Chapter License: CC-BY

Developer: Microsoft
Price: Free to use
Summary: A video creation tool used to conduct virtual discussions


As a startup product created at the University of Minnesota and acquired by Microsoft in 2018, Flipgrid is a simple and intuitive digital tool that provides a multimodal approach to teaching and social learning for students from early years through graduate studies (Flipgrid, n.d.). Utilizing a social constructivist approach, educators and students engage primarily through short video discussion posts. Other interactions such as slide decks, images, and text are also available. To begin the construction of knowledge, educators use their free accounts to create a topic for discussion, invite community members using email addresses, and then share the join code so learners can access it and begin their contributions (Flipgrid, n.d.). Once learners have read the topic for discussion, they use the built-in video creation tool to record their responses, respond to peer videos, or pose further questions. Additionally, all stakeholders have the opportunity to give and receive feedback. A closer look at the website reveals more than 35 partner organizations including Epic! Books, Adobe, and Discovery Education, to name a few. Further, it provides a list of trending topics, Flipgrid specific PD, and greater than 30,500 existing topics to explore for inspiration or use.

Critique and Implications for Education

Flipgrid offers the potential to increase student learning and elevate pedagogy while infusing technology into the curriculum. Through the Flipgrid (n.d.) mission to “empower every voice”, they have created a platform to provide opportunities for reflection, engagement, increase connectedness to bridge the gap between brick and mortar schools and online learning, and promote accessibility and digital citizenship (Carr & Kruggle, 2020; Green & Green, 2017; Johnson & Skarphol, 2018; Romera-Ivanova et al., 2020).


Flipgrid boasts the ability to give each student a voice to express themselves through a video discussion board (Flipgrid, n.d.). Learners access a discussion prompt from a facilitator and then are afforded the opportunity to consider what they are being asked to contribute, source out efficient materials to support their response, and review information prior to submission (Carr & Kruggle, 2020). Further, educators have the option to insert additional resources such as links to readings or videos to watch prior to responding. This process not only supports pedagogy but moves learners beyond a position of rote learning and into a state of understanding. When considering online learning, there is an overt sense that it often leaves students feeling isolated and disengaged from peers (Bower et al., 2015). However, Flipgrid provides a significant advantage over traditional discussion boards as it puts a face and voice to the name appearing on the screen, enhancing learner connectedness by incorporating a more human feel to asynchronous conversations and leaving learners feeling more connected to the community (Bartlett, 2018). To this end, the addition of audio transcripts has enhanced the accessibility of Flipgrid, opening it up to a more diverse population (Green & Green, 2018). Lastly, given the youngest prescribed users are students from the K-12 sector, digital citizenship is an important skill gained from using Flipgrid. As learners engage with peers and facilitators on academic subject matter, it enhances their digital competencies and they observe appropriate ways to engage online (Johnson & Skarphol, 2018).


Challenges, as compared to benefits, do not present as readily for Flipgrid. However, the issues presented are potential drawbacks. Educators need to consider things like group size, connectivity, competitiveness among learners, and privacy concerns. First, studies found that Flipgrid is not well-suited for large, in-person groups as the noise level, and subsequent distractions detract from the overall benefits of using Flipgrid (Carr & Kruggle, 2020). The second challenge of using Flipgrid is device capability and internet connection (Carr & Kruggle, 2020; Romero-Ivanova et al., 2020; Stoszkowski, 2018). Being a video creation tool, Flipgrid requires the use of devices that are camera and microphone-equipped (Carr & Kruggle, 2020). In addition, a reliable internet connection for accessing the website or downloading and using iOS or Android applications on mobile devices is also required, presenting as a barrier for rural participants or socioeconomically disadvantaged learners (Romero-Ivanova et al., 2020). A third challenge mirrors those of social media platforms where learners can become distracted by filters or promote competitiveness through the use of likes and tracking the number of views that a discussion response receives (Stoszkowski, 2018). Lastly, as with most online platforms requiring some amount of personal information, privacy is a challenge to consider when using Flipgrid (Iona, 2017). Although learners sign up using organization email addresses and minimal else, anyone with the join code and email address can gain access to discussion grids.

When considering the current pandemic situation, it is easily noted how expansive the need for online learning and adaptable digital tools has become (Romero-Ivanova et al., 2020). Flipgrid offers many implications for educational practice as a social learning tool. The ability to integrate with a multitude of platform partners, such as Adobe or Google (Docs, Classroom, Slides, etc.) can make for a seamless tool for educators and learners utilizing learning management systems (Green & Green, 2018). For learners, Flipgrid means the opportunity to have their voices heard through a creative approach, particularly for introverted learners or those who require the opportunity for reflective practice. Furthermore, the successful navigation of Flipgrid provides the opportunity to enhance technology self-efficacy for students (Bartlett, 2018), enabling users to proceed with confidence in their ability to incorporate digital tools into their learning. For educators, Flipgrid means the opportunity to engage learners asynchronously and the ability to gain a deeper understanding of who they are as learners and individuals through observations of gestures, tone, and response content, to name a few. Flipgrid can be used in many ways including as a discussion forum, a reflective journal, a display of the arts (sharing music, discussion of a painting, interpretive movement), or for STEM tasks. Additionally, it can be used by educators as a tool to collect formative assessments (Carr & Kruggle, 2020) on any number of topics and have them contained in one accessible grid or group.

Access and Cost

Flipgrid is free to use and available on both PC and mobile applications. Additionally, audio transcripts and closed-captioning are available for users who require content to be delivered in an alternate format.

About the Author

Violet Bell Hogan

Violet Bell Hogan is a lifelong learner with 14 years of experience in the field of education and is currently an associate researcher for the Educational Informatics Lab. Violet is a graduate of the BA in Adult Education and Digital Technologies (Honours) program from OTU, and currently a Master of Arts in Education student with the aspiration of facilitating adult learning within higher education or the corporate world. Being immersed in synchronous and asynchronous online learning has ignited a passion for exploration and research into the affordances that support the development of relationships within virtual communities of inquiry.

Presently, Violet is a Designated Early Childhood Educator partnering with a classroom teacher to provide a vibrant and ever-changing learning environment in the full-day kindergarten program.


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