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Give Your Students a Voice with Flipgird — Guest Post by Nicole LaFave

We’ve all had them: that one student who just won’t contribute to class discussions (I’ve even taught some classes where half the class included students who were shy and unwilling to talk).  Even when you know that they have something awesome to contribute… you’re met with silence.   As an English teacher who loves lively class discussions, this has always been something I wanted to fix.  It wasn’t until I discovered Flipgrid that I actually figured out how to fix it.
I first tried out Flipgrid because of the free 30-day demo they offer to educators.  After that, I was hooked (and felt that the $65 year-long subscription for K12 educators was worth the investment).  How did I get hooked? Flipgrid was the first tech tool I’d ever used that actually provided every single one of my students with a voice.  A literal voice.
So, what exactly is Flipgrid?
It’s a place for educators to create a topic/questions that students then respond to.  Taking it a step further, students can then respond to each other.  The best part is that students can contribute to these grids anywhere — their privacy and comfort ensures a thoughtful response.
Flipgrid is super-easy to navigate.  If your computer has a camera and a mic, you can go to www.flipgrid.com and record your video there.  Most of my students, however, prefer downloading the app (Apple and Android compatible) so they can record on their phones or tablets.
Getting Started with Flipgrid
Flipgrid’s streamlined setup makes it easy for teachers to get started.

 
 
 
 
 
Flipgrid in Action
But don’t take my word for it.  The best way to really understand Flipgrid is to see it in action.  Check out my English 1 students as they throw Shakespearean insults.  You’ll be surprised to know that it was my most quiet students who became confident and extroverted once that camera started rolling:  https://flipgrid.com/826a97bc

Start Using Flipgrid Today
First, try the free trial (what have you got to lose?).  After my 30-day trial, I realized that Flipgrid was a tool that I just didn’t want in my classroom — it was a tool that my students and I needed.
Read my Flipgrid story here.
How will you use Flipgrid in your classroom?  Comment below.
Guest Post by Nicole LaFave
Nicole LaFave is a 9th grade English teacher at Fort Mill High School in Fort Mill, SC. A former District Teacher of the Year from Kershaw County School District, Nicole holds a B.A. in English from Clemson University and a Masters in Teaching English from University of South Carolina. With seven years of experience teaching in a 1:1 classroom, Nicole currently works with a class set of Chromebooks and integrates technology into her G/T, Honors, CP, TP and Inclusion level classes on a daily basis. A former self-professed technology pariah, Nicole now strives to teach outside of her technology comfort zone; she loves that technology can benefit her students and their learning experiences.

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