Over the past three years I've been using video more and more for students to share their learning. From basic camera recording to using screencastify, to my YouTube channel where I try to give families a window into our classroom. It’s definitely powerful to share video recordings, editing and producing with my students.
This multimedia tool has become part of my routine, expanding my video use because students are excited and motivated to use it. Students are more engaged and motivated, giving their best effort. Also, through the use of this tool the students are able to show me different ways to demonstrate their learning of challenging standards or concepts. My first big project was 3 years ago, having students use video to demonstrate their understanding of buoyancy, density and average density. The class did an amazing job and their summative test scores improved dramatically on the same assessment given the previous three years.
Fast forward to December 2017, when I'm at a Flipgrid Live networking event at their Minneapolis location. I had heard little bits and pieces about Flipgrid, but never used it myself. The networking event was extremely impressive and so fun to meet the people behind the scenes at this amazing company. I was so impressed that I went back to my classroom the next day and started using Flipgrid free version.
What has happened since that early December event? Well, I was able to transition to Flipgrid, doing just about everything that I had been doing with other video sharing tools. The difference was that Flipgrid is so very easy to use for all and kids love it. In addition, I love the student voice sharing with each other. This is extremely empowering, building a new level of learning ownership.
Lab reports and our student video newsletter are two regular Flipgrid assignments. Science lab reports are an essential process connecting key vocabulary, standards based concepts and connecting to the experiment. Students analyze the science data and report questions, then share via Flipgrid. My 11 and 12 year olds struggle to choose the right words in their paper copy lab report, regardless of achievement status in the class. Flipgrid has opened an excited door of student reflections and peer-to-peer sharing of challenging science concepts.
I have students create our video newsletter once a month. What is so nice about using Flipgrid for our newsletter is the ability to set recording time limits so students have to be efficient, not rambling, and being able to use their own device to record their segment. From my video newsletter grid I can easily download our clips, edit and produce a final copy. I have been able to cut the editing time in half from what it took before. Then all the final cuts and even the outtakes are there for us to review, reflect on and even laugh a bit.
I'm always impressed when a tool does exactly what it's supposed to do the very first time. Flipgrid is that learning tool. It is super intuitive for both teacher and students to use. Flipgrid free version offers teachers most of what they’ll need. However, I highly recommend the premium version which offers unlimited grids, easy organization and gives more flexibility to engage students to share their learning.