EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article is based on an edWeb.net webinar entitled “Using Flipagram to Help Students Categorize Knowledge” given by Shannon Holden, assistant principal at Republic Middle School in Missouri. His website is newteacherhelp.com.
A former teacher, Shannon Holden knows that teachers will only use technology if it’s free, easy to use, and saves time or effort. Flipagram meets all these criteria and is perfect for creating short, visual lessons. Available on all platforms, Flipagram is an app that enables users to make 15- to 30-second videos using pictures. It’s also easy to add music.
Because the videos are short, they are easy to make and easy to view repeatedly. Holden recommends using it for lists or sequences of 10 items or less.
To get ideas flowing, Holden and webinar attendees suggested a wide variety of things which could be taught in 30 seconds with a Flipagram video:
• Visual directions to a new location
• Steps in a procedure
• Behavior modeling
• Life cycle of butterfly
• Parts of speech/grammar
• Our solar system
• Order of operations (PEMDAS)
• Sine – Cosine – Tangent
• The water cycle
• Types of clouds
• Events leading to Civil War
• Steps in The Scientific Method
• New England Colonies – Southern Colonies – Middle Colonies
• Different names for a number
• Types of pronouns
• The Bill of Rights
• Types of bears
• Three branches of government
• Figurative language in a poem
• The writing process
• Vowels and the souces they make
• The FOIL Method (First-Outside-Inside-Last) (multiplying expressions within parentheses)
• Types of energy
• Kingdom – Phylum – Class –Order – Family – Genus – Species
• Phases of the moon
• Continents of the earth
• Great Lakes
• Stars within a constellation
• Book Trailers – 30 seconds to promote a book
• Character sketches of characters
• Compare/contrast Medieval knights vs. Jedi knights
• Essentials of copyright
• Elements of foreign language
Making a Flipagram video is easy. Just download it to your mobile device for free, open it, and follow the instructions. You can also use Flipagram on your desktop if you use BlueStacks. You can import photos from Instagram, Facebook, your photo gallery, Twitter, Flickr, Dropbox, or anywhere you have a stash of photos on the Internet. For best results, limit the number of photos to 10, with a transition speed of 3 seconds/slide.
Once the photos are selected, you can put them in a specific order or select random order, rotate them, add text, delete them, control speed of transitions, add audio, and filters. You can duplicate pictures to reinforce a point.
Flipagram has music to use, or you can add your own. This adds a lot of interest and production value. There is no way to fade out, though.
The Flipagram video can be up to 30 seconds long. But if you post the video to Instagram it can only be 15 seconds long so you would have to reduce the transition speed. Holden recommends not posting on Instagram for this reason.
You can share the Flipagram videos in many ways. The most common is
to create a URL link or send via e-mail. You can also post on Twitter, Instagram, or even create a QR code for scanning. Here are some examples of videos:
- Moon Phases: http://flipagram.com/f/Jv7r0A0VwJ
- 7 Geographic Regions of Texas: http://flipagram.com/f/JhAbjdUwuK
- Life Cycle of Butterfly: http://flipagram.com/f/Jv7pvcUVSV
To use in class, consider these ideas:
- Make Flipagrams and send students the link.
- Assign students a topic and have THEM make Flipagrams.
- Have students present their Flipagrams to the class.
- Save all your class’s Flipagrams in one place, such as a blog, Wiki, or website, for students to access whenever they need 30 seconds of knowledge. Put a title above each link.