Using FlipGrid in Canvas

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FlipGrid is a free video discussion tool that allows for threaded video discussions in your Canvas course.  It's become very popular in both K-12 schools and college classes lately, possibly even more popular than Kahoot   And Microsoft recently bought FlipGrid and opened up all the premium features to everyone for free (such as maximum allowed video length, now 10 minutes).  My colleague James May posted a short 2 minute video about FlipGrid & Canvas that includes some comments from his students about using FlipGrid:

Try It Out for Yourself

Feel free to try it out for yourself and post a video reply to this FlipGrid discussion "grid": Using FlipGrid in Canvas

How to Use FlipGrid as a Student in Canvas

Michelle Pacansky-Brock made a couple of great videos showing students how to participate in a FlipGrid discussion in Canvaseither with their computer and a webcam:

If students do use FlipGrid with a laptop or computer, they may get errors that Flash is required.  Here are instructions on how to enable Flash in Chrome and enable Flash in Firefox.

Or students can participate with their smartphone and the Canvas Student app (Android, Apple) and FlipGrid app (Android, Apple) installed:

These videos can help students not only see how to successfully use FlipGrid but also help assuage any fears some may have about recording video.

How to Set Up and Use FlipGrid as a Teacher in Canvas

Setting up and configuring FlipGrid for use in a Canvas course requires a few steps, but should not take too long, especially once you get used to using FlipGrid.  FlipGrid has a nice handout explaining how to set up and use FlipGrid in Canvas.

It is missing a few things that may come up though: 1) what do you need to do when you roll over your course from one semester to another? 2) what if you have more than one instructor/facilitator, and 3) what if you share your course with someone else to use?

This video walks through setting up and using FlipGrid in Canvas, and it addresses those issues at the end:

But as to those 3 issues about using FlipGrid in Canvas:

  1. When rolling over your Canvas course from one semester to another, go back to each of your FlipGrid assignments and create a new grid to use.
  2. If you have more than one instructor/facilitator, click on the FlipGrid link in the course navigation menu and click on "Add CoPilot" to add another person who can administer the FlipGrid grids in the course.
  3. If someone else copies your Canvas course or if you import and use a Canvas course that someone else created and which uses FlipGrid, go to Settings -> Apps -> View App Configurations, and enter your own FlipGrid consumer key and shared secret as explained in the handout and video above.  Then go to each FlipGrid assignment and create a grid to use.

Other FlipGrid Options: Captions and Email Notifications

A couple of things I didn't mention in the video: captions are not enabled by default in FlipGrid, and by default you will get an email notification every time a student posts a video.

To enable captions (which I recommend), click on the FlipGrid link in your course navigation menu, then click the pencil icon, scroll down, and toggle on the "Captions" option.

If you wish to turn off email notifications, toggle off the "Notify Me" option.

Pedagogical Uses for FlipGrid

When I've introduced FlipGrid to teachers and faculty, they are excited about it, and they get some of the obvious uses for FlipGrid such as an introductory discussion or using it in a foreign language course or the like.  But FlipGrid has also been popular in STEM, history, and all kinds of courses.  See for example these resources: