Flipboard for Educators

screenshot of some of my Flipboard magazines
screenshot of some of my Flipboard magazines

Flipboard is an app that is available at Google Play and on the iTunes Store.  It is basically a curation tool, allowing you to collect feeds from the websites, blogs, tweets, etc… that interest you, and saving each as a “magazine” on your device.

I have used Flipboard for awhile, and have done a couple of posts on it, including this one that offered some recommendations of educational sites that could be “flipped.” If your students have tablets, Flipboard can be a valuable learning tool for them.

Recently, Flipboard has added the ability to view your magazines on the web, so it is not even necessary to have the app to read them (though you do need the app to create an account and make your own magazines.)

Flipboard also recently posted an article on its blog called, “Flipboard for Educators.”  It gives many examples of how Flipboard can be useful in the classroom, as well as a few resources. If you are a Flipboard beginner, Cool Cat Teacher, Vicki Davis, has a great starter post for you here.

But what I see as really promising about Flipboard is the ability to use it to create your own, specific magazines.  One way to think of it is like taking one of your Pinterest boards and publishing a beautiful e-periodical with pages you can turn on your tablet or computer.

For teachers, this opens a whole new option for differentiation and personalized learning.  You can use the Flipboard bookmarklet on your computer to “flip” any web site into a magazine of your creation.  For example, if I want my students to have a magazine of Current Events news that is tailored toward their age group (rather than send them to a particular news site), I can find articles that relate to them and create a magazine that is a collection of those articles. I currently have 9 of my own magazines, along with the 20 to which I already subscribe.  (One of my public magazines is “Augmented Reality in Education.”)

Students can also create their own magazines, and collaborate on them by inviting each other as contributors.  This might be a great option for a Genius Hour project, or any students who are working together on a research project. Also, if your students are bloggers, it would be great to collect all of their blogs, or posts on specific topics, into one magazine.

The video embedded below gives specific instructions on how to create customized magazines, as well as how to make them public or private.  I found this resource in this article by Adam Renfro, where he also gives advice on other content that would do well in an educational setting. And don’t forget, any of the public magazines can be viewed online as long as you have the link.  This makes it accessible to anyone who has a computer, rather than just students with tablets or smartphones.

The only cautions that I would give teachers who are using this tool are: make sure if you “flip” a web article into a magazine while you are at home that it is not hosted on a site that will be blocked at school, be aware of adding sites to a magazine that may include questionable advertising on the page, and remember that flash-dependent sites cannot be viewed on iDevices.

Let me know if you have an educational Flipboard magazine that you would like to share.  I am always looking for more things to read!

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