Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Burnin' Love for Flipgrid a.k.a. #flipgridfever

This is a post that is long overdue. Weeks ago I participated in a #ditchbook chat where we used Flipgrid in conjunction with the usual Twitter feed. Little did I know how much I would fall in love with this app.

It is so much fun! You post a video response to a question or prompt, and then other people can see, like, and/or share the response. THEN they can actually reply to your video with their own video. It is ridiculously cool. Think about classroom chats where one kid posts and others reply. That isn't a terrible thing, but how much better does it get when the posts AND comments are actual videos? I don't know what it is about video that ups the game, but it does change everything.

What really blew me away during the #ditchbook chat was that the co-founders of Flipgrid actually jumped on the grid we were using and left posts during our chat thanking us for giving the app a try. I was able to put a face and voice to these guys. That is pretty powerful.

Flipgrid won my interest, so I decided to register for their first "Unplugged" webinar to learn more. At work we had just discussed the fact that people will buy-in to a "why" and not a "what" or "how." (Great TED Talk by Simon Sinek about this.) Therefore, I was curious to see if Flipgrid had a solid "why."

They do.

I strongly recommend that you check out this Unplugged Webinar! It is all there! Every single reason to love this app! I cheered out loud so many times while watching.

Flipgrid Unplugged- Making the Most of Student Voice from Flipgrid on Vimeo.

The beauty of this really struck me when I received my first comment on a post I made. There is something exciting and special about seeing a real person leave a customized response just for me. It creates a feeling that this is a safe place to share out.

I was sold! I wanted to get the word out! People needed to know! So I became a Flipgrid Ambassador!

I constantly look for opportunities to spread the increasingly contagious #flipgridfever. One of the first people I told about all of this was a co-worker who had a hard time envisioning the concept. Lesson learned. You cannot simply tell someone about Flipgrid. It is an app that needs to be experienced. The moment we had a chance, I projected Flipgrid for my co-worker and one of the curriculum specialists in our district. They were both hooked after seeing it all in action!

The potential for Flipgrid is huge. The ELA part of my brain thought of all the book studies/lit circles that could now have a face and literal voice outside of the learning day. It also occurred to me how the art of rhetoric could be strengthened if students had to state their argument via video for others to view. We could discuss the tone and pitch of what is said not just the content! I've seen examples where students create videos of what they are learning and receive feedback from peers. In our district, students recorded their areas of growth on an exam. This opened up a discussion between students with similar struggles. In my building, a few of us thought it would be cool to have an "About Me" or "Introductions" grid for all the people who work in our offices. We know names through e-mail but rarely can recognize faces.

Beyond the classroom, Flipgrid has #FlipgridExplorer Series where they open grids up to a whole new world of learning for everyone! There are also numerous public grids out there for everyone to participate in: Teacher Appreciation, Summer Vacation ideas, etc. A personal favorite is the Sing a Song grid created by @ClaudioZavalaJr.

With summer approaching, no one wants to be under the weather. However, I highly suggest you catch #flipgridfever.

But I Digress...

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