FlipGrid has been great to use because it's easy for parents, it's fun for students and it's impactful to teachers.
Tell us about your idea
I am a first grade teacher in a dual language immersion classroom, 2-teacher model. My partner teacher teaches his homeroom 1/2 the day in Spanish while I teach my homeroom in English and then the students switch teachers for the 2nd half of the day. I work with a team of 4 other teachers in our school for a total of six 1st grade classrooms. We have always been a very collaborative team so when remote learning began, that was no different. As a team, we decided to use FlipGrid as the platform for our remote learning because it provided a unique opportunity for our students to practice their oral language daily. We are very pleased that many other benefits have come out of this endeavor such that, I think we would all say that, if this happened all over again, we'd do it the same way!
The first benefit to FlipGrid in real time and real use is that it's very easy to use. Of my 40 total students about 1/3 of them can manage their FlipGrid activities completely on their own as 6 & 7 year old first graders. It's also fairly flexible in that it can easily be used on a laptop/Chromebook, tablet or phone. While phone use is not optimal, this means that even those students without Internet capability in the home can still participate on mom's phone.
The second benefit to FlipGrid in operation has been that the students LOVE it! They love making their own videos, decorating them with emojis, takings selfies, decorating them with emojis and watching all the videos of their fellow students. While it doesn't afford students a direct connection with me and/or the students, I am able to video myself giving a lesson, read a book, or simply sending them a message of encouragement that then they can watch and see me, almost "live." Furthermore, while they can't communicate directly with each other, they can see that their friends are okay but reviewing their friends' videos daily and responding back to them directly by creating their own response video, if they so choose. It has kept my students engaged and connected - a benefit for which I am forever grateful!
Finally, the benefits to me as a teacher have been numerous. In addition to the benefits of simplicity and connectivity/engagement mentioned above, FlipGrid provides an opportunity for my students to practice their oral language - a skill/activity that is critical to progress when learning a second language. Through this process though, I have noticed a value to FlipGrid that I had NOT anticipated. It has revealed to me a side of many of my students that I did not see in the classroom! Many of my students have "come alive" in front of the camera and are MUCH more gregarious, vocal, enthusiastic, etc. on their videos than when they are in the classroom with me directly and will the rest of the class present! This has been an amazing discovery for me, one that has resulted in very different perspectives about certain students' participation, their abilities and their progress! This perspective is one I would have NEVER had had it not been for this unique circumstance that forced remote learning and the use of FlipGrid!
For all of these reasons, but mostly the last, regardless of what learning looks like in the years ahead, I will be incorporating some use of FlipGrid in this same manner in my classroom to be sure to have that "other" view of my students that has been so valuable.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.
It was an "aha" moment in teaching that I, personally, don't want to lose or forget. More importantly, I can't imagine that this is only true for my classroom so I want others to benefit from my "aha" moment! (BTW - I have spoken with my Spanish partner teacher and my other 4 team members and they all experienced the same unexpected benefit!!!)