Flipgrid - A Social Learning Platform

Flipgrid - A Social Learning Platform

Guest Post by: Joe Merrill

How to use Flipgrid Social Learning Platform in the Classroom. Learn how students can amplify their voice and collaborate with one another through a web of video!

What is Flipgrid?
Flipgrid is a social learning platform that allows educators to ask a question, then the students respond in a video. Students are then able to respond to one another, creating a “web” of discussion.

Now, you might ask…”Why can’t they just talk to one another in person?”

The moment I knew that Flipgrid would change my classroom was when I was reviewing geometry with my first graders. I asked the students to show me what halves of various shapes look like. The students were using whiteboards to complete the work, then recording themselves on Flipgrid. One particularly bright student made a simple mistake, and I caught it monitoring the responses. However, before I could even walk over to her (30 seconds), 5 students had already responded with, “you might want to go back and check your work.” Think about the potential of this for a moment...you have 18 students working on a math problem and they’re sharing their thinking on Flipgrid. As they monitor each other’s responses, they’re exposed to 18 different ways of thinking -  instead of just the one way that you might teach them. Flipgrid automatically elevates the academic level of the class, simply by asking students to use their voice.

The Flipgrid “Lingo”

Getting started with Flipgrid is easy. After you sign up, here are a few things that you should know:

“What’s a grid?”
A grid is your classroom or community of learners. If you’re a middle / high school teacher, you may want to use “Period 1” or “Period 2” as grid titles. If you teach multiple courses, you can create grids for each class. If you’re a general education teacher, you may just want to create one grid (example: “Mr. Merrill’s Class”) and use that to “host” all of your questions. After you name it, set the security settings. Only those with the grid URL can find your grid. PRO TIP: You can change your grid code to anything that you want! As long as the URL is available, you can use it!

“What is a topic?”
Think of topics as questions your students discuss. When creating topics, you can upload a video, images, emojis, or even gifs. PRO TIP: Use these features for young learners who may have difficulty reading. This way, they’ll be able to identify your question easily.

“What is the hype behind student voice?”
The whole idea behind Flipgrid is to enhance student voice. The fact is simple...Flipgrid gives that kid in the back of the class a chance to have his / her voice heard. Not one person can dominate a class discussion on Flipgrid. That’s because you have the ability to control video lengths. You can set permitted response times from as little as 15 seconds to 5 minutes.The result is a healthy dose of collaboration from your students.

“I heard Flipgrid merged with Microsoft. Do I need a Microsoft account?”
Flipgrid recently merged with Microsoft. However, ALL educators can access Flipgrid for FREE. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Microsoft or Google district. Perhaps you don’t have either? Everyone can sign up and use it!

Getting Started

The Discovery Library
If you’re looking for a simple way to get started, I recommend checking out the “Discovery” library. There are thousands of activities that you can add to your own grid, with just a few clicks.


Nothing on Flipgrid is public until you make it public. Only those with your class code can obtain access. PRO TIP: If you’d like to share video responses with parents, I recommend selecting the video response, then tapping “share,” and “generate a private response.” By copying/pasting the generated URL, this provides a link to that video response ONLY. If you copy / paste the topic url, parents will be able to see other student’s responses - which you may not want.
“I have shy students...help!”
We all have shy students. If you have someone who is reluctant to go in front of the camera, here are a few options:

1. Have them record their work, and then voice over their thinking.

2. Try App Smashing (where students create something in one app, then upload it into another). If you’re curious about how to get started with #appsmashing, check out my free e-book available here or clicking on the image below.

“I’m stuck! Help!”

The #FlipgridFever community is an incredible group of educators. They’re ready and willing to share ideas - all for free. If you’re on Twitter, just tweet out to #FlipgridFever and tag @Flipgrid in your post. Chances are, you’ll have an answer back before you know it!

Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to Joe on Twitter at: @MrMerrillsClass or email him directly at: merrij3@collierschools.com. Also check out his brand new e-book on #appsmashing by clicking here, or the image below.