Flipgrid is Now Flip

New Flip LogoFirst off we have big news from Flipgrid! During the ISTE 2022 conference,  I was able to attend Flip Fest, a yearly event that Flipgrid hosts to roll out updates, changes and BIG news!  This year they had quite a lot to brag about;  they changed their name, their logo, and rebranded themselves to Flip

What’s in a name?

The kind of news I like to talk about though is news that impacts what teachers are doing. It’s news that benefits what we’re doing with our students, news that helps us to be pedagogically effective, news that helps our students learn, and helps us assess them. While a name change doesn’t really matter all that much, what does matter is what URL to go to. So, if you are looking for Flipgrid you can find it at Flip.com, and if you forget and go to Flipgrid.com, the site will redirect you.  

While that’s a relatively minor change it doesn’t really impact the way we do our work, but it is interesting and exciting to hear about. However small the name and logo change may be, for people like me and others who are always recording videos, building guides and blog posts to help teachers use technology, we now get to change every slide deck we have that has Flipgrid in it. 🙃 So thank you to Charlie Miller and the Flip team for making that change. 

Let’s talk about the changes that will affect you and your classroom.  I felt like the tone of Flip Fest was that they are really trying to foster a community where educators are using Flip in their classrooms, while evolving, to be almost like, (they didn’t say the words, but I’m going to say it for them), a social media platform. They’re really trying to be a community, using it for clubs and for groups outside of school endeavors. I think that’s part of the reason for some of this rebrand change, they’re trying to become “Flip for community”, not just Flip for schools. Of course, that’s that’s me adding that in, not their actual branding. 

So, as I mentioned, you can find them at www.flip.com, and as of now, the old links will redirect you.

Changes to the User Interface

Image of new menu look on Flip.com

They’ve started to work on changing the view that we see when we go into Flip. Instead of the menu at the top, we’ll see a new side menu, we’ll see the camera and our own videos first, and that’s also what our students will see as well.

The student and teacher versions are pretty similar, but Flip will know when you log in, what kind of account you have. The students will see slightly different things, but the general view is the same. It feels unified, the way that going into another platform, like your email, feels the same for everybody, even though you have different content in there. 

The side menu will list all of our groups and we can add groups. I love this as a teacher because I could easily jump from my fourth-period class’ responses to my fifth-period responses without a bunch of clicking. 

Image shows a Flipgrid Group Screen with videos vertically stacked with the most recent one at the top.This is what the group feed looks like on your phone, but it also has a group feed feel on the web page too. What that means is, all of the videos are vertically stacked in the order they are happening. For example, in this breakdancing basics Flip group, which sidenote, I actually teach a break dancing basics class – I’m a professional break dancer, but most people don’t know that about me.  It’s a little-known fact that I carry a cardboard box everywhere I go in case someone needs to breakdance.  Okay, so that’s not actually true, but in the class shown, the top video that you’re seeing is the most recent one. Below it, the videos are chronically arranged.  It has a very Instagram or TikTok kind of feel, which I think is great! Flip has found a familiar look from outside of school that our students will respond well to. So yes, bring that kind of feeling into an educational platform, why not, right?

The home feed will be like that as well, both on mobile and on the computer. You’ll see the most recent video full screen, you scroll down and you see the next video, etc. Again a very social media-like feel except educationally focused.

The group feed is pretty similar to the home feed, it’s just drilled down into one particular group. The groups now have this nice topic view where we can see our topics all stacked up. By the way, I love the dark mode option. On the right, you can see a button to easily make a video for that group, within that topic. 

Content Moderation

I’d also like to point out that my friends Joe and Kristin Merrill were on stage with a member of the Flip team to unveil that Flip is also working on quality control with videos and comments. I know that when teachers hear that Flip is getting a kind of social media look they may get a little nervous.  For example, what if our students do something inappropriate? Flip is putting a lot of automated filters in that will flag videos that may have a student putting up a middle finger or a student saying a swear word. Flip is going to automatically flag and take down those videos. They showed an example of how it will prompt the students to change the word(s) in their comments that are inappropriate. I’m interested in seeing how that rolls out, because sometimes, like in a high school literature class, where those swear words may relate to the topics we’re reading about or writing about, we need to keep them as is. This is not available to test out yet, but it will be available. 

Customize those Links

Screenshot of Share Group image.

When we send out group codes, the links to them can now be modified. I actually thought you used to be able to do this, but anyhow you can now change the end part of the link, so instead of having just a series of letters and numbers you can make it say your class’ name or whatever to make it easy for your students to get there. 

Improved Playback

New Playback ImageThe new playback feature is what I’m possibly most excited about here, because as a teacher when I have all of my students respond to a prompt in Flipgrid, I need to be able to watch those, and I need that to be a smooth viewing process. In the past it was like click this, click play, click this to get to the next video, click play, click this to get to the next video, etc.  They’re making it better and better and they have evolved that over the years.

