Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

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Introducing the Flipgrid Explorer Series

Overview

If you're unfamiliar with Flipgrid, this is a video response tool that allows for communication between teacher and student in an unconventional, yet engaging way. A teacher can pose a question and students can respond using their personal devices. There are countless uses for this in the classroom, from early childhood classrooms to higher education classes. However, there is a neat series that Flipgrid hosts that's known as the Explorer Series. The description for these are "a way for students to connect and engage with people doing interesting things around the world." They are connected with professionals from various professions, are able to ask them questions using Flipgrid, and gain a greater understanding of the world without ever leaving the classroom.

Voices with Antarctica

Studying the frozen land of Antarctica in person might not sound too appealing, but the first of the Explorer series introduced students to this location. Marine Biologist, Laura Goetz is in Antarctica and provided students with a glimpse into her everyday life, as well as answering questions from students on her own grid. There were different topics posted each week and students received a real-world peek of life at the bottom of the globe. Even though this is a "Frozen" grid, the videos can still be viewed and learning can still take place. Check out Voices with Antarctica to learn more!

Explorer Series: Raptors

The second installment offered students an opportunity to learn about raptors. Mike Billington from the University of MInnesota Raptor Center developed a few topics for students to respond to regarding the birds in their neighborhood and what birds are at the Raptor Center, even how students can help protect the wildlife. The discussion centered around not only the types of birds, but amazing facts about each one. Just as the Antarctica grid is Frozen, the Explorer Series: Raptors still offers a wealth of information on these amazing creatures.

Explorer Series: Fossils

SInce the first two were so engaging and informative, Flipgrid rolled out another episode of the series, fossils. For this Explorer Series, Jason Osborne, a paleontologist from Midland, Texas gave students a look into fossil discovery in a river. He also provided students with information on the gear that he uses, the tools that he has, and the process describing how these ancient fossils end up in riverbeds. What's really awesome about this series is that it's still an OPEN GRID! Students can still submit to it if your class is itching to know more about this piece of ancient archaeology.

Brand New Explorer Adventure: Brains

If you're in a middle or high school science, sociology, or psychology classroom, this most recent installment of the Explorer series is just for you. It is entitled: Brains, and will feature neuroscientist Gretchen Neigh and her team. Throughout the topics, they will explain how the brain works and what it is capable of. Additionally, she will also post discussion topics so students are able to ask questions and inquire more information about this complex organ. The schedule of topics is:


  • October 2nd: Pre-knowledge - What is the most interesting thing about the brain? What's the most confusing thing about the brain?
  • October 16th: Topic One - Throughout this week we'll discuss the various components of the brain; which part of the brain do you think is most important and why?
  • October 23rd: Topic Two - What do you believe will be the next big thing for neuroscience? What scientific breakthrough with the brain will change humanity as we know it?
  • October 27th: Reflection - How do you see brains differently?


Have your students begin drafting questions to ask, as well as a response to the first week's topic. Their participation will be much more beneficial than a chapter out of a textbook or a YouTube video! Check out Explorer Series: Brains to participate.

Have an Idea for a Future Explorer Series?

These four professionals are fantastic resources for students and are capable of bringing real world experiences directly to their Chromebooks. If you have a great idea or if you know of anyone that may be an interesting candidate, send Flipgrid an email at hello@Flipgrid.com. There are no parameters on who qualifies.

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