Five Ways to Flip This Fall (or Spring)

Last week I mentioned that I’ll be visiting some of the “classics” of edtech over the next few weeks. This week I have a handful of ways to think about using Microsoft Flip (formerly known as Flipgrid) for you to consider trying this fall (or spring for my friends in the southern hemisphere).

While not as old as some other tools like Book Creator or Padlet, Microsoft Flip (formerly known as Flipgrid) has certainly become entrenched in many schools in the last half-dozen years. If that’s the case in your school, read on for some inspiration for how to use it differently this year. If you’ve never used Flip before, this tutorial shows you everything you need to know to get started.

Icebreaker Jokes

It’s the start of a new school year for most of us. Recording short videos can be a good way for you and your students to get to know a little bit about each other. Rather than doing the standard “tell the class about yourself” prompt, give the prompt to tell school-appropriate jokes. Here’s one:

Q: What did the couch say when it wanted to change the television channel?

A: Nothing. Couches can’t talk.

Virtual On-location Reporting

The virtual green screen function in Flip lets you appear in front of just about any background image that you have the rights to use. As a form of an ice-breaker, ask your students to find a picture of a place that they would like to visit and then use that as the background as they tell a little story about that place. This video shows you how to use virtual backgrounds in Flip.

Teach a Fun Whiteboard Lesson

Yes, you could use the whiteboard feature in Flip to have students explain how to solve equations. That might be fun for 5% of students (based on my completely unscientific research). A better way to use the whiteboard function at the start of the year is to have students make a video explanation of something they’re really interested in like the basics of a sport or how to decorate a cake. Here’s my demo of how to make a whiteboard video in Flip.

Audio-only Prompts

Despite growing up in a world of selfies, many students aren’t comfortable (nor are their parents) appearing on camera for a school activity. Fortunately, Flip lets you and your students record without turning on the camera.

There are plenty of things your students can do in Flip without having to use the camera. Whiteboard videos, for example, don’t require students to appear on camera. Similarly, a puppet show doesn’t require students to have their faces appear on camera.

Let Students Start

Until a few months ago, the default setting in Flip was to only allow teachers to start discussion topics. Now you can let students start a discussion topic. You could use this function to turn your weekly “current events” discussion into a student-led video conversation. Have them pick a news story and kick-off discussion with short videos they record about that story. This video shows you how students can start discussion topics in Flip.

Three Self-paced Courses You Can Start Today

I have three self-paced courses that you can start today and finish at your own pace.