Video sharing tool offers Halloween fun

Faith P. grins and twirls in her butterfly costume. Dominic P. is a shy dragon. Maliyah B. is a smiling Jasmine. Brayden G. shows off his spooky skeleton costume. And Mrs. Burgdoff is a colorful flower!

These videos and more were part of a project Mrs. Burgdoff created for her kindergarten students at Halloween using the online video sharing platform Flipgrid.

See Mrs. Burgdoff’s grids here

Flipgrid is a “video discussion community” designed for classroom use that allows teachers to post topics, and students to respond by filming their own short videos. Students can add stickers or text to the video to personalize their responses.

In Mrs. Burgdoff’s class, each student was given the chance to stand up, show off their costume and say what they were dressed up as. The “grid” was opened up to the rest of the school so that anyone could participate.

Technology coordinator Ryan Orilio has been working with teachers to introduce Flipgrid and to start discussions about how teachers can use the web-based tool in the classroom. Orilio led a training session for teachers on Oct. 30, and Burgdoff said she was inspired to set up a few Halloween topics for her students to respond to.

“It was a fun Halloween activity,” Burgdoff said, adding that she plans to use Flipgrid at other times in the year as well.

According to Orilio, Flipgrid is a versatile tool that teachers can use for student reflections, reading practice, public speaking, presentations and more.

One advantage of using the web-based tool instead of more traditional methods is that students who are shy or nervous can still “present” their material without having to stand up in front of the class, since responses can be recorded individually or privately.

Orilio notes that Flipgrid’s online, mobile-friendly format makes it easy for students to jump in and participate.

“Using video as the response medium creates an authentic environment for students that mimics many of today’s online interactions,” Orilio said.