Although words such as “remote learning” and “distance learning” have dominated our conversations this school year, the heart of every classroom is still the connection between a teacher and their students. With the right tools and resources, that connection can remain infinitely stronger than the wifi networks powering your virtual classroom.
Over 400 teachers from the DonorsChoose community shared their feedback and tips for the most popular programs enabling their students to learn from home. Here’s what teachers across the country had to say about Flipgrid:
First question: What is Flipgrid?
Flipgrid is a tool allowing students to post videos in response to questions being asked. The teacher creates the video assignments and descriptions of what students must say in the video. There are options to create time limits, allow for comments and to post pictures matching the topic. Students may watch videos others have posted and comment. I feel this strongly creates community and allows teachers to better know their students. I pose questions and challenges for them to do on this platform. It has created a loving and supportive community in which my students are comfortable bonding with one another. – Ms. Brinkman, 3rd Grade
Is it a good fit for my classroom?
Teachers recommend Flipgrid for all grades! From show & tell or oral book reports to classroom debate exercises and music performances, Flipgrid can be adapted to any subject area at any grade level.
“[You can use Flipgrid in] So. Many. Ways. Book reviews, literary response, team collaboration/review/response, community building, read alouds….the possibilities really are endless.” – Ms. Berger, 4th Grade
What do teachers really think?
“If you’re a remote teacher this tool becomes so valuable to hear your students. Each student has a voice and they deserve to be heard. The hardest thing about teaching remotely is our students are on mute for so much of our lessons. Flip Grid allows them the opportunity to tell it all.” – Mrs. Policastro, Kindergarten
I highly recommend Flipgrid to other teachers! I am trying to encourage the 4th and 5th grade teachers at my school to use it and I’m here to support them when they are ready to try it out. The reason I recommend Flipgrid is because not all voices are heard in virtual classrooms. Some students don’t speak up on Zoom while others have connectivity issues. Flipgrid lets me hear each and every student! – Mrs. Huntsman, 3rd Grade
“Depending on what we are learning about we may check in with Moby on BrainPOP or BrainPOP Jr. They put subjects in plain and easy to understand terms.” – Mr. French, 2nd/3rd Grade
But will my students like it?
“My students love to post their video responses, but even more than that – they love to see what their classmates have recorded. We are remote and so this is a great way to see each other and hear individual responses.” – Mrs. Anderson, Kindergarten
“The students say they feel like they are on a YouTube channel sharing their books.” – Mrs. Beeman, 1st Grade
“My students use Flipgrid to let their voices be heard! Whether they are explaining their thinking, reading a book or sharing their artwork, it is a platform that promotes speaking and listening in distance learning. Some of the Flipgrid topics are related to our learning while others support social emotional learning. Some of the biggest hits on Flipgrid have been the topics Two Truths and a Fib and Third Graders Got Talent. Both of these topics allowed the students to showcase who they are as well as their interests. It helps us build our community of learners without being in the classroom together. – Mrs. Huntsman, 3rd Grade
“My most distracted student and some extremely shy students that seldom came on camera for distance learning , absolutely loved the platform! I saw a totally different side of the student! One pretended he was a newscaster and gave “breaking news” and my shy student , who initially put an emoji over her face because she was so timid, has built her confidence and shared her own face on camera.” – Ms. F, 4th Grade
Anything else I should know?
“When I first started using Flipgrid I needed to learn to experiment with the settings. Did I want children’s responses to automatically be public for everyone to see, or did I want to be able to review them before making them public, or did I just want to keep all their responses private so that only I could see them.” – Coach Hancock, Pre-K-5th Grade
“You can limit students to a specific time limit for videos so they are not too long. You can also set them to be monitored by the teacher before being shared with the class. That way you can make sure the videos are appropriate for class.” – Ms. Oliger, 4th and 5th Grades
“Set limits for how many emojis, stickers, etc so students focus enough attention on the assignment too!” – Ms. W, 5th Grade
I’m in. What next?
You can get the technology you need to run Flipgrid on DonorsChoose. Get started on a project today.
Already using Flipgrid? Here’s an expert tip to make the most of this tool:
If your class has already mastered Flipgrid, try using the platform to connect with another classroom as Flipgrid pen pals!
“In the past when students were in the classroom with me, I’d use it for ideas such as extra credit/an extension activity, review, and as a small group activity. This year, I have used it to become “Flipgrid Pals” due to distance learning. I certainly want to keep using Flipgrid when we get back to the classroom! Flipgrid Pals has allowed my 2nd graders to learn from students (so far) in Canada. We have been making pen pal type videos and responding to each other. I am setting up Flipgrid Pals in other areas around the world such as Barcelona, Spain, to help build on the student’s knowledge of geography, culture, traditions around the world, and more. Many of my students have or may never travel outside of their neighborhoods. This allows them a better “peek” into the world! We’ve also used to have deeper discussions on books we’ve read, and to discuss science experiments!
Upon hearing that students in Canada this past week were interested in many of the same topics they were such as: Minecraft, Among Us, Science, Roblox, and hockey, it was exciting for my kids to keep recording videos to our new pen pals. To 2nd graders in North Carolina, Canada seems like a whole other world! When they realized the kids weren’t so different from them, it helped to make the strong connection. My students are really loving recording videos and responding to the other class’s responses.” – Ms. Dandoy, 2nd Grade
Other remote learning resources you may find helpful:
- DonorsChoose Teachers Review Remote Learning with BrainPOP
- DonorsChoose Teachers Review Remote Learning with Breakout EDU
- DonorsChoose Teachers Review Remote Learning with Nearpod
You know what your students need, especially during this time of remote learning. The DonorsChoose community is here to help you get it. 3 out of 4 schools in the U.S. have a public school teacher who’s used DonorsChoose – that’s over 1.8 million classroom project requests funded. Yours could be next. Start your project today.