Flipboard and Pocket: Cool content management & collaboration
Who doesn’t love #METC16? Two thousand tech savvy educators all in the same place in beautiful downtown St Charles, Missouri.
(Full disclosure. Haven’t left the conference center / hotel. Am assuming St. Charles is beautiful. I do know that St. Charles was the jumping off point for Lewis, Clark, and the rest of the Corps of Discovery. So . . . it’s awesome from the get-go.)
I’m here in beautiful downtown St. Charles to lead a conversation about using the very cool Flipboard app as a teaching and learning tool. It’s a hands-on session so it’s gonna be a good time of discussion, examples, and working together as we all get smarter.
Still new to the Flipboard universe?
The idea is simple. Much like Pinterest, Flipboard helps you find, organize, and share a wide variety of websites and articles. But unlike Pinterest, it does a much better job of displaying all of the goodies you find. You literally flip pages in your different magazines and boards to read all of your saved content. Originally designed as an iPad app and later an app for Android, Flipboard recently added a web version.
So you can access Flipboard in a variety of places, with or without an account. You can set up boards to automatically add new content or create your own magazines that require that you add your own content. You can use Flipboard for your own learning, share individual bits of content, or share entire magazines with others. You can invite one, or two, or many others to help you add content to those magazines. Other users can ask you to contribute to their magazines.
An example of a couple of boards that automatically update? The Huffington Post and the awesome Mental Floss board. A few examples of personal magazines are my Historical Thinking magazine and Cyndi Danner-Kuhn’s Technology for Teaching and Learning. You might like Best Education Magazines or Best Flipboard Topics for Teachers.
It’s not as hard as it might sound but just in case you get a little stuck, I’ve posted some tutorials and helpful tools below to help you get started using the tool. But start thinking first of what Flipboard can do before you worry too much about which buttons to push. And then head over and check out my Using Flipboard in Education magazine for even more goodies.
Here are a few ideas that we played with today:
Collect & share resources with students
It’s easy to search Flipboard to find resources on just about any topic and then flip that stuff into a magazine. Think primary sources or current events or articles you kids to read. Share that magazine with their students via online links, Facebook, Twitter, or email. You can create, edit, and delete as many magazines and boards as you want. Younger kids won’t have to type long URLs and magazines help keep older kids focused on specific topics.
Students can create temporary or long term learning groups and use Flipboard magazines to organize their research. You can create magazines and invite small groups of students to contribute to them. Maybe a magazine for each of your sections or classes. Maybe a magazine for each of your units. Invite students as collaborators so that they can add to the magazine. Block everyone from the magazine except those collaborators.
Do the same thing with your department members. For your online PLC. How about whenever you go to a conference or professional learning day, you use a Flipboard magazine to keep track of and share what you’ve learned? We all get smarter when we work together.
Create a class syllabus
Plan out your semester or quarter for your students by putting your syllabus in a magazine. Include articles and sites that your students need to read throughout the semester. Add your own notes by using a blog site or Google Docs and flip those posts and documents into your magazine.
When you or a student flips a site into a magazine, Flipboard provides a space to explain “What’s Interesting about This” content. Require students to complete this section by asking for specific answers to prompts or directions from you:
You and other students can then use the comment feature on their flipped content to continue the conversation.
Use the “Compose” feature in a magazine – tap the blue circle with pencil inside of it while on a mobile device – to create all sort of writing prompts, request contributors, add photos, provide context, and more.
You and students can create and use a specific Twitter hashtag. Set up a board that follows that hashtag and now kids can use that board as part of a broader class content management tool. They can set up boards for their own Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, personal interests, class projects, etc.
Follow a specific hashtag as part of your personal professional learning network. #edtech is a great example.
Create resource guides
Create magazines that focus on specific class topics. Kids can access those as needed during specific units. These could include flips from your Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets.
Student created products / projects
Think digital storytelling through the use of Flipboard magazines. Book reviews, lab reports, essays, responses to videos or lectures. Do students research a specific country, state, or historical event? Perhaps specific historical people? Have them create magazines around those place, events, and people.
Develop multimedia centers
Because you can flip just about anything online, teachers and students can create rich multimedia magazines. Flip your own or other’s YouTube videos. These could be directions for an assignment or deeper explanations on specific topics. Perhaps you create a magazine using videos on a specific topic. Flip presentations from Slideshare and audio clips from SoundCloud. Upload photos and video directly from your smartphone into a magazine.
Head over to the Flipboard User Guide magazine for more ideas.
Flipboard tools and resources:
- Introducing Flipboard for the Web
- Help Center
- How to Create a Magazine (text)
- How to Create a Magazine (video)
- Five Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know About Your Flipboard Magazines
- Tutorial (text version)
- YouTube tutorial
- Flipboard video tutorials
- Add the Flipboard bookmarklet, the Chrome extension, and a Flipboard widget