November 2018 Newsletter 🍄

Welcome to the Flipgrid Newsletter! This page (blog.flipgrid.com/newsletter) is your source for all the latest Flipgrid updates and community opportunities. Bookmark this page, come back often, and let us know what you’d like to see featured!

For last month’s newsletter, check out our updates from October. Thanks for stopping by!

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Last month the Flipgrid educator community grew by 80,000 thanks to you. Thank you for championing the importance of #StudentVoice and thank you for sharing all your epic Flipgrid ideas with your peers!

If you are among the 80,000 new educators that joined Flipgrid in October, welcome! You are now part of an incredible, inspiring, and supportive community, here to help as you empower and amplify your learners. If you haven’t already, meet some new friends by checking out #FlipgridFever on Twitter, find launch-ready discussion prompts in the Disco Library, and download Karly and Sean’s incredible Educator’s Guide to Flipgrid!

Keep reading to learn about Skype-A-Thon, Guest Mode, the Immersive Reader, seven community-driven updates to Flipgrid, and more!

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FlipgridSkypeAThon

Team Flipgrid is thrilled to join the 48-hour global event and meet with you and your students! Learn more about how you can leverage the dual power of Skype and Flipgrid and sign up to chat with us during Skype-a-Thon at the link below!

Ring ring! The details are calling over here 🌏


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Families and friends and experts, oh my! Guest Mode allows you to introduce a community of inspiration to your students by inviting guests into your Flipgrid Topics. In addition to explaining how to get started, InterACTIVE educators Kristin and Joe Merrill have crafted ideas on how you can expand learning beyond the walls of your classroom with Family Homework, School-Wide Challenges, and more.

Welcome to Flipgrid, Guest Mode 🎟


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Every update we make to Flipgrid is sparked from ideas shared by the amazing and innovative educators in the #FlipgridFever community. Check out the seven latest Flipgrid updates you inspired!

You asked, we listened 👂


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The innovative and inspiring Gen-Z whisperer, Holly Clark, is spilling the beans and sharing her wealth of wisdom on how we can understand and meet the learning needs of our students! Join us for this energizing Flipgrid Feature followed by Scott, Kristin, and Joe’s world-renowned #FlipgridFever Chat.

Ooou, aaah! Claim your ticket for this cinematic masterclass 🍿


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In addition to giving every student an equally amplified voice, Flipgrid now provides equitable access to your amazing discussion prompts with Microsoft Learning Tools’ powerful Immersive Reader. You may have noticed the small book and speaker icon in your Topics; students can simply click to explore the text, have the prompt read aloud, and more!

#BetterTogether! Learn more about Immersive Reader in Flipgrid 💚


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We love seeing the amazing ways you’re empowering #StudentVoice. Here are a few ideas that went viral in the #FlipgridFever community last month!


Until next month...

Thank you again! We are so grateful to support you and we are so inspired by the innovative ways you empower and amplify your learners. Please continue sharing your amazing ideas, feedback, and questions with us on Twitter and via email - we love to hear from you!

💚 Team Flipgrid in Minneapolis, Minnesota

You Asked, We Listened 👂

Every update we make to Flipgrid is sparked from ideas shared by the amazing and innovative educators in the #FlipgridFever community. We built…

🎟 Guest Mode because you wanted an easy way to bring families into Flipgrid.

🕺 Disco Library because you wanted to share and explore amazing Flipgrid Topics.

✈️ CoPilots because you wanted to collaborate with peers, connect with #GridPals, and co-manage your Grids and Topics.

We are always listening. We recently announced SEVEN updates based on your amazing ideas and feedback!


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1. Share to Google Classroom

Back by popular demand, now it is easier than ever to share your Flipgrid Topic to Google Classroom!


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2. Family Share QR Codes

QR Codes are the perfect way to share #StudentVoice off the Grid! Print a video’s unique QR code from your Educator Dashboard and attach to a paper, project, or campus display! In addition to enjoying your students’ work, your audience can scan the QR code to see and hear the voice behind the masterpiece.


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3. Skype Join Link in Flipgrid Profile

You wanted an easy way to connect with #GridPals. Now it's as simple as sending them a message on Skype!


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4. Faster Flipgrid

No two classrooms are alike, which means that no two classrooms use Flipgrid in the exact same way! Whether your students use Chromebooks, PCs, iPads, or personal devices, we've made everything in Flipgrid (videos, Topic images, GIFs, etc) load twice as fast!