In addition to the vertical stacking of the videos mentioned above, you can also scroll using the up and down buttons, and you can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard. So if you just need to go down to the next video, use the down arrow key, and it will jump you down quickly to get through your students’ videos. They can do that for each other’s videos as well. The comments are right alongside it, so while we’re watching we could be commenting, and that efficiency piece is huge for me. If I don’t have to watch the whole two-minute video before I start commenting that’s going to save me maybe 30 seconds per kid, so it’s a really nice feature.


Closed captions are automated in Flip by teachers or the group manager, and whoever led the group used to be able to edit those closed captions. Students could not edit their own captions, but now teachers and students will be able to edit them.

Member View

They’ve also added a nice Member View where you can approve who’s in your group, remove people from the group, add and invite people to the group, block people from the group, and manage which students or teachers are a part of the group.

Global Search

Global Search imageFlip is adding a Global Search tool, so if I manage a lot of different classes and groups I could use the search to easily find certain types of videos. That’s a nice way for me to find stuff quickly within Flip and, again, this sounds a lot like a social media tool.

Camera Improvements

The camera is going to be getting an upgrade as well. It’s full screen, with no borders, and looks really slick, and again, very social media media-like. You’ll see things in the menu that we’re already familiar with; text, drawing, stickers, filters, frames, etc. However, wCamera design imageith the new camera design, there are a few other new features, like a new stock of video backdrops. We’ve been able to add videos in the background of Flip for a while but, now they provide a set of really nice-looking ones. 

Smart stickers will be rolling out too. For example, they showed a girl starting a video about New Orleans and Flip bringing up a collection of smart stickers for her to add in: the population, a description, and things like that. Flip is using Bing, which quickly and easily pulls in pics and facts that relate to the video providing your students with good contextual information to add to their video. 

Create Mode

Create Mode imageThey’ve also added create mode to the camera. Our students have always been able to make videos that didn’t have them on the screen but create mode really ramps that up and lets kids put in text and things like that while not showing their faces.


Flip has added localization features. This means it takes into account where you’re at, or what language your phone is set to and determines what language the app is in.  First up is Spanish with other languages coming in the future, so soon your Spanish-speaking students will have access to a Spanish-speaking version of the app.

Image of ASL filter on Flip's camera.

The last thing I wanted to share is that Flip is bringing a sign language ASL filter into the camera. It can help you learn ASL, by giving you the letter which you make with your hand, and Flip checks to see if you’re doing it correctly. Alternatively, the Twitter video pictured on here shows a student typing using ASL.  She’s making the sign for a lowercase d with her hand, the camera determined it’s a d and it showed the d in the middle of the screen, and added it to the text box up at the top of the screen.  Students will also get to use ASL to type, which is really cool for students who are learning sign language.

Stay tuned to The EdTech News Brief for all of the Flip updates in the future!

[ Image(s) Source: info.flip.com/blog/product-updates/flip-rebrand-features.html twitter.com/danichmiel/status/1541799298815467520 ]

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Google Calendar Booking Pages

Google Calendar has had appointment slots for as long as I can remember, but they’ve always been a bit clumsy.

📺 Check this out in video form on TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts. 📺

There were a few problems:

  • They only worked well from within your own domain. So, if you offered appointments to someone other than your colleagues or students, they weren’t ideal.
  • The experience of the person scheduling them with you was unclear.
  • They had to look at them from within a regular calendar view.

Now, Google has offered a solution to those issues. You can now create Google Calendar booking pages that are reminiscent of tools like Calendly and YouCanBookMe. This is super handy for people outside of your domain—like parents scheduling parent/teacher conferences—and they’re much clearer for all parties.

This image shows the booking page available with Google Calendar.

Here are some awesome features:

  • You can set the slots up to appear during certain blocks of time!
  • You can set it to automatically remove slots that coincide with existing calendar events, keeping you from getting double booked.
  • You can also associate a special form with the slots that ask the person to provide you with some information.
  • Finally, you can also set it to automatically generate Google Meet links… or not!

This is available in all Education accounts – Fundamentals, Standard, Plus, and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade. It’s not available in some non-education accounts though. 

📺 Check this out in video form on TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts. 📺

[ Image(s) Source: https://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com/2022/03/blog-post.html ]

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Live Reactions in Quizizz

If you want to get your students logged into a Quizizz game or test faster, Live Reactions may be the perfect way to do it. 

Once students are in, they can click on the little reaction stickers and they’ll pop up on your board or projector. It’s just a fun little thing to make students smile and get them logged in more quickly. 

