March 19, 2020 at 10:39 AM #4741
I had a Zoom Video Call with 12/22 of my second graders yesterday morning. Zoom is very easy to use and to invite students to a group video call. All students need is a device with a camera and a microphone. They click the link you send (through email, Remind, Dojo, or text) at the scheduled time, and it logs them right on. Since my kids are so young, there were many parents standing by (lots of parent arms and hands in the video frame 😉 ) for tech support. It was so fun! The kids loved seeing each other and it did my heart a world of good to see everyone smiling. We kept it very low-key: I asked questions very similar to our Morning Meeting structure – 1) How are you feeling today? 2) What is something that’s made you smile over our “Corona-Cation”? 3) What is a goal you have for today/tomorrow? I also had the opportunity to share my screen with the kids (a feature on Zoom) so they could see the Padlet Link I put together for them. I can share about Padlet in another post if needed!
When I asked the kids if they wanted to do a video call again, they were all for it. We said same day/time (Wednesdays at 9am) for the next few weeks while we are off school. I got a lot of feedback from parents that it was a great mood-booster for their students to see friends and to see me. I am more than happy to help trouble-shoot for Zoom if anyone needs it!
Zoom also has options for “Break-Out Rooms” of small groups of students, to give time and space for kids (or adults) to work together/Turn and Talk with each other. The moderator can set a time limit for these rooms and can pop in and out to ensure convos are staying on topic. Zoom works best (less feedbacky) when people have their microphones muted until they want to say something. I told my kids this was kind of like raising their hand in class. They caught on very quickly!
Flip Grid is a SUPER cool, and very, very safe video platform for kids to interact through brief video snippets all posted to your Class Grid. This is something my class has been using all year, so the kids are familiar with tech-etiquette (basic background, find a quiet spot, no half naked siblings in the background, etc.) and they are familiar with how to use the platform. There are some links below of “How Tos” that I found for those who are new to Flip Grid.
I created two (for now) Topics on my class Flip Grid account: one for a Book Chat (where students can share what books they have been reading…I’ve even gotten on to share what I’ve been reading!) and one for a “Corona-Cation Chat.” Both these topics are set to “Moderated” so I have to preview everything before it goes live (see aforementioned concerns about siblings/backgrounds). Kids are able to see each other’s videos and reply via text comment or video comment- I have some of these options turned off currently…we are working on earning them as a class through being wise digital citizens. I’ve had a few kids post their videos and interact with the topics. This is very low-key and for “enrichment” purposes.
I am always willing to help troubleshoot and set up your account if needed. Flip Grid can be a little sticky to get used to and learn some of the verbiage, but once you do, the kids love it! Again, all kids need is a device with a camera and microphone.
I hope this helps! Remember- have grace with yourself, with the kids, and with others during this crazy time. We are all making it up as we go along. 🙂
March 19, 2020 at 11:01 AM #4760
This is amazing Amberly! Thank you so much for sharing. If you were to setup Flipgrid from scratch right now (i.e. with students who have never used it before), what would you suggest? Maybe you could host a “FlipGrid for Dummies” chat over the next few days!
March 21, 2020 at 11:29 AM #4908
Amy- I am always down for a “Flip Grid for Dummies” class/video call! I’m definitely not an expert, but I would be more than willing to help out. If you are just starting out, I would for sure go ahead and set up an educator’s account and start clicking around the website and learning about some of the features.
Jen- Zoom can be accessed through any device as long as it has a camera and microphone. For hosting Zoom calls, a desktop or laptop is better (you can see more of the features/have a bit more control) but for just participating, any ole device will do. Great question!
March 22, 2020 at 2:46 PM #4923
That would be awesome! Can we do it sometime early this week? And would it be alright if it was open to anyone who wanted to join?
I got my account set up and have clicked around a bit. I just wanted to have some more facility with it before sending information to my class.
Would you be able to do it sometime on Tuesday?
March 23, 2020 at 9:21 AM #4972
Amy, Tuesday sounds great! I also sent you a message on Facebook with my email. I would also be more than willing to open up our chat to whoever wants to join. See you soon!
March 26, 2020 at 8:03 AM #5033Colleen CummingsParticipant
Hi guys— looking into Zoom now to hold office hours for my kids. But…. the 40 minute thing is kind of a bummer. Do any of you all know if they are offering any kinds of deals during this insanity? My Google searching hasn’t given me much….
March 26, 2020 at 8:16 AM #5034
I heard that Zoom is giving free access to school accounts through July 1 but you have to have your school sign up? @gregoloughlin do you have more information on that?
April 5, 2020 at 8:06 PM #5167JennaModerator
Anyone have kid-friendly Zoom login directions for kids? Bonus points if they are translated into Spanish!
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