Calling All Explorers 🌋🏜🏝

This past school year we launched the Flipgrid Explorer Series as a way for students to connect and engage with people doing interesting things around the world. 

Our first Explorer was Laura Goetz, a marine biologist stationed at Palmer Station in Antarctica. She shared her life at the bottom of the planet and chatted with students on topics ranging from fish to Cheetohs. Check out her Antartica grid!

Our second Explorer was Mike Billington, a raptor expert with the University of Minnesota Raptor Center. Mike introduced students to birds of prey and discussed topics covering wildlife and conservation. Check out his Raptor grid here.

This year, we’re planning to feature several new Explorers. If you know of anyone that may be an interesting candidate, please give us a shout at hello@Flipgrid.com. There are no parameters on who qualifies. 

Stay tuned as we’ll be introducing our next Explorer soon!

Bringing Students' Voices to the World

The following is a guest post by Nam Ngo Thanh (@mrnamvas). Mr. Nam is a primary school teacher at Vinschool in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has authored multiple articles, and been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. Mr. Nam works passionately to develop creative approaches to delivering quality education to his students in ways that inspire them to learn.

We live in a global, collaborative world. Students need to be connected for global collaboration and co-creation if we want to prepare them for the future. Learning can’t be limited to the classroom, but extended to the outside world. I hope students can easily talk to their peers all around the world and exchange their ideas. I hope that teachers cooperate internationally so that teaching and learning techniques can be much more exciting. Hopefully, students are provided with the skills to live in the 21st century and become international citizens who are able to adapt themselves in different cultures. Technology plays an active role in implementing the above. It has taken students to new places and allowed them to use the 4C of 21st century learning (collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity). Among the tools that both my students and I love, I can not fail to mention Flipgrid. I've known Flipgrid for less than a year but through the quick learning process I asked myself, "Why did I not know about Flipgrid sooner?" Now, as a Flipgrid Ambassador, I am confident in sharing some of the ways I have used this wonderful tool in my classroom:

Project introduction

When I started working on a global project, my first activity was to get my students to introduce themselves. For example, in the Five Safe Fingers project, students from 30 global schools will work together on Flipgrid to introduce themselves. They are excited to see the image, listen to their friends’ voice globally. They can also respond to those introductions. This activity helps to launch the project in a fun way. This method also helps to train students more confidence

Introduction to training

Currently, in addition to being a 5th grade teacher, I am also a Microsoft teacher ambassador. I regularly train information technology teachers in Vietnam. Throughout my many training classes, instead of letting people stand up and introduce themselves, I use Flipgrid to do this. After the training, participants can review the introduction of others at any time.

Collaborative lessons

Flipgrid is a great way to organize a collaborative lesson. With Flipgrid, geographical restrictions, timezones, etc. are no longer an issue. I used Flipgrid to collaborate with a class in the United States to share language, classroom culture, and other interesting information.

Learning campaigns

In some projects, such as "Water is Life" projects, students use Flipgrid to carry out their "I am a drop" campaigns. As a metaphorical drop of water, they call on everyone to save water.

Predicting and Commenting

In my Science and Math classes, I often use Flipgrid to give a video of a lesson related situation. Students respond with their comments and predictions about the results of the video that I gave. Through this activity, students gain more interest in the lesson and remember the knowledge longer.

Getting feedback from students

After each week of study, I would like to listen to students' feelings about what they have gone through. It could be: 3 things they liked the most (or didn’t like) in the past week; what they want to do in the next class. Students feel listened to, and I also know what I did well and what needs to be changed for students to love learning more.

Happy birthday!

I don’t only use Flipgrid for learning activities, I also use it for informal classroom activities. I often use it as a space to celebrate students’ birthdays. Students are delighted to see video congratulating them on their birthday from the rest of their class. With this simple activity, students experience a novel, memorable birthday experience.

The Asynchronous Video Revolution

The following is a guest post by Matt Frattali and F. Margret Atkinson. Matt has been teaching for 20 years and is currently the middle school tech coach at Lowell School in Washington DC. He is an EdCamp Junkie, #Vedchat founder, GoogleEI, and is especially interested in PBL and Genius Hour. Margret teaches 6-8 literature in Zachary, Louisiana, and through her work with Real World Scholars's EdCorps, National History Day, and Teach Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and her students' EdCorps The Upstander Brand, she engages for student voice to affect change.

Ten years ago, Twitter ushered in a new kind of PD, allowing teachers from around the world to communicate and share for a few minutes nightly. We've seen Twitter chats become The Force that binds all teachers together. But Twitter chats aren't very personal, as it’s hard to get to know newfound friends and share big ideas in 140 characters.

Enter Flipgrid and #Vedchat. Flipgrid is a simple, smart, and powerful engine to drive deeper discussion. It makes asynchronous video accessible to everyone and provides a platform to connect teachers voices around the world. 

