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  • Writer's pictureKojo Hazel

Flip – The video discussion tool that opens the classroom

Flip (formerly Flipgrid) is a video-based tool allowing for discussion across digital devices, but in a fun and engaging way that makes it ideal for use in education. This powerful discussion tool does have the might of Microsoft behind it but, despite that professional backing, is a remarkably simple to use and fun tool. That makes it ideal for students and teachers alike.

From use in the classroom, to hybrid learning, to at-home work, Flip can be used without boundaries to enhance communications for students and teachers. With so many fantastic features, Flip leaves no learner behind as it enables every learner to have a voice, encourages learners to express their thoughts and feelings, and explore their creative flair. Flip certainly is a very enabling tool for education.

Flip can be accessed via any web browser or through the mobile app, making it good for laptops, tablets, smartphones, Chrome books, and desktop computers. The only requirement on any of those devices is a camera to record your creations. Flips is free to use and can be accessed using a Microsoft or Google account.

Features of Flip

Flip is great for integration. Since it works with Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom, it's easy for a teacher to integrate into the current virtual classroom setup.

One of the best things about Flip is the ability to interact using video, such as face-to-face in the real world, but without the pressure of a live classroom. Since learners are given the space and time to respond when they're ready, it makes educational engagement possible for even more anxious learners who might ordinarily feel left out in class.

The ability to add rich media encourages learners to be creative and, potentially more importantly, expressive. By adding emoji, text, and stickers, learners can engage with class content as they might interact with friends using social media platforms. This aspect can help learners feel less apprehensive and more empowered to express themselves openly, engaging more deeply with the task. Ultimately, that should result in deeper learning and better content recall.

Flip keeps things minimalistic and straightforward, but at the same time allows for a huge range of tailored tweaks to promote the best engagement form your classroom.

Here are some of the main features of Flip:

Flip Grids – A “Grid” is the term used to describe your virtual Flip classroom area. You can invite learners to your grid via a custom Flip code. Yor Flip Grid is then populated with Flip Topics where you get really get the discussion going. A teacher posts a topic and learners can then record and submit their responses. The built in moderation tools have many useful features such as allowing educators to approve a video before it is posted and altering the level of access and interaction that learners can have with each others videos. This allows educators to tailor their Flip Grids to the needs of their individual classes.

Flip Shorts - This video tool allows teachers and students to create their videos for a custom finish rather than simply uploading a YouTube clip. Users can upload and edit video, add more clips, cut, and segment as well as enhance with emojis, stickers, and text. Add arrows to a graph image as you talk over that section of the video, for example, as a great way to get in-depth information across. Shorts is, essentially, a really simple-to-use video editing tool that can produce a powerful result, depending on how creative you want to be.

Discovery & GridPals - The Flip education community spans across over 190 countries and the Discovery feature allows educators to share their topic creations for others to use. There are currently around 50,000 topics that are ready-made for you to apply to your own classrooms. Another amazing feature is the ability to connect with other educators from across the globe via “GridPals”, opening up a whole host of collaborative opportunities. Imagine being able to conect your learners with learners from the other side of the world! The Flip app is safe, inclusive, accessible, and offers endless opportunities.

Uses of Flip

Flip is the perfect addition to an education setting and has the potential to be utilised for anything you can think of as an educator. During lockdown we were able to keep our learners connected and active by creating our very own ‘Flip Olympics,’ learners were invited to film themselves completing a series of active challenges. The level of engagement was incredible, and learners thoroughly enjoyed the competitive element and being able to stay connected with their peers despite the circumstances at the time. I have seen inspirational uses of Flip in my time as an educator, here are just a few examples:

  • Book Reviews – A video review creates a very engaging way for learners to share their thoughts on a book.

  • Speaking assessments – learners upload their speaking task and educators can respond with individual feedback

  • Flip Hunts – learners complete a digital scavenger hunt where learners complete tasks and show what they find with video responses.

  • School Announcements - Get the word out to the whole school or just your class. They can cover anything from updates on the weather, school-wide events, or celebrations of learners’ achievement, then share them with educators, learners, and families.

  • Promoting clubs & Activities - Flip provides limitless ways to recruit, engage, and communicate within your school clubs. Recruit new members by posting Flip QR codes around school linked to videos about the club and how to join. Members can use the in-camera photo feature to paste still photos into their videos and spread enthusiasm for their club.

  • Flip Events – Join in on live events featuring inspirational guests, find on-demand events for learners of any age, and spark meaningful discussions.

I would encourage you to introduce Flip to your education settings in 2023, the app has recently had exciting updates which has made the experience and possibilities even better. There are so many ways to express yourself with the new Flip camera features such as video backdrops, audio visualisations and the ability to tell a story using photos, text, and stickers. Add all this to the modern design and simplicity of use and you will have a truly seamless experience expressing your ideas.

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