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5. My Discovery Library

Find a new GridPal? Now you can see all the Discovery Library Topics they have created!


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6. 45 second video length

There are thousands of educators that use Flipgrid to empower and engage their English Language Learners. Several of you asked us to add a 45 second video length, as it would help your students practice for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). You got it!


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7. Edit Display Name

Incorrect or undesired display name attached to your Flipgrid response? Now you can update it!

 

Thank you for all your ideas, your feedback, and your inspiration! We are so grateful for the #FlipgridFever community and we will always work to make Flipgrid better!

Stamp your Passport to Paris 👩‍🎨🥖🇫🇷

Every year Microsoft brings together 500 of the most innovative educators on the planet for three days of connections and inspiration at an invite-only soiree called Educator Exchange. Next year’s event is in Paris on April 2-4, 2019. And now that Flipgrid is part of Microsoft, we’re joining the party!

Announcing the Flipgrid Passport to Paris Sweepstakes!

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We love all of the champions of #StudentVoice, so we’re bringing FIVE of you with us to Paris! Winners will receive round-trip flight to Paris, three nights in the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel, and a full pass to Educator Exchange!

There are just a few requirements to enter…

💡 You must be a current Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.

📣 You must be a Student Voice Ambassador.

🏔 You must become a Flipgrid #GridGuide by achieving your Level Three Flipgrid Certification prior to December 31, 2018.

If you meet all three requirements, shoot us an email at hello@flipgrid.com with the subject “TAKE ME TO PARIS!”. Include in your email the year you became a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and the year you became a Student Voice Ambassador. Winners will be notified via email and announced LIVE on our Flipgrid Facebook page on Sunday, January 6th at 7p central. Complete rules can be found here.

Merci and bonne chance!

Go Global with Skype in the Classroom + Flipgrid 🌏

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Skype-a-Thon is right around the corner, and Team Flipgrid couldn’t be more excited! As you know, we 💚LOVE 💚 spending time with you and your students. So this year, we’re celebrating by connecting with classrooms around the world for 48 straight hours! If you want to join the global party and connect with Team Flipgrid, register here to scoop up a time slot!

Keep reading to learn more about Skype-a-Thon and the amazing ways you can appsmash Flipgrid and Skype in the Classroom!


Skype in the Classroom

Skype in the Classroom is a free community that offers live educational experiences for students, including virtual field trips, talks from guest speakers, and classroom-to-classroom connections. These activities range from visiting museums around the world to learning about conservation activities to connecting with authors and storytellers. In addition to facilitating on-demand connections, each month Skype in the Classroom hosts global experiences. Explore them all on their event calendar!


Skype-a-Thon is coming!

The biggest Skype in the Classroom event is Skype-a-Thon, a two day global learning event that makes it possible for students to travel the world virtually and connect beyond the classroom. This year the mission of Skype-a-Thon is to open hearts and minds by connecting through topics that matter.

On Nov 13-14, your students can travel the world for 48 hours of global learning. For every 400 virtual miles traveled, Microsoft and @WEMovement will provide school resources for a child in need.

An activity plan has been created to help you plan your Skype-a-Thon experience. Check out the teacher toolkit which includes digital passports, stickers, posters, and more!


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Flipgrid + Skype in the Classroom

Flipgrid is the perfect place to engage and immerse students in collaborative learning experiences before and after your live Skype event. If you’re connecting with an expert or participating in a virtual field trip, create a Grid and ask students to post questions and wonderings for your guest ahead of time. After your Skype call, create a Flipgrid Topic for students to reflect on the experience.

If you’re participating in Skype-a-Thon or using Skype to connect with another classroom on your own schedule, Flipgrid is a great way to seed relationships and continue the conversation! You can even add your Skype username to your Flipgrid profile, making the combo of Flipgrid #GridPals and Skype in the Classroom easier than ever! Here are a few Disco Library Topics, created by our Educator Innovation Leads, that you can use before Skype-a-Thon or any Skype connection:

1️⃣💬When I Grow Up!
2️⃣🤲Helping Others
3️⃣🏡Our Home

We cannot wait to connect with your students during Skype-a-Thon, and we hope you have a blast as you travel around the world connecting with other classrooms and experts, earning digital miles to support quality education for children everywhere!

