Flipgrid is a fantastic tool for gathering feedback from students in the form of short videos. In this post you’ll learn everything you need to know to use Flipgrid in your classroom.
On Flipgrid you can post a prompt for your students and they reply with short videos that can be as short as fifteen seconds or as long as five minutes. As the teacher you set the maximum length for the videos that your students can submit. To make a video submission your students either record directly within Flipgrid by using their webcams or upload a video to Flipgrid from their computers, phones, or tablets.
How are teachers using Flipgrid?
Teachers across all grade levels and content areas are using Flipgrid as a digital exit ticket at the end of the week, to extend classroom discussions beyond the time of physical class meeting, and to connect students in different parts of the world through a program called #GridPals. Those are just a few of the common ways that Flipgrid is used. Here are some other interesting ways that teachers use Flipgrid:
- To have students explain how to solve a math problem.
- To have expert speakers share knowledge with students.
- To listen to choir and band students practice performance pieces.
- To have physical education students show proper form for push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.
- To record short puppet shows.
- To document the steps of a science lab procedure.
- To share encouraging words with classmates who are absent due to extended illnesses.
What technology is required to use Flipgrid?
Teachers need to use Flipgrid on a Chromebook, Mac, or Windows computer to create Flipgrid Grids and Topics. (Think of Grids as a virtual classroom and Topics as individual prompts. You can have as many Topics as you like within a Grid).
Students can use Flipgrid on a Chromebook, Mac, or Windows computer. Students can also use Flipgrid through the Flipgrid Android app or the Flipgrid iOS (iPad) app. There is also a Flipgrid Windows 10 app that Surface users will appreciate.
First Steps With Flipgrid
The first step is to sign-up as an educator on Flipgrid.com. You can sign-up by using a Microsoft account or by using a Google account.
Once you have registered as an educator you can create your first Flipgrid Grid. An easy way to think of a Grid is to think of it as a virtual classroom. The Grid is where students will go to see all of the Topics (AKA prompts) that you post for them to respond to. When you create your grid you can restrict access to it according to one of the following methods:
- Email domain. In this case only those who have an email issued by your school can see the Grid.
- Access via student IDs that you create. This is the option to choose if your students do not have active email addresses issued by your school.
- Access for anyone who has a Google or Microsoft account. This is the option to choose if you are using Flipgrid with college students or in a professional development group.
After you have created your first Grid you will see that it has been assigned a Flipgrid code/ Flipgrid URL. Give that code or URL to your students so that they can see the Topics within the Grid. When students go to the Grid they will be able to select any active topic to record and submit their responses.
Whenever you create a Flipgrid Grid there is default Topic titled “Let’s Connect!” that is activated. This topic is there for students to introduce themselves to the class. You can create more topics by simply clicking “New Topic” within your Grid. You can write any prompt that you want to give to your students in the new Topic description. You can also add a video or upload a document to use as a part of the new Topic for students to view and reply to. Every Topic within a Grid has its own code or URL that you can direct students to if you want to save them the step of first going to the Grid and then choosing the Topic.
I created this video to provide a complete walk-through of the process of creating a new Flipgrid Grid and Topic. The video also includes a demonstration of how students reply to your Topics.
How Students Reply to Flipgrid Topics
Students can reply to Flipgrid Topics on just about any device that has a camera built into it. This includes iPads, Android tablets, phones, Chromebooks, Windows computers, and Mac computers.
If you give your students the direct code/ URL for a Topic they will be sent directly there instead of to your Grid. If you give your students just the Grid code/ URL they will have to choose the topic to which they want to respond. Either way, they will have to sign-in before they can reply. And if you have password-protected your Grid, they’ll need to enter the password too.
This video shows students how to respond to Flipgrid Topics on a Chrome, Windows, or Mac computer.
This video shows students how to respond to Flipgrid Topics on an iPad.
This video shows students how to respond to Flipgrid Topics on an Android device.
Students Can Upload Replies to Topics
Recording a video with their webcams isn’t the only way that students can respond to a Flipgrid Topic. They can upload videos as long as those videos fall under the time limit that you have set for a topic. This video shows students how to respond to a Flipgrid Topic by uploading a video.
How to Create a Custom Flipgrid Code
You don’t have to use the codes that Flipgrid randomly assigns to your Grids. You create your own code in the set-up process. During the set-up simply write over the randomly-assigned code before you exit the set-up screen. Watch this video to learn how to create a custom Flipgrid code.
Create Student IDs in Bulk by Using a Spreadsheet
If your students don’t have email addresses, you will have to assign Flipgrid IDs to them. You can do this by manually entering names, picking IDs, and assigning passwords. But you can save time by uploading a student roster in spreadsheet form to assign IDs and passwords to your students. I created this video to show you how to create Flipgrid IDs in bulk.
Other Ways to Share Flipgrid Topics and Responses
It is possible to embed Flipgrid Grids, Topics, and Responses into other sites and blogs. In this video I demonstrate how to embed a Flipgrid Topic into a blog post.
Flipgrid Topics can be embedded into pages within Google Sites as I demonstrated in this video.
Use Flipgrid to Publish Instructional Videos
Flipgrid can be used for more than just posting prompts for students to respond to. You can use to publish a series of instructional videos for your students to watch and reply to with clarifying questions. That’s exactly what I demonstrated in this video.
Create a Mixtape of Flipgrid Responses
Flipgrid lets teachers select their favorite Topic responses and publish them in one place called a Flipgrid Mixtape. Selections for the Mixtape can come from multiple Topics. That means that teachers could create a Mixtape that has highlights from September through June to show student growth over the year. Watch this video to learn how to make a Flipgrid Mixtape.
Invite Parents to Watch and or Participate in Topics
Flipgrid has a neat feature called Guest Mode that lets you give parents access to a specific Topic without giving them access to an entire Grid. You can grant guest access so that parents can view videos or you can grant access so that parents can actually reply to a Topic. Watch this video to learn how to enable Guest Mode on a Topic.
Thoughts About Flipgrid Stickers
If you have watch the set-up videos and made it this far, you have seen the sticker option in Flipgrid. The stickers that students can apply to their video covers can be a distraction or an incentive depending upon how you and your students view them. Students love the stickers! If your students have some self-control, leave the sticker feature turned on. If your students lack that self-control, only enable stickers as an incentive or reward. I have a few more thoughts about the stickers in this video.
Are You Teaching Others About Flipgrid?
If you’re an experienced Flipgrid user who is trying to help other teachers catch #Flipgridfever, please share this post. But we all have “that” colleague who isn’t going to read a blog post no matter how strongly you endorse it. That’s why this blog post is also available to view as a Google Doc and to download as a PDF for printing.
Are You a New Visitor Who Found This Post Useful?
If so, you may be interested in some of my upcoming professional development webinars.