Our Microsoft Partnership

The following post is by Dr. Charlie Miller (@design2research), Flipgrid cofounder and Chief Design Officer.

Our story began with 12 students. We built Flipgrid in 2011 for an instructional design PhD course that I taught at the University of Minnesota. The platform didn’t have a name in those early days, but when I viewed my first student’s video response and saw their ideas come to life with emotion and excitement, I felt the spark of something special that was about to ignite.

Fast forward five years, 2 children, a startup, and lots of coffee. Flipgrid now empowers student voice in more than 35,000 classrooms across 136 countries on all 7 continents… yep, even Antarctica. Numbers aside, we are still only scratching the surface of ways to support teachers as they amplify student voice, encourage respect of diverse ideas, and inspire active learning throughout their classrooms, schools, and communities. 

Today, I am honored to announce that Flipgrid has partnered with Microsoft Education (@Microsoft_Edu) and Skype in the Classroom (@SkypeClassroom) to support our wonderful Flipgrid educators and fuel the power of student voice in all classrooms. Our team has been working with various teams at Microsoft for the past 6 months and we have experienced firsthand their genuine love for educators and students, their passion for supporting innovation in the classroom, and their drive to empower student voice by nurturing a growth mindset. “Always learning” has become the fabric of our discussions and collaboration. 

So, how does our new partnership with Microsoft impact our Flipgrid users:

1. First, we designed a FREE course appropriately named “Amplifying Student Voice” that is featured in the Microsoft Educator Community. This course examines the critical role of student voice in transforming your students, classroom, school, and community through building confidence, respect, and empowerment. In addition, we highlight several integration ideas to enable student voice in the modern classroom using Flipgrid, Skype in the Classroom, and Sway. Please take the course (it’s worth 500 points!) and let us know what you think!

2. Through a special promotion with Microsoft, all Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE) now have access to Flipgrid for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year. MIEE is an exclusive program created to recognize global educator visionaries using technology to pave the way for their peers for better learning and student outcomes. If you are a MIEE and want to amplify student voice in your classroom, please click here and create your Flipgrid account with your Microsoft login credentials.

3. Finally, we have some exciting and powerful integrations in the works that I can’t share… just yet. We have been designing several new Flipgrid features with our Flipgrid Ambassadors and MIEEs over the past few months and can’t wait to see them used in your Flipgrid classroom later this fall and in the spring! Stay tuned…

“Thank you” to our remarkable teachers and students. Your stories power our team. Every day.

See you on the grid,
Charlie Miller, PhD

Flipgrid + EdCamp

EdCamps are independently organized, participant-driven professional learning experiences for educators. They take place all over the world and bring together teachers looking for ways innovate the learning experience and get the most of out their students. Flipgrid is proud to have been a part of many of these events over the years.

Many of our teachers have used Flipgrid with their EdCamp by setting up a grid for the event. It's great for introductions, idea sharing, and continued dialogue. We also sponsor EdCamps with monetary and license donations. This past month Flipgrid sponsored EdCamps in Minneapolis, Tampa Bay, and North Carolina, and are proudly sponsoring several in the near future:

If you are organizing or planning to attend an EdCamp, please let us know about sponsorship opportunities by emailing hello@flipgrid.com. We're proud to support the wonderful teachers that put together and attend these events! 

Flipgrid Grid Tip: A Connected World

The following is part of a series of guest posts from Kali Alford, Instructional Technology Specialist at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. In each post Kali will present a unique way you can use Flipgrid both inside and outside of your classroom.

Not too long ago, if a teacher wanted his or her students to experience other cultures, they planned a field trip or popped a VHS in the VCR.  Luckily, technology has advanced such that with a click of a mouse students can not only experience other cultures, but communicate and collaborate with classrooms around the world. The Microsoft Educator Community has a series of lessons, projects, and activities that allow classrooms to integrate Skype with instruction in order to do this.

Another use of Skype is connecting students with experts such as scientists, engineers, professors, and authors from around the world.  Microsoft’s Educator Community provides various resources that connect classrooms with these global experts. With so many classrooms and so many time-zones, it can be difficult to schedule a time to Skype with experts whose schedules may not synch well with that of your classroom. Here’s where Flipgrid comes in.

