In my Spanish conversation class this semester, I have decided to use the page Spanish Proficiency Exercises created by Orlando Kelm from the University of Texas at Austin. I selected 14 tasks from the Advanced A & B levels, as my students are in the third year college level. Each week, we look at one of the tasks and we practice it in several ways (through newspaper readings, looking at other YouTube videos, talking to each other on Twitter, etc.). The culminating task for each week is to create a short video, similar to the ones the native speakers demonstrated, trying to use the same vocabulary and expressions studied in class. Last year, my students used regular YouTube accounts for this type of task, but this time I decided to give a new video tool a try. It’s called Flipgrid and it is not free (although you can try it for free) but so far I’m very happy with the results. Here are some reasons why I like it:
- Students do not need an account
- The administrator’s page is very clear and well organized
- There is an iPad app to make recording easier
- You can send email with comments directly to students from the administrator’s page
- The videos can be shared or embedded
- Anyone can answer the questions, although you also have the option to make your “grid” private
I have been asking my Spanish speakers friends on Twitter if they can also answer some of the questions before my students do, and thus I am also collecting more video for my students to hear. At the end of the semester, I may ask my students if they want me to keep their videos open to the public or if they prefer not to. Thus, the tasks which are being answered can hopefully grow with each semester.
I’m hoping you will consider answering some of the questions. Here’s a list of all the tasks we will be covering this semester, with the links to the original videos from the University of Texas, plus my students’ videos. I also name the native speakers who have helped us, just in case you may want to show it to your students.
What other video tools do you use? Have you used Flipgrid?
I’m looking forward to your comments!