Regional teachers, experienced teachers, performance makers, innovative programs and more were acknowledged over the 90 minutes.
It was the recipient of the 2018 Rob Galbraith Early Career Award, for drama teachers with less than five years of teaching experience, that had me excited to find out more.
Giulia Mormile, from Balcombe Grammar School, accepted her award through grateful tears – her years of hard work being recognised amongst a pool of other skilled young teachers.
What set her apart from her peers was her intelligent use of contemporary technology in the classroom.
I host and produce a podcast for drama teachers and students and just had to talk with her about what she was doing in the classroom. Although Giulia uses OneNote, DropBox and Padlet, the most interesting program we discussed was Flipgrid.
What is Flipgrid?
Flipgrid is an online video discussion program for teachers, students and families.
How can we use it?
Teachers have full control over the topics discussed and the questions asked. You can add resources and attachments and respond to videos submitted with your own video or, alternatively, provide written feedback. Students can review each others’ responses, see how they have approached the question, or the topic, and react to one another.
Getting around to each student in every class is almost impossible. Flipgrid gives your class a chance to provide their opinion or thoughts on any topic.
Using Flipgrid allows you to post a link to an article, attach a question for your students to answer and then let them loose with their phones at home, during class or in their own time.
Your students will record themselves responding to the article, your questions, or videos from classmates.
They can respond without having to write and you get an immediate sense of their thoughts and feelings on the subject. Users do not have to record a response or video in one go.
They can pause while creating their response, add more information after reviewing their video and cut or trim the videos. Stickers and drawings, can also be added.
The length of the videos can be controlled (from 15 seconds to 5 minutes), allowing for both brief responses and extended answers, and you can moderate all videos and control student access, eliminating the possibility of inappropriate content being uploaded.
What if I am not sure how to use it in my classroom?
Much help is at hand! You can access thousands of examples from teachers all around the world with varied topics such as ‘Meet Your Classmates’, ‘Would You Rather’, ‘Mexican Independence and its Impact on Texas’ and ‘Pancake Ratios’. You can also use their service GridPals, to connect with teachers around the globe.
What are the tech limitations?
The app is flexible and highly accessible. It is available on laptops, tablets and mobile devices, Mac, PC, Apple and Android.
How much is it?
The best news is Flipgrid is free! Why not use this program to create mini collaboration spaces, or to connect your class to students all over the globe.