Using Flipgrid, teachers can create a queue of questions from students across different classrooms for experts to answer during their Skype call. Simply have the expert share his or her desktop and split their screen between Skype and the Flipgrid video feed. This way classrooms viewing live and classrooms viewing via a recording both have the opportunity to see their questions being answered by the expert. Not to mention managing a Skype call between multiple classrooms now becomes a cinch!

If you’d like to see an example of this and other Grid Tips in action, stay tuned to the Flipgrid Blog for upcoming webinars or visit docs.flipgrid.com for standalone support documents.

Flipgrid Grid Tip: Professional Development

The following is the first in a series of guest posts from Kali Alford, Instructional Technology Specialist at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. In each post Kali will present a unique way you can use Flipgrid both inside and outside of your classroom.

Professional learning networks have long enabled teachers to share ideas and new strategies with colleagues. At the center of many of these networks are educational conferences such as ISTE, CUE, and various local ones as well. Conferences can be a great way for teachers to improve their practice and grow their professional learning networks. Adding Flipgrid to the formula can enhance teachers’ conference experiences and the impact of their PLNs.

Whether you are collaborating with a small group of teachers or an entire professional learning network, you can personalize your conference experience by “getting on the Grid.” Launch a grid for the conference you are attending and share the link on social media. Add topics such as “New Ideas” – where teachers can share new ideas or strategies they’ve just learned or maybe one like “Hot Topics” – where you and your teachers can have your own dialogue about the conference while attending it!

If you can't find the time to attend or if by chance you’re not the conference type, and would prefer to ditch the concrete itinerary and structure of traditional conferences – Flipgrid works perfectly for that too! Unconference aficionados rejoice and host your next unconference with Flipgrid. Launch a grid and post topics to serve as discussion rooms or cafés. Share the URLs and before you know it you’ve got an epic unconference on your hands. With the Flipgrid mobile app your participants can take part in the discussion from the comfort of their own home or classroom.  Since Flipgrid has no limits on the amount of topics you can post, your unconference is only limited by the size of your professional learning network – which I have a feeling will be growing larger soon!  

Meet the 2016 Flipgrid Heroes

Thank you to all who applied for our 2016 Flipgrid Heroes Fellowship, and to everyone who continues to serve as an advocate for student voice. The work you do is incredibly important, and we are fortunate to be part of such a passionate and innovative community. 

In support of their efforts to champion student voice, Flipgrid Heroes will receive a $500 fellowship, a one-year Flipgrid license/extension, a Flipgrid Heroes hooded sweatshirt, and a Flipgrid pack of fun goods. 

Congratulations to the 2016 Flipgrid Heroes!

Chris Staple, Dong Thap University

Alex Fischer, Tanglen Elementary

Rich Perry, Calhoun High School

Jennifer Saarinen, Kickemuit Middle School

Andy Plemmons, David C Barrow Elementary

Marion Holland, Mann Elementary

Nicole LaFave, Fort Mills High School

Jayme Linton, Lenoir-Rhyne University

Radio Cremata, Ithaca College

Roopali Phadke, Macalester College

Flipgrid Supports Evidence-Based Practices

The following is a guest post from Christopher Devers (@edprofessor). Christopher is an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Director of Research at the Center for Learning and Innovation at Indiana Wesleyen University.

Flipgrid is a tool; and like any tool, its value depends on how it is used. My colleagues and I used Flipgrid to support and encourage self-explanation. We conducted a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) project in which students responded to discussion questions either on Flipgrid or online in a written form. Overall, students who responded to questions using Flipgrid scored better on exams and significantly better on exam three compared to students who answered the same questions in a written format. It is likely that using Flipgrid encouraged self-explanation and decreased cognitive load. Students in the Flipgrid condition may have been less concerned with grammar than students in the written condition. It is also possible that Flipgrid encouraged a more active learning environment and increased metacognition.

Currently, we are running a second iteration of the study and have several new experimental and SoTL projects in the works! Flipgrid is simple to use, and when combined with evidence-based practices, it can have a positive impact on learning!