Distance Learning is tough. There is no doubt about it! What students are missing most are those impromptu visits to your desk asking quick questions or just wanting to connect with their teacher. Typing a message in the Learning Management System just isn’t the same. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to chat face to face during these crazy times? Well you can!
Flipgrid is an amazing tool that makes it possible for your students to leave you a message with voices and faces. Then you can respond and they can see and hear you, providing some much needed connecting.
This tutorial is intended for those who are somewhat familiar with Flipgrid. Flipgrid’s goal is to empower every voice. Flipgrid is a simple, free, and accessible video discussion experience for PreK to PhD educators, learners and families. Create a Topic and engage your community…together!
Let’s get started!
Our goal is to set up a moderated topic that allows students to send their teacher visual voice messages. Teachers can then respond to answer questions or support students to meet needs.
Set up an account – Go to Flipgrid.com and use the Educator Login link to sign in our setup an account. Use your Microsoft or Google account for a quick sign in option.
Create your Group.
Create a Flipgrid Group – A group is where you can create Topics. I set my group up as a Private group. I gave my group a name and changed the join code. I plan on having a link for my students to click, instead of having them enter a join code. I am using the Student Email option because my students have district Google and Microsoft accounts they can use to authenticate.
Flipgrid will recognize your email domain and load the student email option. You can also add other domains. There is a Guest Password option which could allow parents to leave messages, but I like to communicate with parents using email.
The next window asks if you’d like to duplicate your topics. This would be helpful if you had a previous topic you want to reuse, but we are starting fresh, so Skip for now.
The final window gives us the option of sharing our group. We are going to share a link to our topic, so we can continue by clicking Go to Group.
Once your group is created you can customize it. Clicking the edit (pencil) icon allows you to edit your group, make your group active or hidden (unpublished), and personalize your group’s header image.
Create your Topic.
The topic is want we will be linking to. Click the Add a Topic button to add a topic. On the topic screen, you can add a Title and Prompt. The prompt is what you wan the students to do. Recording Time allows you to set the amount of time students can record. I set the recording time to 1 minute. Under Video Moderation, be sure to toggle this on (this is important). Video moderation makes the videos only accessible to you and the student, not to the entire class. Under Media, you can add additional helpful information. I suggest recording a video as a “sorry I missed you” video response letting your students know that you will respond as soon as you can. This is about building relationships and letting your students know you are there for them.
Share your Topic.
On the next screen you can share your topic making it easily accessible for students to leave you a message.
You can copy the code and make it a hyper link. You can also share in other ways. You can provide a QR code for devices with a camera. You can copy the embed code to paste into HTML editable content. You can add to Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom. You can also post to Remind. I will be using the Copy Embed Code option to add to my Schoology course as a link.
If the embed code doesn’t work, you could also provide a link in your Bitmoji classroom or on a web page.
Final Topic Changes.
To make your Flipgrid as secure as possible, here are some suggestions. After creating your topic, click the edit button and scroll down to Topic Features. Turn of the Download and Share option. I don’t want students to be able to download their videos.
Continue to Video Features. I only want students to upload a video. Selfies are super fun, but I want this to be a quick process. Students will just record and post. I turned off Video Comments, View Count, and Sticky Notes. I left Video Editing turned on if they wish to trim a video response. I turned of Attachment Link and Likes.
Finally, scroll to Feedback. We will be using the feedback option to respond. Even though, students won’t be receiving a grade/score, I created a custom feedback criterion titled “Response Received” with a one point value. With videos moderated, students won’t be able to view any comments, but they can view educator feedback. Update the Topic to continue.
Check Messages and Respond.
To check messages and respond, routinely visit your topic. As students post recordings, the videos will display. Click on the student message you want to review and respond.
Next, click the Feedback tab.
On the Feedback tab, you can click the Record Feedback button to record your response. You can also provide the feedback score, or explain to students that the score doesn’t really count. We don’t need any extra student anxiety during this time.
How do students check for their teacher’s responses?
Students will visit https://my.flipgrid.com/ to see all their Flipgrid Topic posts. You can see in the image below, under Feedback there is a View link to click. Clicking this link will open their post with a link to your feedback response.
Opening this final window, takes students to their video. Clicking the Watch Video Feedback shows the Educator Feedback response.
You are all set!
Now, you have a virtual voicemail box that allows your students a little face to face contact with their teacher. They can connect with you, see your face, and hear your voice. Bringing a little normal in to this challenging time of distance learning.
My Flipgrid Setup Guide (designed for Mukilteo Staff) – This is currently in progress of being updated to match the awesome changes Flipgrid made over the summer. I hope to have this Google Doc finalized very soon. The content is still a great starting point. I try to explain many of the features available when creating Groups (Discussions/Grids) and Topics.