I have my own YouTube channel containing more than sixty videos, in Spanish, about free digital tools for teachers, a kind of digital tools for dummies.
However, of all those resources, there is one that stands out among the rest, that is Flipgrid, and I can tell you that I don´t have any kind of commercial interest in saying so. As I told you, I just use the free version.
Let´s try to define this wonderful tool: Flipgrid is a free collaborative platform for video sharing in a private context.
I would like to share with you all the videos uploaded by my students but, of course, that is not possible due to obvious and basic reasons.
In my case, I use Flipgrid with my University students, they are studying to become English teachers. My role includes helping them to develop their digital literacy skills. Therefore, I want them to try this platform so that they can use it with their own students in the future, and I can tell you that they just love it, they adore it.
Moreover, in my personal experience, because I work at an online university, students don´t often get the chance to meet one another or interact in an informal way and they really appreciate it very much, expressing their excitement about having the opportunity to see each other and to talk to each other.
And I can see that that is true, as I told you before I cannot show you an example of the videos but imagine that you have just told them to record a video answering a question, for instance about the use of mobile phones in the classroom. And now, imagine one of them in front of the video, with her baby in her arms, just rocking him while answering the question, or another one, in front of the camera with her teenage son, both of them debating the topic. I didn´t ask for that, I didn´t expect it, and I was really touched by it. One of the students even told me that she had started to use Flipgrid with her students the same day she discovered it in my classroom (she works in an academy).
If you give your students the possibility of expressing themselves, of talking about themselves, the ball will start rolling and it won´t stop, creating an incredible atmosphere and a strong feeling of group cohesion and belonging.
Of course, the possibilities of this platform in ESL are infinite, in relation to speaking, pronunciation or debating activities, among others. It will be limited only by your imagination, and theirs.
They can correct each other, they can add likes and emoticons to their classmate’s videos. As teachers, we can answer each video privately and include marks, if we want to. We can also record our own video in response.
The usage of the platform is more than easy, particularly if you use the free mobile app. Students can record themselves with their mobile phones or tablets, they can also use the computer of course, and they will be able to preview the video before actually sending it to the platform, so if they don´t like it, they just have to delete it and do it again (imagine the possible benefits of those repetitions).
I want to share with you this video about the platform, I made it myself, it is in Spanish but I created English subtitles, just for you.
Do you want to have a go? I have created a space for you, go to www.flipgrid.com or download the free app onto your mobile phone (I have included video moderation to avoid inappropriate videos). Use the code w9jxlgk, then copy and paste the password TeachingEnglish and record your video!
Ingrid Mosquera, PhD.