Flipgrid is possibly the coolest website/app I've seen in a long time. Put simply, a teacher can pose a question, and students can answer with a short video response. The students' videos show up on a board so that they can see each others' responses. All you need is a device (iPad, smart phone, Chromebook, or desktop/laptop) that has a camera. Oh, yeah, and your students' wonderfulness.
Here's how you can get started. Go to https://admin.flipgrid.com and click the blue Create Account button at the top right. Complete the required information (the free version is probably plenty, at least while you're getting started) and Create My Grid. Click the blue + New Grid button to continue.
You will get ONE grid, which doesn't sound like a lot, but you can create many topics within the Grid - so give the Grid your broadest category name, like "Mrs. Watson's Class" or "9th Grade English 2017." When you're creating your Grid, be sure to scroll all the way down so that you can select a cover image - you gotta make it look cute, right? When everything has been entered and you're happy with your cover image, click Create Grid in the lower right corner of the screen.
The next thing you'll do is create your first Topic by clicking the + New Topic button. Think of the Grid as your file folder, and the Topics as the individual files within that folder. The topic is your lesson title or the questions you want your students to answer (e.g. What did you learn today? What problem do you want to solve tomorrow? What do you have questions about?) It will look something like this:
Click Create Topic, and you will get a message with the information you'll need to provide to your students so they know where to go to answer your question. Note that you will see two links; one is for the entire Grid, and the second goes straight to the Topic.
There are several ways that you can provide this link to your students. Since it's not long, your older students can just copy it and type it into their browser's address bar. You could copy and paste the link and put it on your Google Classroom, Smore, or other tool you use to communicate with your students. OR, students can just enter the code (in this case, 0e4bd8 - whatever comes after flipgrid.com) in the field at the bottom of the student website or on the Flipgrid app if the student is using a smartphone or tablet. Note that your students do NOT have to create an account (and are not allowed to if they are under 13), but they will need to provide their first and last name before they can submit their video.*
Give your kids a voice with Flipgrid!
For more videos about Flipgrid, check out the Flipgrid Social YouTube channel.