Friday, September 17, 2021

Tool of the month: Flipgrid app for video sharing

The tool of the month is Flipgrid, a handy app for sharing videos within a blended training or online event. It wasn't love at first sight between me and Flipgrid. The first time I tested Flipgrid I couldn't figure out how to easily invite people without the videos being public. I added everyone one by one by email and found that quite a hassle. Only later did I discover that you have to create a group and create multiple topics (to which people respond with a video) within the group. If you set up a group you can invite people very easily with a simple code. Further on in this blog post you will find an example of what such an invitation looks like. But the love has grown! I now use it regularly. A very simple way of using Flipgrid is to ask participants to introduce themselves via the app with a short video. Super easy and fun to see everyone before a meeting o workshop! 

So it takes some effort to know how Flipgrid works, but if you have mastered the tool you can do very nice things with it.

What is Flipgrid?

Flipgrid is an app in which participants can easily record and share a video message right from their smartphone. They click on a big blue button with "Add response", which gives access to the camera and microphone and off they go. What makes Flipgrid fantastic for me is that you can set how long the answer can be, eg 1 or 1.5 minutes. What's also nice is that you can comment on the videos by text. Here and here you will find two great explanatory video's. One by Richard Byrne, the other by Flipgrid. 

Three ways of using Flipgrid

  1. Flipgrid to get to know each other. You can use Flipgrid before you give a training session or (online) workshop. Ask participants to share what they want to learn, or introduce themselves. As a facilitator, you have a richer feel of your participants: face, voice and learning questions. Add a light-hearted question if you like, such as 'what made you laugh out loud this week?'
  2. Flipgrid for groupwork harvesting. I regularly use Flipgrid for group assignments, especially when the group is working together online for 1-3 weeks. I ask them to record a flipgrid video with their harvest in 1 minute. It helps the group condense their findings. I will show the videos during the (online) meeting. This way the presentations don't get boring and I know exactly how long it will take. You can make use of Flipgrid's mixtapes which is a feature which allows you to show a number of videos in a row via one link. 
  3. Flipgrid for presentation skills. You can of course use Flipgrid to practice presentation skills. I used it to let participants practice a pitch. The advantage of Flipgrid is that participants can re-record as many times as they want. I showed the pitches during a live online session. All participants gave positive feedback and tips via the chat, but you can of course also ask to give feedback online in Flipgrid, or give feedback yourself as a trainer.

Example Flipgrid instruction

How can you share your story?
  1. Download the Flipgrid app from the app store: Android or Apple You will be asked for a flip code. The code is: 34xx5z
  2. Follow the steps to record your video. Click on Add response, log in with a Microsoft or Google account and start your video.
  3. Your contribution is approved by me. So don't worry if you don't see your own video right away, I'll approve it as soon as possible. If you have any questions, you can email me.

What can go wrong?

It happened to me twice that Flipgrid didn't work properly, or better said: my exercise didn't work properly. I used it once with a group that didn't know each other well and I asked a quite complicated question. There were only two responses. With another group I was eagerly looking every day at the Flipgrid app on my smartphone, but no videos appeared. What happened? Flipgrid had changed the default settings to moderation. There were contributions, but as an 'educator' I had to approve them first via the website. Unfortunately you can't turn it off. Oh yes there was a third exercise with few responses! I was depend on other to send the invitation and they sent on the day of the live session, hence we had few responses. So the lesson is to use it only when there is space and energy to invest in downloading the app and record. 

Making a clip

There is a new possibility to make a screen recording in Flipgrid: a recording of your screen as a video. You can use this feature to make a knowledge clip showing, for example, a powerpoint on your computer screen. This feature is a bit hidden but in the video below Richard Byrne explains exactly where to find it.

Translation results

What about Flipgrid and privacy? You can choose settings to guarantee privacy. For example, you can choose that only you see the videos. GDPR wise it must be clear who can see the videos and what the purpose is. It is good to delete the videos after a certain time. Personally I think it is better to use Flipgrid than Whatsapp for sharing videos. First, because you can set the time and subjects. Secondly, because with Whatsapp you cannot prevent people from receiving continuous notifications. With Flipgrid people are more in control when they watch new additions and it is not mixed with private messages.

You can also add Flipgrid as app in Microsoft Teams