Flipgrid Awarded 2017 EdTech Digest Cool Tool Award for Best Product

We are proud to announce that Flipgrid was awarded the EdTech Digest Cool Tool Award for Best Product of 2017. The EdTech Digest Awards Program honors “the innovators, leaders, and trendsetters shining bright in one of the greatest fields of human endeavor.”

“It’s an incredible honor to work on a product that amplifies students’ voices around the globe,” shared Dr. Charlie Miller, Flipgrid Cofounder and Chief Design Officer. “To see our work and the work of our teachers and students recognized by the premier education technology publication EdTech Digest is simply humbling. We are longtime fans of the Cool Tool Awards, so this is beyond exciting for our team. Thanks to our inspiring teachers, students, and the entire EdTech Digest team.”

Congrats to all of the 2017 Product finalists including Top Hat, Newsela, Funds for Learning, Renaissance, Woot Math, iTutor, Makey Makey, Dreambox Learning, and Osmo. What an amazing list of innovative products and companies shaping the future landscape of educational technology. We are proud to share this recognition with all of you.

Flipgrid is a social learning platform that amplifies student voice in more than 50,000 PreK to PhD classrooms across 137 counties. To learn more please visit http://flipgrid.com

World Water Day

The following is a guest post from Jodie Deinhammer. Jodie is a science teacher at Coppell Middle School East in Dallas, TX. She has created a global project that connects teachers and students in celebration of World Water Day. 

World Water Day is March 22.  Our class is looking to connect with schools around the world to compare our water sources.  We plan to look at creeks, streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Here is our outline:

1. Have a few students introduce your class HERE.  
(The grid code is worldwaterday)
Tell us where you are from, what local water source you are going to look at, and what the biggest water threat is where you live.

2. Have your students analyze the water.
You can do this anyway that works for your classroom.  You can talk about the color and smell, you could record the temperature or pH, you could look at it under a microscope and tell us what you found.  You can use any equipment you might have or just make qualitative observations. 

We will do this in stations. Here are the STATION SIGNS
Here are the directions for each STATION.  These are written for 7th grade students so feel free to edit away!  Both are shared as a PDF.  If you want an editable Pages version, contact me and I will send that directly.

Have your students submit their results HERE and also share their thoughts to the FlipGrid that will be opened on Wednesday, March 22.

After results are posted, I would encourage you to have your kids ask questions of other students results.  I will share a Numbers document with each teacher that has the shared data in it so your students can compare the different results. They could create charts, graphs, or just look at the results.

3. Have your students come up with an "I Can..." statement. 
Their statement should share how they can conserve or protect water.  We will open another room on our Flipgrid for this statement on Thursday, March 23. Example: "I can reduce the amount of water I waste by not watering my lawn during the warmest parts of the day"  

4. Develop a plan to spread the word and make a difference.
Think Ice Bucket Challenge, but without wasting water. :)
We will open this FlipGrid room for this Friday, March 24.

5. Reflect
Have your students reflect on their learning in our last FlipGrid room (opens next week).  What did they learn? What surprised them? What questions do they still have?

So far we are connecting schools in Texas, California, Maine, Ohio, Turkey, India, Bangladesh, Canada, and New Zealand.  Feel free to share this with anyone you think might want to join. 


Sign up HERE to participate in our World Water Day project for 2017.  

Solving Your Top Ten Teacher Troubles

The following is a guest post written by Melissa White and Lacey Snyder, an instructional coach and a teacher librarian passionate about approaching their jobs in a positive way. Melissa and Lacey are the creators of Lets Talk About Teaching, a video newsletter highlighting teaching and learning with the goal of encouraging teachers to try #OneSmallThing in their classroom. Catch up on all their YouTube videos and be sure to follow them on Twitter.

We often come across teachers who want to try something new, but….there is always this hesitation to give precious time to something that might not work or be worth the time it is given. When we saw Flipgrid, not only did we instantly see how powerful it would be for students, but we saw the huge advantages for teachers, too! Flipgrid is one of those rare tools that applies to students of all ages and teachers of all areas. Flipgrid is simple to navigate, and its potential for impact on teaching and learning is strong and wide. We loved it so much that we made a video to share with teachers. You can watch it here!

Do you have the kind of teacher troubles that pop up day after day? The questions that linger without a solution? That is why we are here with 10 ways Flipgrid can solve them! 

