February 17, 2020: Update & Vlog #3… Here we go!

I finally feel like I’ve started getting somewhere with my major project! The planning and organizing of all these different ideas and reworking initial plans has taken a lot of time! However, that being said, I still have lots that needs to be accomplished…

My vlog this week was essentially a detailed update on everything I’ve done for my major project and where I’m going next (watch it below). For this blog post, I’ll highlight some of those advancements, but also share some insights I’ve had while working on my major project.

Flipgrid App Review Update

Like I mentioned in last week’s post, I completed my Flipgrid PD session and the students had a chance to explore the app. This week, we got down to business and they began working on their How To… projects. Origami has been very popular in my classroom (their book boxes are exploding with paper airplanes, foxes, and butterflies), so many of my students chose to expand on their skills for this project. Some of my students chose to learn how to draw a certain character or scene, while some are learning how to create clothing for dolls. I’ve been needing to remind my students that their final post should be a tutorial with step-by-step instructions of the skill that they are learning. They have been so excited to start creating, but haven’t been thinking a lot about how to create their tutorial. I am thinking I will need to show them some sample tutorials and break them down step-by-step as a class. On Friday, the students did their first reflection on their projects that detailed what they’ve accomplished, next steps, and how well they feel they’ve used their class time. I have started viewing their reflections and I am loving the accountability that Flipgrid has put on my students! I am finding their work periods are more productive, as they know I am checking in on their work through Flipgrid and that in order to make their post, they need to have something to share about their work that week. When we return to school (after the February break), we will continue to use Flipgrid and work on our projects. Meanwhile, I plan on giving feedback to my students about their progress so far through Flipgrid. I am hoping to do this in the form of a video response, as that seems the most efficient. Prior to creating this week’s vlog, I didn’t know that there was a private way to offer video feedback! However, I have noticed that I can offer written feedback, but it doesn’t appear that students can view it directly on their video. They are given a feedback link and they need to search the link in order to receive their feedback or it can be emailed to them. I have found a video tutorial that outlines how to offer feedback, so I plan on exploring this feature in more depth this week. I would also like to explore the grading rubric feature as well. I’m thinking I will try this out for their next reflection.

Digital Citizenship Unit Plan Update

This week, my co-teachers and I got our learning community set up for our superpower themed photo booth. We put up some student work that is open for commenting with sticky notes (for any students that do not have a media release or a signed permission slip). The student work was based on our presentation from Build Love and the handout used was provided by them as well. In addition we’ve put up some signs as a reminder of the expectations around using the photo booth. The photo booth will be supervised as well. We planned to do this activity on Anti-Bullying Day (February 26), as this seems like a fitting time to be discussing kindness, inclusion, and respect for others. Of course, prior to doing this activity, we needed to do some pre-teaching around digital identity and footprint. Common Sense Media has been my “go to” for lesson ideas and it also is where I found the lesson I taught this week. However, I am on the lookout for other resources that offer lesson plan ideas as well. I am open to any suggestions!

During our lesson this week, my students shared some really great insights, connections, and engagement. I think this topic resonated with many of them as quite a few of my students are active users of social media or at least play online games. I think it was an eye opening conversation regarding how there are some parts of your digital identity that you can control (things you post/comment on) and parts that you can’t (things others post/comment about you). I don’t think many of my students have given much thought to this because it generated a lot of conversation. One of my students made the connection that digital citizenship is basically citizenship… “Don’t say rude things about people in general!” We then discussed our responsibilities for ourselves, but also for others (check out my tweet to see the “highlights” of our discussion). This also brought up commenting on SeeSaw and Flipgrid. I explained that their comments on each other’s work has not been disrespectful, but also not necessary, inspiring, or helpful (referring to the THINK strategy). We had some very insightful conversation about this topic, so I’ll be curious to see how they begin applying this when I open up commenting again on SeeSaw and Flipgrid!

YouTube App Review Update

I am still working on creating my vlogs and learning more about this app. Thanks to our awesome EC&I 832 crew and Twitter, I have some great resources to review about using YouTube in the classroom! Victoria, Sarah, Adam, and Curtis weighed in on this with some interesting information, which I plan on sifting through more this week for my review! THANK YOU! I am still focusing on using YouTube as a vlogging platform, but I started thinking about the educational value of YouTube. Most of my students are using YouTube as their main source of research to learn the skill they’ve chosen for their How To… project. One of my students decided to learn how to do algebra and has been looking at tutorials on YouTube. This made me think about starting a classroom YouTube channel with mini tutorials on various topics and other ways YouTube can potentially be used. I’ve only ever used YouTube to show my students videos, but have never used it to post any educational content of my own. This might be something I consider trying for this course or at another point in time. Although there is still more research and exploring that needs to be done for this app, I was curious to see what social media apps and online games were the most and least popular for my students. I conducted a small survey and YouTube was the most used app by my students. Snap Chat, Tik Tok, and Instagram were also included. With that being said, I think if I were to use YouTube as a way to post mini tutorials or other educational content (either for my students or a broader audience), YouTube might be a good platform because my students are already familiar with the basics of how YouTube works. Food for thought!