Live Reactions are also available AFTER the quiz, so students can react to their performance or who won or whatever. Also, the reactions are totaled at the top of the screen, so you could potentially use it as a way for students to vote or give feedback on the game. This could be a distraction if you’re going over commonly missed questions, so you may need to set ground rules with your students on this one or just turn this feature off when starting an activity.

Reactions are available to all Quizizz users.

[ Image(s) Source: twitter.com/quizizz/status/1574458702417076225 ]

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The Gift Power-Up in Quizizz

Quizizz recently added a new power-up to their live classic game mode.

While the existing powerups give kids ways to earn more points, this new one is intended to increase learner-to-learner interaction and ramp up the fun. It’s similar to features that students love in other games like Gimkit and Blooket, so it’s a good move for Quizizz to make. The Power-Up is called Gift and it gives your learners the chance to send another player an extra 800 points. Will they send it to their best friend? Or the person in last place so they don’t have to risk losing because of that power-up? Strategy!

  • A reminder, by the way, that students’ accuracy scores are not affected by Power-ups, just their score in the competition itself. So, they add to the fun without taking away from the relevance of this tool as evidence of learning.
  • The Gift Powerup available to all Quizizz users.

[ Image(s) Source: support.quizizz.com/hc/en-us/articles/360035742872-Power-ups-their-Types ]

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Import and Edit Google Slides in Quizizz

Quizizz has made a ton of updates in the last few months—Time for us to catch up on them!

First up, if you’ve done lessons in Quizizz, you know that you can import Google Slides into your lesson. They typically come in as a static, uneditable image of that slide. They’re now rolling out the ability to edit those slides in Quizizz. So, it breaks the slide apart into separate elements that can then be edited.

This is not perfect because some images and fonts come in a little wonky – think about what happens when you bring a Word Document into Google Docs or a Google Slides into Powerpoint – yah, same kind of situation. So, you might find that your slides don’t look quite right or that you can’t edit what you want. For example, this was a minor one, but I kept finding that it inserted a big white rectangle for the background from my slide.

That’s no big deal, but if you have a complex slide with crazy fonts, you may have more issues. If you know that your slides are perfect and you want to avoid anything getting messed up, choose the Uneditable Slides option, and they’ll come in as static images just like they used to. But, if you want to edit them within Quizizz, choose the editable option.

This, by the way, is available on all accounts.

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Crop Images in Book Creator!

This might sound like a minor Book Creator update, but users are going to love this:

You can now crop images and photos added to your Book Creator projects!

Just right-click on the image and select Crop. It’s that easy!

This will also work for PDFs that you import into your projects, because when you add them, Book Creator actually turns them into images. So that means you can crop them, too!

[Image(s) Source: https://twitter.com/BookCreatorApp/status/1582360518672912385 ]

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Import PDFs into Book Creator

A few years ago, I made a blog post about all of the things that you – or your students – can add into a Book Creator project.

At that point, when you added PDFs in, they were really just a link to the PDF. Now though, you can add pages from the PDF right into your book. Click the + button, then more, then files, then upload that file. You’ll then have the option to bring in certain pages or all pages of that pdf if, of course, it had multiple pages. If you add multiple pages, they’ll each be a separate page of your Book Creator project.

Also, when you click New Book from the main menu in Book Creator, there’s now an “Import Book or PDF” option in the top right. It’ll then let you choose the page dimensions and, if it’s a multi-page PDF, which pages you’d like to bring in. (You can also use this option to import .epub files)

Once you have the PDF into Book Creator, you’ll be able to crop it, resize it, write on it, add annotations, add color to it, and even add audio files on top of it for some added UDL. And this means that your students can use all of those features when filling out your PDFs. Just imagine how awesome it’d be to do something like a lab report in there. Add pictures, add videos, add sketches… lots of possibilities!

This feature is available to all Book Creator users.

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Edit PDFs in the Chromebook Gallery App

Starting in ChromeOS version 104, users can now edit PDF documents using the built-in Gallery app.

For us adults, that’s great for adding a signature to a document and then sending it in. In the classroom, though, it lets students complete activities or digital worksheets and then submit them in their LMS.

This Chromebook screenshot shows a PDF open in the PDF editing tool in the Gallery app. Some text is highlighted and signatures have been added to the document using the tool.

So, if you open the document from the Chromebook Files app, you’ll see a text annotation option, for typing into the PDF, and a drawing option for, obviously, drawing on the PDF. It’s also got a highlighter and eraser in there too. Then you can save the completed document and submit it, send it, or whatever. This provides an additional option for those of you who haven’t found a satisfactory alternative for using fillable PDFs in the Classroom.

Sure, we could use Kami, or use the Google Classroom mobile app or put screenshot the PDF and put it in Google Slides or use Pear Deck or Nearpod or a number of other options, but if none of those work or are ideal for you: here’s another option.

This is available for all Chromebook users.

