Sunday, November 5, 2017

4 Ways to Use Flipgrid in 4th Grade

This is a guest post from Caroline Schaab.

As a 4th grade teacher, I’m always looking for creative ways spark curiosity, promote student voice, and keeps students engaged and to want to continue learning outside of school. Last year, with a few weeks left in the school year, I was introduced to Flipgrid. Fligrid is an easy to use video discussion platform, that allows students and teachers to record video responses anywhere from fifteen to 90 seconds. My students can record videos on their Chromebooks or if they have another device at home they can do this as well. At first, I was a bit hesitant about using Flipgrid, however, I stepped outside my comfort zone and watched the magic happen with these assignments:

  • Math Songs - We learn a song to reinforce the concept being taught in class. Students would then go home and record themselves singing the song, and learning the concept.
  • Math in My World - This is a favorite of mine. Students will find math in their life that illustrates the standard/skills we are working on in class. They will then take a video on the topic, explaining how this concept applies to THEIR real world example.
  • Reading Logs - As alternative of writing down their reading life for the evening, sometimes we mix it up with LIVE reading logs! Students record their video talking about the skill we are learning in class, and how it helps them understand their books better. When studying character, students have even pretended to be their character and shared why they made certain decisions.
  • Monthly Book Reviews - students can post their review of what novels they are reading. This is great practice for students writing summaries as well as keeps an easy to access library of our favorite books.
One of the reasons I really love this product is that it has a lot of safety measures built into it to keep students work private. It’s easy to use, because students do not need accounts, however, unless they have the code for your grid, they are not able to access the material. I’m able to share this easily on Google Classroom for students to access as well as can email the link to parents if they’d like to see what we are working on. I am able to monitor the videos as they are posted, and intervene if necessary if someone is using this tool inappropriately. This has been a great tool for my students to practice being a good online citizens as well as let their voice and creativity shine through in the magic of video. I am also able to provide individualized feedback right to their video, which they have access to immediately. Some students will choose to submit another video to ensure they are meeting all standards that are being addressed.

The Flipgrid site itself has some amazing resources for getting started with Flipgrid, including a quick video to get started. One that I tackled this summer was becoming Flipgrid certified. This meant learning how to use the tool using their resources. In three easy steps I was able to earn a badge that let the world know, I have #flipgridfever! My students love this resource and are always begging for homework using Flipgrid. I hope you find this tool helpful and I’d love to hear how you choose to use Flipgrid in your classroom. Leave me a video response by clicking here so I can see if I sparked your interest!

Quick Walkthrough Video from Flipgrid on Vimeo.

About the author:
My goal as an educator is to empower all of my students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, enthusiastic readers, and skillful researchers. I embrace the whole child valuing intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being. I want to inspire all students that enter my classroom to be life-long learners and create a safe environment for students to takes risks with their learning. Currently, I teach 4th grade at Field Elementary School in Park Ridge, IL, where I’ve spent my fourteen year career teaching 4th grade, 5th grade, and having been an instructional technology coach at a another school in District 64.

Silk Says Goodbye

A few years ago was one of the best tools for creating robust data visualizations. I used it in a number of social studies lessons. Unfortunately, the service is shutting down. As announced in email sent to users, the Silk team was acquired by another firm. The Silk site will be online until December 15th to give current users the opportunity to download any data that they have stored in the service.

Current Silk users who are looking for another way to create data visualizations may want to try some of the features of the Explore function in Google Spreadsheets. Google's Public Data Explorer is an option for some data visualization purposes. And Silk is recommending

Google's Ngram Viewer is a neat data visualization tool for a specific type of data visualization.

Applied Digital Skills Curriculum from Google

The Applied Digital Skills curriculum from Google helps learners succeed online and prepare them for their careers. These lessons which include topics such as event planning, financial planning, and project management, have students apply problem solving skills to real-life problems. The lessons also help students develop collaboration skills and gather and data. This curriculum has earned the ISTE Seal of  Alignment. The eleven lessons in the unit are appropriate for students in grades 7 through 12 and are designed to have students complete a series of tasks using a variety of Google tools.

Applications for Education
You can use all of these lessons together or pick and choose ones that fit the needs of your students. 

Create Interactive Content Using Joomag

Joomag is a platform which allows users to design and publish professional looking publications. It contains hundreds of templates which can be use to create the perfect foundation for your publication. Incorporate videos and music directly from popular platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Soundcloud or upload these types of files directly from your computer. Create customized slideshows using your own images or from Getty Images. This platform also incorporates an image editor. Joomag publications can be embedded on websites and shared easily on social media channels.

Applications for Education
Instead of a traditional report, students could use Joomag to create an engaging and dynamic product. This would be good when students are creating presentations or writing reports about locations, people, and events. Teachers could use Joomag to share what is happening in their classrooms.

Click here and here to see examples of how two school districts use Joomag.

Updates to Crello

Crello is a free, easy to use online design platform that is used by experienced as well as novice designers.

Crello just launched an animated design feature which allows anyone to create engaging motion graphics for social media. This platform has hundreds of animated templates that are ready to use and are fully customizable. Animated graphics can be downloaded in the mp4 format, making Crello the only web-based application to offer this feature to non-designers. Currently, the two formats for the animated templates are Universal Social Media Post and Instagram Post. There are plans to expand the formats in early 2018 to include Facebook Covers, Facebook Posts, icons, and illustrations. 

You can learn more about Crello here.

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