Teacher Trouble #1: Did the students get it or not? I think they got it? Or most of them seemed to? Or did they not get it at all!?
FlipGrid Solution: Flipgrid gives teachers an easy way to get individual feedback from their students. It makes for an easy formative assessment. Student voice, straight to you!

Teacher Trouble #2: How can I reach the quiet kids who aren’t comfortable answering in front of a large group? I want to know what they are thinking, but I hate to put them on the spot!
Flipgrid Solution: THIS is what makes Flipgrid so powerful for students. All students have a voice and a space for that voice. They can re-record if they need and have time to prepare and think. They can even record as a group.

Teacher Trouble #3: How am I supposed to integrate technology and teach students to use it if I’m not good with technology? 
Flipgrid Solution: The intuitive nature of the site makes it easy for even the smallest of hands or the most worried about technology to navigate. 

Teacher Trouble #4: How can I use technology if I only have one device?
Flipgrid Solution: You just need one device! Have students rotate using your device(s). Or, the first time you use it, call students up one-by-one and project your device. Kids love to hear each other’s answers!

Teacher Trouble #5: How can I find the time to communicate and share with parents? 
Flipgrid Solution: Flipgrid makes it easy to share individual responses or a whole grid with parents. Teachers in our building had students record a special message for parents that they played to start parent-teacher conferences.

Teacher Trouble #6: I work with busy adults- how can I have get through my content, get teacher feedback and answer their questions in my limited time?
Flipgrid Solution: Flipgrid is a great way for teacher leaders to get feedback from adults after a Professional Development session. We used Flipgrid after a Science PD and were able to then reply back to teachers to answer their questions. 

Teacher Trouble #7: How do I find the time to do all of my writing and reading conferences?
Flipgrid Solution: Have students read into the grid for fluency or accuracy. Have them read their favorite part of their writing, or a part that they are struggling with so you can give them feedback that they can then watch and listen to! 

Teacher Trouble #8: How can I encourage my students to explain their thinking and ideas and then find a way to meet with each student or group?
Flipgrid Solution: With Flipgrid, students can explain their thinking or ideas for teachers, who can then listen and respond at a later time. We used this during Genius Hour for one class, and it gave students an opportunity to explain their plan and also gave the teacher an opportunity to touch base with each group.

Teacher Trouble #9: How can I help my students share their ideas with other students or audiences?
Flipgrid Solution: Let kids watch each other’s grids! Have a grid for book recommendations, author’s chair, or how-to explanations. Kids love seeing themselves on the big screen, so try putting their grid up on the projector and let your class view their grid.

Teacher Trouble #10: How do I decide what to try when there is so much out there, I don’t know where or how to start?
Flipgrid Solution: Start here. Flipgrid has a team of supporters who are ready to help and champion teachers who are trying this one small thing called Flipgrid. And if you tweet at them, you'll definitely get a response!

We believe in Flipgrid and its potential. It is hands down the best tool we have come across for teachers who wants to raise student voice and improve instruction. After introducing Flipgrid to our staff, the use and sharing of ideas spread quickly and excitedly throughout our building and district. The support and cheers teachers receive from the Flipgrid team are one of the many reasons to give it a try and solve some of those teacher troubles!
 

Flipgrid Named Finalist for 2017 EdTech Awards

Flipgrid is honored to be named a finalist for the 2017 EdTech Awards "Cool Tool". Our community of educators work tirelessly to innovate in the classroom, and we are grateful to play a part in amplifying student voice and igniting class discussion.

Click here to see the full list of finalists. 

Using @Flipgrid in Online #APCalculus to Allow Students to Verbalize Their Thinking Process

The following is a guest post from NAIS Teacher of the Future Stacey Roshan, who shares how she has integrated Flipgrid into her Online AP Calculus course. You can connect with Stacey on on Twitter @buddyxo and on her blog TechieMusings.

One of my biggest goals in teaching my section of Online AP Calculus this year has been finding ways to continue to hear my students “talk.” I want to hear how they are thinking through the process of solving problems. One of the things I value most about being a teacher is having the opportunity to enjoy each student’s personality and to get to know each student as an individual (and for them to feel this same connection with me). You may have already read my post on Student-Led Google Hangouts, Recorded with YouTube Live, in my Online AP Calculus AB Course, where I talk about how I require students to record synchronous, small group discussions with their classmates. When I play back this recording, I get to hear my students work through problems as they help one another, and I get to view their interactions with classmates. Seeing them chat about math, casually in this manner, has been a huge part of why I feel connected with my online students.