[Image(s) Source: https://blog.google/products/chromebooks/video-editing-and-other-new-features/ ]

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ISTE and ASCD merge

Shout out to Jeff Bradbury of TeacherCast, Ask the Tech Coach, and Educational Podcasting Today for putting this on my radar.

He and I had just wrapped up an interview for an episode of Educational Podcasting Today and Jeff said to me “So, what do you think of ISTE and ASCD?” and I was like, “uhhh, they’re fine?” and he said “no, the news.” and I was like… “what are you talking about?” So then he filled me in.

It turns out that ISTE, the giant edtech nonprofit who, amongst other things, puts on the annual ISTE conference and ASCD, the giant education and professional development nonprofit who, amongst other things, publishes bunches of books and magazines, have merged.

The statement on their webpage states that ISTE, which stands for International Society for Technology in Education, and ASCD, which stands for Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, “will unite and become divisions of a new education nonprofit organization.

So, there will be a new umbrella company that both of them operate underneath. That’s pretty much all that we know now, but I do think that it’s worth noting the confirmation that this presents between curriculum and technology. They’re no longer viewed as entirely separate in these nonprofits and they shouldn’t be entirely separate in our classrooms either.

This was finalized on November 14th with an ASCD member vote. It’ll take effect in January.

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Quizizz Updates

OK, so Quizizz has made a ton of updates in the last few months. Time for us to catch up on them!
  • First up, they’ve got two new question types rolling out to paid users: dropdown and drag-and-drop. Both are nice because they can be within a passage of text. So any time that you’d add a blank into a passage for them to fill in like cloze reading activities, for example, you can use dropdown or drag-and-drop there. And, speaking of adding a blank, that’s actually how you do it. When you get to the spot that you want a blank, just put two underscores and a rectangle will pop up. Type in the correct answer, then hit enter and you’ll see it highlighted in white AND added to the options below.  You can then add additional detractor options, if you want to.

On the student end, it’s pretty straight-forward how it works. The only tricky thing is what to do if they initially drag a drag-and-drop option to the wrong spot.  They can’t drag it to a new spot – instead, they click the red X and then drag it to the correct spot. In both of these options, you can have multiple spots to answer… so I wondered, how will it grade it? So, first, in a game the kids get some points, but less than the full amount, if they got some of the answers correct and others incorrect.  And this is great – they’re rewarded, but not as much as a kid who got it completely correct. In the summary views, both on the teacher and student screen, it shows them as either correct or incorrect, not partially correct.  And, it seems like it shows up one way in one screen and the other way in the other, which is weird. However, in the reports that you can access, which is the most important to me, it’ll break the kids’ score down. It gives them the proportional amount of the points that the question was worth. Which is a good time to remind you – you can modify the number of points a question is worth. They default to 5 points apiece, but if you have a question with 3 blanks, you might want to make it worth 3 points… or a multiple of 3… or maybe even 15 to treat it as 3 5-point questions. I’m excited to see these options available. Again, they’re for paid users only. You may not see them in your account just yet, but they should appear soon.


  • This one seems little, but I know it’s one that I’ve wished for before – if you start up a homework assignment and discover that you had a mistake, like a question that had the wrong correct answer selected, you can go back in and make that change without deleting the assignment and recreating it. Previously, all of your students would have that answer marked incorrectly and you’d have to explain the mixup to them later… but now you can make the fix right away, hopefully before most of your students have encountered it. This is available on Quizizz paid plans.


  • Students can now also skip questions and come back to them later.  When they click the Skip button, that question is moved to the end of the quiz. Then, after they’ve attempted all the other questions, they’ll return to the one that they skipped. Note that when they return to the skipped questions, they won’t have the option to skip them again.  This feature is part of the paid plans.


  • If you’re using Quizizz to assess your students’ understanding on a topic, you’re going to want to make sure that they’re not looking up answers in other tabs. If you’re on a Quizizz School or District Plan, you can now use Focus Mode within Live Tests to do this.  Focus mode will open the Quizizz activity in full screen and warn your student if they try to exit full screen. Also, you’ll be notified if they switch tabs while in the quiz.
    • There are multiple notifications that you’ll receive as the teacher. Those notifications will come up if the student leaves the quiz, if they spend 2 minutes outside of the quiz, if they join the quiz 2 minutes late, if they exit before completing the quiz, and, finally, if they rejoin the quiz after 2 minutes in outside of it.
    • Students who switched tabs during Focus Mode will have the ‘Off-task activity’ tag under their name. However, this tag does not affect their scores.
    • Note: you can only do this in live test mode, not in classic, team, or homework modes. And, as I said before, this is for teachers in School or District Plans. It does not work for educators, like me, who are in Super Plans or, obviously, the free plans.
OK – I’ve got 3 or 4 more Quizizz things to share with you, but I’m going to save them for another blog post, so stay tuned!

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