Teaching Strategies to Engage Your Students With Flipboard Magazines

William Jeffery / July 10, 2020

Teenage girl with headphones having online school class at home

As I think about what the new school year will look like for educators, I can’t help but imagine how instructional delivery has changed. Effective use of technology will definitely be a topic of conversation during back to school professional development all over the country. Whether your school is ready for face-to-face instruction or synchronous or asynchronous distance learning; there is a common teaching strategy, which can be coupled with the Flipboard app to enhance learning in your classroom. 

For me as an educator, it’s critical for students to discuss curricular topics that I will be teaching. Specifically, that communication needs to be structured so student engagement is meaningful. For an effective communication exercise that works well with Flipboard try using the teaching strategy “Talk Read, Talk Write.” This strategy was written extensively by Nancy Motley who published an excellent book titled “Talk Read, Talk Write.” This strategy supports effective curricular conversations and allows all learners to engage in the lesson in three ways.

This strategy works amazingly with Flipboard because teachers can create a private magazine for their class and share a curricular topic for students. This magazine should include an article or interesting comic strip for students to analyze. This way students are all in the same tool looking at the same article together.

Step 1: Students are paired together using strategies like “ Clock Buddies or iPartners”. (Before students are allowed to have structured conversations the pairing of students needs to be done in advance. This can be done online or in-person depending on the learning management system you use.)

Step 2: Students will then be given a certain amount of time to talk about the picture in the article, to make assumptions, and to analyze the text evidence. I would use the strategy Time on Task to keep students engaged. Students can be given starters to the conversation like … What do you see, What do you wonder? 

Step 3: Students will be given a certain amount of time to read the article shared in Flipboard from their teacher. After that time is up, students are paired together using strategies like “ Clock Buddies or iPartners” and students are given structured conversation tools like “ According to the Author… or According to the text..” 

Step 4: Students write about the article, the pictures used in the article, and the conversation in the article using a strategy like “I used to think …. but now I know..” in the comment section on Flipboard. The amazing added value of this type of classwork is void of worksheets and busywork. Students are engaged because Flipboard is enjoyable to use, and students’ writing skills will improve using this method. 

If you want to kick this up a notch, students can be regrouped using the grouping strategies and analyze each other’s comments. They will then use a Peer Review or Compare and Contrast  3-2-1 strategy to present their finding to the class. So, whether you are teaching face-to-face or online next year, these strategies work on all levels and they are enhanced when combined with Flipboard. Be sure to check out my podcast, Flipboard EDUPodcast where we collaborate and communicate with the best educators in the world.

— William Jeffery

“Coach Jeffery” is an award-winning digital learning educator and assistant principal at Columbia High School in Texas. His tech pedagogy continues to drive him to curate educational content on Flipboard that highlights teaching strategies, edtech, and ways to improve student success. He started co-hosting the “Flipboard EDU Podcast” as yet another way to share resources with his peers.