For a while now, I have had students create some video responses to math questions in my AP Calculus class (see here & here if you’re interested in reading more). These assignments tended to be rather formal in nature. The goal was that students would create a screencast solving a problem they had been assigned, and then I would post all of these video solutions for the class to learn from. Before students recorded, they would get their answer checked by me so that I could make sure that there weren’t errors being presented in the videos. I think this is a very valuable assignment, and not one that I want to get rid of – there is huge value in students teaching one another – but this type of activity takes a while and is hard to build in as a weekly activity.

This is where Flipgrid comes in. I have just begun using Flipgrid in my Online AP Calculus course. I discovered that the phone app is a great way to do an informal math solution. With the Flipgrid App, you can use both the front-facing and rear-facing camera when creating a recording. What I asked my students to do was this:

INSTRUCTIONS —

1. Pick a question that you found challenging in Chapter 7 but that you feel you now understand
2. On a piece of paper, carefully and precisely write out:
     -the question
     -your solution to the problem
3. On your phone, open the Flipgrid App
4. In the Flipgrid App, enter code: 115ed5, which will take you to the “Differential Equations: Ch 7       Videos” topic
5. Hit “+ Add your response” at the bottom of the screen to add your video response
6. You will have 90 seconds to record your response (if necessary, you can submit two videos). Please alternate between using your front camera to record your lovely face and the back camera to record your handwritten work, as in my example.
     -Press the record button to begin recording
     -Press the pause button when you are ready to switch your camera view
     -Press the record button to resume your recording
     -Press next when you are done recording & review your response
     -For your thumbnail, use a picture of just your face or a snapshot of your solution

My goal in doing this activity was not to have students teach one another. But rather, I wanted to hear how students were analyzing each step of the problem they were solving. I wanted to hear the approach rather than just see them write a series of steps in their solution. I think this activity helps students solidify their understanding because they are forced to justify each step of the problem. And, from the teacher perspective, it really gives me insight into how deeply each student is making the necessary connections.

To view this Flipgrid assignment, click here.

To view this Flipgrid assignment, click here.

What I loved so much about using Flipgrid is just how easy it was to do this assignment. Students simply needed the technology they all had in their pockets – a smartphone. There were no fancy tablets or downloads necessary. Open the app and press record! And for me, I don’t need to upload any recordings or share individual projects on a class page. Within the grid I set up, students can view all of their classmates’ videos.

I definitely look forward to using Flipgrid with my students on a regular basis for the remainder of this year. For me, the main goal is to build collaboration/community, help students verbalize their math process, and for me to get to see and hear from my online students! I love how easy Flipgrid makes it for me to accomplish these goals.

Here is a link to the first Flipgrid assignment my students did — Flipgrid Student Responses – Differential Equations: Thinking Through Chapter 7 Exercises. Nothing about this exercise is ‘perfect’ or ‘polished’. But remember, my goal was not about that at all. My goal was to hear my students think through problems and force them to verbalize their thought process. And to hear a bit of each student’s personality in the process :) This assignment was such an easy way to achieve this.

One thing that I want to try next is having one student create a video solution and then having 4-5 other students comment on that solution through Flipgrid. This way, students can build off of one another in forming deeper understandings and better answers. I know that as I continue to use Flipgrid with students, I will think up more ideas, and I look forward to sharing those as I stumble upon them!

Global Connections and Other Fun Things

A few weeks ago we announced that we've grown 800% this spring compared to last year. Thank you to our amazing community of teachers who continue to share Flipgrid with colleagues and friends!

Over the past few weeks we've released several updates that you may have noticed. Read on to find out more.

Global Connections

Our core mission is to amplify and empower student voice. What better way than connecting with classes on opposite sides of the globe. To check out Global Connections, click the Connections tab from within your Flipgrid Admin to peruse shared grids or share your own. 

Custom Topic Videos

You know what will get your students talking - don't let us stand in the way! Now you can record a topic stimulus video, upload a video from your computer, or embed anything from YouTube. 

Grid Followers

Students can now follow a grid to receive a weekly or daily email notification when there is new grid activity, such as a new topic posted or new video response recorded.

Lastly, something to celebrate...

January was our biggest month ever, with over 45,000,000 seconds of student video recorded and shared. That's over 520 days of video in one month! Thank you to all our amazing teachers who empower student voice every second of every day. We promise to continue listening to you, supporting you, and releasing the features and updates you ask for on a regular basis. Stay tuned for more fun updates soon!