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.