students take traditional notes analyzing the dark depths of Iago in Othello or identifying the stages of the hero’s journey with Odysseus in The Odyssey, all those notes can become an organizational nightmare.  Often times, students lose their notes, or they get mixed in with other work.  One way to ensure those notes never get misplaced is to store them in one area.  I recommend Google Keep.   With Google Keep, students can take notes that they can share, and export to a Google Doc.  But wait, Google Keep offers much more than the ability to take notes. Students can set reminders, add images, color code, create lists, collaborate with others and it’s all tied to their Google Drive.  In the classroom, teachers can use Google Keep as a virtual word wall, a feedback tool, and as a one-stop shop for videos, links, etc. of information.  Students can even transcribe printed notes into text as well as keep voice notes.  So the question that remains is--How will you use Google Keep in your classroom?  Here are some resources for inspiration.

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Las Vegas