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Category: Teaching with Technology

Flipgrid is a popular video-based discussion tool that has many advantages over an LMS discussion forum. For one, it arranges student postings on a single page rather than in a threaded forum. This makes it good for collecting a variety of independent responses to a question rather than holding a threaded discussion that develops lines of thinking on a topic through student responses to one another. Two, the visual element can make student postings more engaging than reading pages of text. Three, as an independent app, it seems to take students out of the mindset of needing to craft an academic-sounding message for a grade, making student postings more genuine.

Microsoft purchased Flipgrid in 2020, and at the ISTE conference this June, it announced a number of updates. This provides a good opportunity to also go over recently added features that many people might have missed.

First and foremost, Flipgrid has become just Flip. The reason is that discussions are no longer called “grids” but rather “topics,” a change that was actually made a couple of years ago. Beyond that, there will soon be an upgrade to Flip’s appearance: a more modern look that uses a dark background, less text, and content arranged in tiles around the page. This should make it more intuitive to students. Plus, instructors will be able to create custom links to invite students to groups rather than rely on randomly generated codes. This will allow instructors to give students easy-to-remember link names, such as MedicalEthics2022. There will also be a home page feed of new content, much like most social media apps, allowing students and instructors to see what is new as soon as they log in.

Video options

Flip has added a number of helpful features over the past two years that are often overlooked:

Other features

Beyond video upgrades, Flip is constantly adding features that connect users to one another.

These upgrades make Flip an even more powerful tool for hosting student discussions and presentations.