Using Flip to Propel Global Competence
My initial experience with Flip was when the our Learning Partners Inquiry Team visited my classroom in fall 2018. The members of the Learning Partners Team shared their feedback with me via Flip. Listening to this feedback over Flip instead of in person decreased the anxiety I often have during these types of exchanges and it gave me the opportunity to listen and digest the feedback more than once. With my firsthand experience, I shared it with my Inquiry Team on Strength-Based Writing Practices for Students with Disabilities. Our team created oral rehearsal strategies using Flip to help our students with memory and print disabilities to record their ideas before drafting. This application of Flip falls within the augmentation component of the SAMR model. I also began using Flip as a way to have students record their summaries of their independent reading books, substituting (SAMR) our reading notebooks for our laptops, tablets and phones. My after school club, The Human Rights Club, used Flip as a platform for oral rehearsal before calling their Congressional Representatives about the treatment of children at the southern US border.
When I started working with Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms, I started to think about how I could use Flip to meet the goals of Global Education. In hindsight, I realized that by using Flip to have the members of the Human Rights Club orally rehearse what they wanted to say to their Congressional Representatives, I was helping the students to communicate their ideas and take action. I started to wonder, how could I continue to use Flip to propel Global Competence and use it for more than just substitution and augmentation (SAMR).
Investigating the World, Recognizing Perspectives & Communicating Ideas: Kids Lives in Bucaramanga
Starting in October 2019, my students began our partnership with Rachel through an organization called Reach The World. Rachel was a Fulbright ETA working at a university in Bucaramanga, Colombia. Rachel wrote field notes and journals for our class about the culture, traditions and geography of Colombia. One of her field notes was an interview of two of her students from the K-12 school she was teaching in outside of her work at the University.
We used a Close Reading Structure to read through the field note together. We discussed several questions as we read, "How are Mariana and Valeria’s lives similar to our lives? How are they different? What are we learning about Colombia from Mariana and Valeria that we have not learned from Rachel? Why are we learning something different?" We really focused on the differences in perspectives on Colombian life from Rachel, Mariana and Valeria. During the next lesson, we used a planning sheet to help us record a FlipGrid video in which each student could introduce themselves to Mariana and Valeria, answer some of the questions about Mariana and Valeria asked about life in Brooklyn and pose some additional questions about life in Colombia. Recording this video was not an easy task and it took many retakes to get the videos right. Although we used a planning sheet with sentence frames to support our multi-language learners, it was really difficult for some students to monitor their own clarity. My ENL co-teacher and I had to "interview" some students as they were recording to help the students communicate their ideas clearly. The students tooks a greater sense of care when they were recording because they knew their audience would be 2 specific children in Colombia. I was able to share the link to our grid through email with Rachel and she was able to share the videos with Mariana & Valeria. The sharing options for FlipGrid are varied and help you to make student work public in all types of ways. You can generate QR codes for all videos within FlipGrid, you can share a direct link to an entire grid or single videos, you can generate HTML code so grids and videos can be embedded on websites and you can download individual videos. Of course, how much you are able to share depends upon the grid settings. Grids can be as private or as public as you would like them to be. Because my students already had media permission slips, I was able to set this grid as a public PLC.
One very special feature on Flip is the ability for students to record video responses for each other. I assumed the interface was very easy to understand and I thought I was being clear when I asked Rachel if she, Mariana and Valeria could record responses. Initially, Rachel emailed us separate video files until I explained this feature again. Watching all of the video responses really helped my students to draw more connections to the people of Colombia. They were so excited to hear the responses to their specific questions and each student experienced a thrill when Mariana or Rachel used their names. My students immediately wanted to record new videos to share with Mariana and Rachel. Later on in the year, we created a travel magazine about Colombia. Two of the students decided that they wanted to write about Mariana & Valeria's perspectives on Colombian life and culture for our magazine. This experience also prompted them to ask bigger questions, "Ms Mesk, how come our school gives homework and Mariana's does not? Why do some schools start so early? Ms Mesk, how can we get a separate lunch and recess period like Valeria?" Using Flip in this manner helped my students participate in a dialogue across two continents and helped us to modify and redefine (SAMR) what communication between students could look like. Already, I am thinking about ways I could use Flip next year in partnership with another teacher to redefine and modify what pen pals could look like. This activity inspired us to create a grid in which my students provides social emotional support for Rachel when she left Colombia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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