Thursday, August 24, 2017


Student Voice is a passion of mine and Flipgrid is a tool that helps amplify those voices!  For those new to Flipgrid, it is a web-based video reflection tool that allows teachers to provide a prompt and students then create a video response.

Before I share with you the ins and outs of using Flipgrid, I want to share some reasons why you would want to use Flipgrid!
  • Voices that are often silent in class have an avenue to share their thoughts
  • Reflection is powerful. Flipgrid allows you to set the maximum amount of time for a response ranging from 15 seconds to 5 minutes. For shorter reflections, students must reflect and synthesize the information to provide a succinct video reflection.
  • Video reflections can be shared with the family through a private link allowing parents to see first-hand their students thinking through their learning.
  • Flip the family connection and ask family members to share with your class. You can easily bring in experts from outside of your classroom walls to share about a topic of your choice.
  • 100% engagement for your students. Everyone has a voice.
  • Use it to engage students in dialogue on current events, book talks, a voice in classroom learning and more. 
There are so many uses, but these are a few reasons why I think it is worth your time.
Let's get started. Go to and sign up to create a free account. 

Here is a comparison of the Free Account and the Classroom Account if you decide to change to a paid account at a later date.

After creating your account, you are ready to begin setting up your grid and topics.  Watch this Flipgrid introduction video that has been enhanced using Edpuzzle to provide additional details. It walks you through account set-up, creating your grid, and adding topics!

For those who like step-by-step visuals, here are resources to support you!

You are now ready to add a topic. You can have multiple topics on your one free grid!

Make sure you scroll down before you create a topic to look at your other options!

Response settings include:
  • Selfie Decorations:  You can control if students can customize their selfie at the end of the video with stickers and/or drawings or turn off these options.
  • Emoji Reactions: Do you want students to be able to leave emoji feedback or only like other videos?
  • Response Moderation: Turn on if you want to approve students' videos before they are posted on your topic
You are now ready to go with Flipgrid!  Want to see what it is like from a student's perspective?  Respond to my Flipgrid and tell me how you could use Flipgrid to engage students! 

Note: To respond to a Fligrid on an iPad, make sure students have the free Flipgrid app!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Google Email Contacts

It's that time of the year!  Parents are completing Google forms, updating Skyward information, and more. We have all types of data, but sometimes it is difficult to get it from one place to another. Contact lists for your classes are a quick way to send an email to your students' parents throughout the year. Rather than enter contacts one by one, use the digital data you already have!

Here is a copy of a Google Sheet ready to import into your Gmail Contacts!  From wherever you have your digital data (a Google Sheet from Google Form Responses, Excel from Skyward export, etc.), you can copy and paste your info into the correct fields. I have found that it is best to not delete any fields but only enter the information that you would like to import.

Once you have entered your information, download your Google Sheet as a Comma-separated value (.csv) file.

Open Contacts> More> Import.

When prompted to import contacts from other accounts, select CSV or vCard file.
This feature is currently only available in the old version of Google Contacts, so select "Go To Old Version".

Once on the old version, select Import Contacts

Select "Choose File" and navigate to the Sheet you saved as a .csv file. Click Import and watch the magic happen.

Once the import is complete, look at the left-hand column for the import labeled by date and select.

Look across the top of the screen and find "More", select the drop-down box and select "Rename group" and rename your contact group.

Now, you are ready to start communicating!  When you are composing an email, begin typing the name of your contact group and it should appear as a choice to select!  Don't forget to include your contact group in the BCC field!

Are you sharing your homeroom students with another teacher?  You can share your new contact group with them as well!  Here is a blog post with step-by-step instructions!

 Happy "e"mailing!