#GridTip: The Perfect Pair, Flipgrid + Adobe Spark

The following post is written by Educator Innovation Lead Jornea Erwin. In the #GridTip Series, Flipgrid Educator Innovation Leads Ann, Jess, and Jornea will share tips and tricks to help you explore ideas and possibilities with Flipgrid.

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Magic and meaning have collided during Appsmash Innovation Month for an explosion of innovation! Anytime students are able to think critically, collaborate, create, and communicate, great learning experiences are bound to occur! Let’s explore the magic of student creativity when the perfect pair, Flipgrid and Adobe Spark, combine to create sparks in your classroom.

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What is Adobe Spark?

Adobe Spark is comprised of three free online and mobile visual design apps, Spark Post, Spark Page, and Spark Video to help students visually communicate their ideas easily and quickly.

Spark Post allows students to create beautiful graphics including event flyers, social posts, collages of their best work, and visual storytelling.

Spark Page brings student ideas through words and images to life as they create web stories.

Spark Video turns the combination of various media, including video, text, narration and music into a beautifully crafted video that can be shared with others.

How might we promote creativity within content using Adobe Spark?
The possibilities to create using the Adobe Spark apps within each content area are endless. Below, you will find a few ideas & activities, which can be modified for any grade level, using each Adobe Spark App to inspire your own creative ideas.

📝Make Thinking Visible using Quotes and Annotations using Adobe Spark Post: After students participate in close reading of a text, have student share a quote from the text that made them think or an annotation they wrote. Combine the quote or annotation with a visual they find or create a post that captures their thinking.

🧕🏽Create Engaging Biographies or Reports: Using Adobe Spark Page - encourage students to engage others through graphics and captivating facts to tell about the life of a person they are learning about or someone they admire or to report on a book, place, destination, or event.

👨‍🏫Create Instructional Videos or Flip your Class Instruction: Using Adobe Spark Video - create the educator or a student can create a visually appealing video which may include the title of the lesson, learning targets for students to achieve, the instructional content, and an activity for students to complete to show their understanding of the content.

A plethora of other ideas can be found with the Adobe Spark Teaching Resources , on Twitter by following Adobe Spark and engaging with fellow educators at #CreateEDU, as well as the newly released 40 Ways to Inject Creativity into Your Classroom with Adobe Spark by Ben Forta & Monica Burns. Click here to learn more about our friends at Adobe Spark for Education!

Why is Adobe Spark & Flipgrid the Perfect Pairing?
The power that each app holds creates ✨M✨A✨G✨I✨C✨ of students attaining essential skills for success and creativity in school, future work, and life when combined! With the creation of visual storytelling, the organization of sharing ideas and the opportunity to engaging in meaningful ongoing discussions while also providing feedback, a myriad of student learning needs are met.

🔮 How to make the #FlipgridAppsmash ✨M✨A✨G✨I✨C✨ happen? 🔮
Appsmashing increases the possibilities of transformational technology use. First, consider your learning task and objective. Next, explore the end product available within each app and the sharing capabilities. In the end, you will be able to connect the dots to appsmash your favorite apps! Here are my recipe cards and ideas for the perfect pairing of Adobe Spark and Flipgrid.

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The import option is highly important when appsmashing Adobe Spark Video as well as other video platforms into Flipgrid! Check out this awesome graphic and tweet from Tony Vincent!

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#Student Voice Ambassador, Claudio Zavala, is a very creative and innovative educator that is highly engaged in the #FlipgridFever community. Bonus: He is also an Adobe Ed Leader!

⚡”Adobe Spark apps opens the world of creative expression for students with video, graphics, and text.”

⚡“Students can use Adobe Spark videos to create compelling videos that share their voice!”

Have fun with this awesome #FlipgridAppsmash, add your very own appsmashing fun to our Student Voice is Magic Grid and follow #FlipgridFever and #CreateEdu for more inspiration!


See you on the Grid!
Jornea

Welcome to Flipgrid, Guest Mode 🎟

Over the past couple of months, it’s become clear: you’re ready to take social learning to the next level by inviting families and guests into your Flipgrid discussions. We hear you and we love it!

So with Kristin and Joe Merrill wowing the #FlipgridFever community with their innovate ideas for making your classroom interACTIVE, it’s only fitting that we invite them to introduce you to the latest Flipgrid update. Introducing…Guest Mode.

