Flipgrid's homepage states the following: "Flipgrid is simple. Engage and empower every voice in your classroom or community by recording and sharing short, awesome videos…together!" Flipgrid is an excellent way to get every student engaged in any activity, even the shy ones.
To create an educator account, use a Gmail or Microsoft email to speed up the process (although any email account will work), enter a little information about your school and role, and you are ready to go. You have the option to connect your social media usernames to expand your network and make it easier to share grids. To get started, you have to create a grid. This grid will be shared with a particular group, whether it is a class, book club, group of educators, etc. When creating a grid, you select both a community type and the method for how users will access it. You can choose "school email" so only users within your domain have access to the grid, "student ID" which will allow you to create a class list so only particular students can access the grid, or "PLC and public" which will allow anyone with a Gmail or Microsoft email to access the grid.
Once you have a grid, you add a topic, which is what sparks the conversations between you and your users. You can use links, videos, GIFs, emojis, and images to brighten up your topic. When creating your topic, you can set the length of video responses, types of feedback/comments other users can leave, start and stop times for viewing the topic, and you can also decide to preview video responses before making them public to the rest of the grid community. After setting it up, share the grid code and users will record or upload video responses to your topic. Users can also react, comment, and record video responses to each other, sparking multiple discussions within your grid. When you share your code (you can also create a QR code for younger students who struggle with typing codes), the user clicks on the "Enter a Flip Code" in the top left corner of the homepage, enters your specific code, and from there they can see all of your topics. From there, they simply click on the big, green circle with a white plus sign in the middle, and their webcam opens and allows them to record a response. Once the webcam opens, users can choose to upload a video instead of recording from their webcam. (This upload feature allows integration of other tools, such as Screencastify.) Before publishing to the topic, users can preview their video, take a selfie, and add stickers.
Flipgrid is a great way to have students share mini-reports, book talks, react to your questions on a topic (whether from class instruction, book clubs, or current events), and share ideas with you. Students can conduct research and record short presentations on Flipgrid which are then shared with the school community via QR codes, with eye-catching printouts on display in the grid's media center. Currently, the South Carolina Book Award Committee is using Flipgrid to collect and share book talks on this year's nominees from students, librarians, teachers, and parents from across the state. Flipgrid is a wonderful tool to lend a voice to shy students or for those who prefer not to speak up. They can use Flipgrid to share their understanding and ask questions without the pressure of speaking in front of their peers. As an educator, you can create a special grid that allows you to communicate with your shy students without others being able to view the videos, or you can open it up so students can help each other. Since Flipgrid exists both as an app and website, it is easily accessible by anyone with any device and has a variety of uses within the field of education.