Flipgrid is a fabulous tool that teachers can use in their classroom in endless ways. In our current HyperDoc, my students are using Flipgrid to reflect upon everything from Checks and Balances to the importance of the Constitutional amendments, and even analyzing the words of founding fathers through the Federalist Papers. When we try a new tool or strategy, I always like to communicate to my students my rationale for using these new ideas. I want them to know the “why” … or the “method to my madness.” I asked my students why they thought I wanted them to reflect upon their knowledge by using Flipgrid. The answers ranged from, “we can’t copy and paste from the Internet” to “that way we don’t cheat.” While those reasons are valid (I hope my questions aren’t “Googleable” anyway) one of the biggest reasons I like to use video responses for reflection with Flipgrid is that it requires students to be conversational in their knowledge of a topic, including facts, citing evidence, and including their own unique opinions on the issue.
In my American Government class, my curriculum is packed full and leaves very little “wiggle room.” I don’t have nearly enough time to devote to the extremely important topic of current events, and I feel as though I do my students a disservice because of this. It seems as though our daily lives are inundated with “breaking news” about this country or that topic, that it’s difficult, but EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, to keep up with all of it.
To encourage my students to stay up to date with current events and become conversational with their understanding of these issues, I created a Flipgrid Bonus Board and displayed it on the wall outside my classroom. I easily created a “Bonus” grid in my Flipgrid dashboard and included a topic about the recent events in Catalonia. The debate on the power of the central government versus the power of regional governments is one that my students and I have in my classroom, so this topic fits perfectly with our content. If students are interested in participating in this bonus, they simply scan the QR Code that leads to the topic, read the article attached, and then record their response. They can do this anytime – before school, after school, during passing time, during lunch, etc. Their Flipgrid responses are also easy to grade because they are all in one spot! My goal with this activity is to encourage my students to become engaged in conversations that are happening throughout the world and to realize that their voice and ideas are important!
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