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Being both parents and educators, there are a lot of reasons why we love Flipgrid. There is something powerful about giving students a place to speak and a platform to share their thoughts and ideas. In addition to giving students a voice, Flipgrid has worked hard to develop a platform that is private and secure.

This past summer, the team released the Grid Launchpad, empowering all of us to tailor our Grid security settings to our unique learning communities. As parents, these new changes left us feeling assured, knowing our children would be safe sharing their voices online. As educators, we occasionally found ourselves feeling a bit frustrated. Welcoming families into our class Grid was suddenly much more challenging.

That changes today. Without further ado, let us introduce you to our favorite new Flipgrid feature…

Guest Mode!

Now educators can involve families, community members, experts, and more by granting them special permission to specific Topics, without providing access to the other Topics in your Grid. From within your Educator Admin, simply activate Topic Guest Mode on any of your Topic settings!

Guests are granted access through a unique Guest Code. You decide whether guests have view-only or view & respond access. You can share the Guest Code with whoever you’d like and you can revoke access at any time by simply regenerating the Guest Code. If you don’t want to send out a code, have no fear, QR codes are here! Simply print and post for your guests to scan. When guests click to record in the Topic, they’ll be prompted to enter their First and Last Name (and, if you want, their email address) prior to recording. Then they’ll be launched into the same recorder your students know and love! For more info and screenshots, check out our friends Karly Moura and Sean Fahey’s Educator’s Guide to Flipgrid!

Ways to Use Guest Mode in the Classroom

Now that we have this awesome new feature, how can we as educators create impactful ways to engage our parents, school, and community? Check out some interACTIVE ways to involve families and guests in the learning that is taking place in your classroom each day.

 Scott Titmas, an innovative educator from New Jersey, took a time out from his Orlando vacation to explore all the magical ways he’ll use Guest Mode!

Scott Titmas, an innovative educator from New Jersey, took a time out from his Orlando vacation to explore all the magical ways he’ll use Guest Mode!

  1. Speak to an Expert

    Remember the old career days where adults in different professions would come and talk about the various aspects of their job? With Guest Mode you can bring them in using Flipgrid! Maybe you create a Topic about various professions where parents and community members jump in to share their expertise. Or you could create your own mini Explorer Series and have a professional join your class to share their experiences and answer your students’ questions.

  2. Family Homework

    Take a Topic you have already spent time learning and exploring in class and assign a task related to it to your students’ parents and families! Send the Guest Mode QR code home with the assignment directions and have your students teach the skill to their parents. Then, have them record on the Topic showing what they know!

    Try Guest mode now and view one of the Parent HW topics from Kristin: flipgrid.com/ac23b924

  3. Schoolwide Challenges

    Not only is Flipgrid great for promoting student voice in the classroom, it is also a powerful tool to help facilitate meaningful and impactful sharing at a school-wide level. One great way to use the new Guest Mode feature is through a school-wide challenge or prompt. Conference nights or school-wide STEAM events are a great time to introduce parents to Flipgrid and have them interact with one another. You could also have students record in the media center and summarize books they’ve just read and share why they would recommend them! You could also set up a school-wide Topic dedicated to teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week and share out things about their teachers that they love and cherish. Or even take reading one step further with a nightly read aloud topic where students, parents, teachers, and administrators share their favorite nighttime read aloud with the school.

    Check out this Topic from the Disco Library dedicated to just this!

  4. #GridPals

    Connecting with classrooms across the world is another amazing opportunity you have through Flipgrid and Guest Mode would be a great way to add more interaction and participation into those specific Topics without sharing an entire Grid.

  5. Thank a Veteran

    There is a lot of learning that revolves around holidays such as Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day to name a few. One important holiday coming next month is Veteran’s Day! Guest Mode is a great way to share out a “thank you” to a veteran. Simply have your class, grade level, or school share out simple and sweet thank you messages and then, using the QR code feature, share that code out on a school website, through a newsletter, or at an assembly program.

    Get this Topic started today by launching this template from the Disco Library!

Flipgrid has always championed student voice and today took it one step further by promoting the importance of family voice. Through Guest Mode, parents and community members are now invited into our students’ learning! We are excited to see how educators use this new Guest Mode feature to create interACTIVE lessons that break the barriers of the four classroom walls and extend out into our community and world.

Always remember, we are #BetterTogether!

Joe and Kristin Merrill, a.k.a “The Merrills