Next Steps…

  • Finish planning my Digital Citizenship Unit… Updates to follow on our photo booth activity!
  • Continue working on my app reviews
  • Continue creating vlogs on my major project and experimenting with iMovie… Possibly expanding into creating educational content or mini tutorials for my students?

Thanks for taking a read/a watch of my vlog (the length definitely got away from me on this one)! If you have any other resources you’ve used other than Common Sense Media for your lesson plans, I would love to hear about them! Also, what are your thoughts on using YouTube in the classroom as an educational tool? Has anyone tried it before as a way to share content with their students or to a broader audience? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!


7 thoughts on “February 17, 2020: Update & Vlog #3… Here we go!

  1. Hi Leigh,

    Thanks for the great read! As someone who has lots of experience using Flipgrid with my students, I’m embarrassed to say that the idea of providing feedback directly to them through a video reply wasn’t something I had thought about before. I typically just resorted to the old way of marking their response on a rubric and provided some written feedback. This is such a great idea, and the fact that it can be private feedback is awesome. I’m definitely going to go this route in the future with my students – thanks for the inspiration!

    As for Youtube, I’ve had some experience using this in my classroom as I utilize a Flipped Approach to teaching my Math class. For this, I record all my Math lessons ahead of time and uploaded them to Youtube for my students to view the day before. I’ve really liked using Youtube for this as other apps I used weren’t as friendly for mobile viewers as the Youtube app is. If you want, check out my Flipped Math website as that is where I link all my youtube videos for my students. https://brescianimath8.weebly.com/21-two-and-three-term-ratios.html

    If you have any more questions about Youtube, feel free to let me know and I’d be happy to help you out!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Matt,

      I’m glad you found my blog post helpful! Yesterday, I tried out the video feedback feature and overall it worked really well. Something that I didn’t realize before (which will hopefully save some work on your end) is that if you have your kids log in using their name instead of an email, they cannot simply go to my.flipgrid.com and view their grids and video feedback responses. I had my kids logging in using their name. To ensure that they received their feedback, I needed to copy and paste the feedback link in a separate GoogleDoc and share it with each individual student. It wasn’t that much work, but the process would have gone a little quicker had I known that before! Something that I couldn’t figure out was when I was taking my selfie for their feedback videos, the sound from all of the videos started playing at once and there wasn’t a way to pause them, so I had to mute my laptop! It was odd because there weren’t any other videos open, so I don’t know if that is a Flipgrid error or something I was doing! Those are just a few things to look out for, but overall I would definitely recommend trying out this feature! Here is a link that you may find helpful: https://help.flipgrid.com/hc/en-us/articles/360042479314-How-to-provide-Feedback-to-student-videos

      Thank you so much for sharing how you use YouTube in the classroom! I love the idea of filming lessons ahead of time, as I know some of my students would benefit from some pre-teaching. I think it would also ease some anxiety knowing what’s coming next. I’ll definitely be checking out your website! Now I’m thinking, I want to try filming some lessons ahead of time (or even some tutorials) along with vlogging about my major project… Another change! Do you make your videos unlisted and just share the link through your website? Thank you for the inspiration!


  2. Hello Leigh
    I read your post with great interest. It is incredible to read and watch your vlog and get an understanding of how you are incorporating what we are learning in your classroom.
    As a side note – I volunteer whenever possible at my kids school and I always come home EXHAUSTED so it was kind of reassuring to know that teachers aren’t super human and that you get tired too.
    I don’t have much to contribute to your project other than to offer you moral support – keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great work (especially when running on fumes haha :)) Glad you caught the Flipgrid Fever and that it has had a positive impact on your class. Common sense is a great source for sure. Youtube has certainly become a source for lots of entertainment and learning possibilities. I know my own kids don’t watch TV at all but Youtube is a different story. Loved your vlog. Kinda reminds me of the teaching journals I used to do. A great place to share and collect your thoughts. Thanks for a peak into your classroom (learning community space) and looking forward to your reports on your Super Power Photo Booth (great idea).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dean,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I can’t believe I didn’t think of using YouTube before as a way to reach my students before this class. I’m in the process of creating some math tutorials, so we will see what my students think! Thanks for taking a look at my update!


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