Introduction to FlipGrid
Creating an account on FlipGrid is not as straightforward as other video creation sites that immediately take you through a short tutorial and provide prompts to get your first video going. FlipGrid places you directly on their "dashboard" screen and the user must determine where to go next.
Some helpful additions to the dashboard (once you get going) is immediate feedback on how engaged your users are. A running count of how many seconds your students have engaged is the first statistic visible in the upper left. Below that is a list of "grids" you have created. Grids can be edited and updated by clicking the small pencil icon on the far right. With the free account, only one grid can be created and active at a time.
Grids are edited in four sections: the first is for titles, second is community type, third is features (such as notifications, downloads, and closed captioning), and fourth is personalization. The phase that stuck out to me is the 'features' section. One available feature is Closed Captioning. I was surprised to see this as an optional feature on an education site. Particularly if you choose to make your video public, closed captioning should not be optional as leaving it off alienates a good portion of the public, in this case the deaf community or anyone without access to sound.
From my first interactions, FlipGrid appears to be fun for both teachers and students and a great alternative for standard, impersonal discussion boards. The teacher posts an original video and then students respond with 90 second video replies. This provides a much more personal interaction than a discussion board would, and should result in students being more engaged with the content. After all, between Snapchat, Facebook Live, Vine, and YouTube, this is already how kids are communicating with one another!