Make Global Connections with #GridPals
Thanks to the superpowers of Flipgrid and the creative vision of Student Voice Ambassador, Bonnie McClelland, Educators are able to team up to break down the walls of their classrooms, connect their students, and create authentic, meaningful learning experiences through the movement known as #GridPals!
Getting on the Map & Making the Connection
Once you have updated your profile information, click #GridPals and make the switch to "Active" so that other Educators who are part of the Flipgrid #GridPals community can find and connect with you! After clicking "Active" you will be prompted to review your profile and provide your address or the name of your city. Once you have added your location, click "Add Me"; a pin will appear on the map representing you and a ring with a globe will light up around your profile image reminding you that your profile is visible to the community!
Building Your First Grid & Adding a CoPilot
Once you have made a #GridPals connection and you are ready to collaborate, either you or your #GridPal will have to build a New Grid and add the other person as a CoPilot. Let's review the steps:
- In your Educator Dashboard, click on "My Grids" - then click the blue "New Grid" button to get started creating a Grid.
- Remember, there are three different Grid Community Types. For #GridPals choose either:
- School Email Domain
- Student ID List
Choose the Community Grid Type that works best for you and your #GridPals Educator!
Let's review the differences between the two Grid Community Types!
The "School Email Domain" option is the best choice if you AND the #GridPals Educator you have connected with are BOTH using either Microsoft or Google School email domains.
Remember you BOTH need to have the emails for students in order to use this type of Grid seamlessly. Once created, your students will log in using the Flip Code AND their school email address.
If one, or both, of you do NOT have student emails or a common email domain, the Student ID List is your best option. You can upload a CSV of your students' names and a unique student number, or you can manually enter them. The list of IDs or QR codes can be downloaded and shared with students so they can log in with the ID or QR code and the Flip Code for the Grid.
Adding a CoPilot to your #GridPals Grid!
So, you have created a Grid to connect with your #GridPals, don't forget to add the (#GridPals) Educator as a CoPilot!
Remember CoPilots can essentially do everything the Grid creator can do! By using this feature, you and your CoPilot (the #GridPals Educator) can edit the Grid, create new Topics, moderate student Video Responses, and give feedback! Ultimately you and your #GridPals Educator can collaborate to create a meaningful, authentic learning experience for all students involved!
To add a CoPilot in your #GridPals Grid:
- Click on the Grid you wish to add a CoPilot to (in "MyGrids" in your Educator Dashboard)
- In the Grid Details, click on the button "Add CoPilots to your Grid"
- in the "Add a CoPilot" window, enter the email address of your #GridPal Educator - they will receive an email and a notification at the top of their Educator Dashboard that they have been invited to be a CoPilot for the Grid (note: they must accept the invitation)
The Power of Topics!
What ultimately makes #GridPals so powerful are the engaging and challenging Topics that you and your CoPilot (#GridPals Educator) add to the Grid. It is through these creative Topics that students are connected and challenged to generate ongoing, thoughtful reflections and discussions! Bonnie McClelland, the creator behind #GridPals, recommends that you and your CoPilot start with a variety of topics, and then allow students to introduce new ideas as their conversations begin to develop. To support Educators on their #GridPals journey, Bonnie McClelland has provided a variety of Topic ideas for you to use, organized into the following three categories.
Connection: these topics revolve around getting started, introducing yourselves, and making connections.
Conversation: these topics prompt discussions and debates, encouraging students to share their thoughts and ideas.
Collaboration: these topics present projects or lessons that students can work together on through sharing their video responses.
#GridPals, Digital Citizenship and Privacy
Before connecting your students with #GridPals, it is important that you:
Communicate with your students' parents and/or guardians - and comply with any parent and/or guardian's requests that specific students do not participate.
Teach Digital Citizenship - have a class discussion about safe and responsible technology use.
Have a conversation and ‘offline’ practice about creating a respectful and well communicated verbal response to a teacher question as well replies to classmate responses, how to respectfully disagree.
Consider using the Video Moderation feature (which you can turn on anytime by editing the Topic) when you first start interacting with your #GridPals. By moderating students' video responses, you have full control over what gets published in the Topic and students learn that inappropriate responses will not be accepted. You can always turn off Video Moderation once you feel your students are ready!