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!

Educational Flipboard Sites

Picture from Inspiration Laboratories, one of the sites recommended to add to Flipboard
Picture from Inspiration Laboratories, one of the 32 sites recommended to add to Flipboard

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post in which I reviewed the Flipboard app for mobile devices (available for iDevices, Android, Kindle, and Nook).  I recently came across a great listing of feeds on “ToolZeit” that would be good to add to Flipboard for use in an educational setting. Even if you are not a Flipboard user, you might want to take a look at this collection, because they are accessible on the web and would be good resources for any teacher or parent who is searching for new ideas.  There were several suggestions on this list, such as Kinooze and Tinkerlab, which were new to me.  Many of them are sites with current events written in “kid-friendly” form, or sites that give ideas for projects.  On Tinkerlab, I found a great new project that I hope to try with my 1st graders during our Japan unit.  I could probably write a separate post on each of the sites recommended, but I will let you explore them on your own!

Flipboard

Flipboard is a free app for iDevices that enables you to create a personalized magazine.  I have used Flipboard for over a year to organize blogs and online magazines that I like to read.  It is only recently that I started to investigate how it could be used in the classroom.

Within the Flipboard app, there are suggested blogs to add.  You can also add Twitter and Facebook feeds.  But, if you just want to provide an easy way for your students to access some engaging resources, you can find lists of online magazines and blogs for kids, like the one here, provided by KB Connected or here.  Another idea is to add your own classroom blog, or student blogs.

It’s easy to add a new resource.  When you open Flipboard, you will notice that one of the squares says, “More”.  Tap on this square, and a search window will come up.

Type in the blog or online site you would like to find.  It will generate a list of possibilities.  Tap on the one you want, and it will open inside the Flipboard app.  You will then have the choice, on the top left, as to whether or not you would like to add this site to your collection.

Once added, users need merely to tap on the square for the site they would like to visit, and it will open within Flipboard.  Readers can view updated posts, and “turn the page” to read more.  They will also have options to open the site outside of Flipboard.

This is a great way for the students to read each other’s blogs or to catch up on news on various kid magazines, like Sports Illustrated for Kids.  This could be a center in your classroom or at a table, or an option for students who behave well.

If you have any other ideas for Flipboard in the classroom, please feel free to comment!