#Vedchat, a video extension of Twitter’s #edchat, is a weekly Q&A slow chat powered by Flipgrid.  #Vedchat has a different feel because video cultivates your PLN in a deeply personal way. The authors know this firsthand, as they met on #Vedchat :-)

But still, the asynchronous video PD revolution will be an uphill battle. Video can be a commitment: people feel they must look presentable, it takes a bit more time, and some of our educator colleagues can be camera shy. But Flipgrid is a game changer because with asynchronous video you have infinite redo’s, and you can keep recording until you look great! Besides, you're sharing with your awesome PLN who knows that your voice and ideas is what matters. That's what Flipgrid is all about.

It gets better. Asynchronous video is a stepping stone to synchronous video (like Skype), which in turn is a stepping stone to video production and citizen journalism. Yes, in helping individuals find their voice, Flipgrid is promoting democracy.

Flipgrid is the hottest app in edtech right now. The #FlipgridFever Twitter chat on Monday was bonkers; many remarked how they’ve never seen tweets roll by so fast. Flipgrid is a classroom tool that can amplify student voice like none other in recent memory.  

Please join our PLN this week at www.vedchat.com as we talk with fellow Flipgrid Ambassador Dan Ryder and Amy Burvall about their new book Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom.

Become a Flipgrid Community Builder 💪

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The #FlipgridFever community is made up of educators who are relentlessly supportive of one another. We regularly see teachers meeting their PLN face-to-face, posting on each other’s publicly-shared topics, and helping each other get Flipgrid Certified

We were inspired. So, with the help of Ambassador Karly Moura, we’re creating the Flipgrid Community Builder program. Here’s how any educator earn it:

  1. Create a Google Spreadsheet.
  2. Whenever you post a response on someone’s public Flipgrid, copy the URL into your spreadsheet. Feel free to count any past responses as well!
  3. Once you’ve posted 10 responses, share the spreadsheet URL with community@Flipgrid.com

But that's not all. Once you've got 50 responses, send us another email letting us know you've gotten to this level. This will allow you to become a Level 2 Flipgrid community Builder complete with a badge of its own.

Looking for ways to get started? Join the inspiring Ts at Vedchat, rock out with #SingaSong, or help a fellow educator get #FlipgridCertified. Any questions, hit us up: community@Flipgrid.com

Thank you for being a part of the Flipgrid community and thank you for supporting your fellow educators! 

Watch Parties + Global Bash 2017 🎉

Team Flipgrid is anxiously counting down the days to our August 10th launch. We’ve got a lot of surprises lined up and expect thousands to join via live stream around the world! 

Flipgrid Ambassadors are organizing viewing parties that will begin at 6p CT for idea sharing and fun with the live stream kicking off at 7p as part of Global Bash 2017 led by rockstar educator and Flipgrid Ambassador John Bimmerle. The Global Bash watch parties tie together local PD and big announcements from Flipgrid.

Visit flipgrid.com/globalbash2017 to connect with your local watch party, get excited for the launch, and share #FlipgridFever with your PLN during 8.10. Don’t see a viewing party near you? Organize one and we’ll support you! Email party@flipgrid.com and include your metro area.

-Team Flipgrid

Meet the Flipgrid Interns

This summer, we brought on our largest group of interns yet. Welcome Skyler, Mitzi, and Noah to the Flipgrid team!

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Skyler Bullington

Hi! My name is Skyler Bullington. I am 17 years old. I got connected to Flipgrid through a program at Minnetonka High School called Vantage, where students like me combined coursework with real-world experience. This summer, I will be helping out doing design tasks for the company. I am passionate about all sorts of art, and I even sell some of my acrylic paintings on Etsy. In the fall, I will be starting my college career at Normandale Community College. In my free time, I play fast-pitch softball, study American Sign Language and play the piano.

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Mitzi Bustamante

Hello!! My name is Mitzi Bustamante and I'm 18 years old. I got connected to Flipgrid through my middle school teacher, who knew someone at the company and suggested I reach out. This summer I will be working with the Quality Assurance team, testing Flipgrid to make sure it is running perfectly. This fall I will be attending The University of St.Thomas working towards a bachelor's degree on Computer Science. During my free time, I like to go fishing, read and spend time with my family.

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Noah Robiner

Howdy! I'm Noah Robiner (@noahkrobiner), an Engagement and Marketing intern here at Flipgrid. I'm 20 years old and just finished up my second year at Carleton College where I'm majoring in American Studies. It was through Carleton's winter externship program that I first got connected to Flipgrid, and I'm thrilled to be back this summer. This summer I am supporting the engagement and marketing team here, working to spread the #FlipgridFever. In my free time I play competitive Ultimate Frisbee, and try to spend as much time outdoors as possible.