Leadership · Curriculum · Lifelong Learning

Hello, Friends!

With all the things that happen, it’s easy to forget a few precious moments. If you’re an educator who “makes a thousand decisions a day,” then there’s a pretty good chance that you forgot what you wore yesterday. Wait–What day was yesterday again?

In addition, it’s easy to forget the helpful things along the way, too. How might you capture the tips, tricks, and strategies in a good lesson, for example? How do you save, access, and resurface resources that might multiply value in future experiences? I guess I’m asking:

How do you archive?

When I asked this question to educators, I get all kinds of answers… from a filing cabinet to a personal google drive and everything in between. Here are a few tools and strategies that have helped me. And also, what are your thoughts? What might you add? Please comment and share.


I love using Twitter as a free, digital space to archive resources. I’m intentional to capture pictures, videos, websites, and even conversations that add relevant, standards-based value to my craft. In my STEM class this week, I twitter-searched: “@KyleHamstra #ddegardens #sci3L22” to find a very specific tweet about plant growing conditions. This method for finding specific artifacts sure beats scrolling through the feed for hours (or thumbing through file folders)!

I used the picture from that tweet to preview a lesson with another third grade class. In whole group, we analyzed the picture together. Before we even went outside to our school garden, the students and I pointed out exactly where each group would start working, what we might change this time, and how to follow safety guidelines. Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Having a picture, video, or website that I can access at my fingertips during class–and in less than ten seconds–provides clarity, communicates expectations, and saves a ton of time that used to be invested in the lesson introduction. Not only am I grateful for this meaningful, easily-searchable, standards-based archive, I’m more intentional in what I create, curate, and communicate before posting. This entire process has completely transformed my practice.


Everyone knows that Flipgrid is FREE and can be a space for meaningful video creation, performance assessment, giving and receiving feedback, and discussion. Everyone knows that. Yet, have you ever thought of using Flipgrid as an archive? Here are a few ways that Flipgrid doubled as an archive in our experiences:

  • Problem: One Kit, Many Students
    • Solution: Progressive small groups complete one, collective project. Rotate small groups of students to the kit station. Each group adds one segment to the overall project. When the group finishes for the day, they record a video update on their progress in Flipgrid. Before the next group begins, they watch the previous group’s video and pick up where the they left off. Flipgrid’s organization and user-friendly interface expedites the process.
  • Problem: Messy Materials, Many Classes
    • Solution: Rotate students, not materials. Students record their progress toward meeting a challenge. As a feed forward activity of what success looks like, students or teachers can access previous Flipgrid videos as a preview. Once again, accessing and watching archived videos saves a ton of time explaining the who, where, and what parts of the lesson.
  • Problem: One Class Set, Many Classes
    • Solution: Record design prototypes in Flipgrid. Fifth graders constructed K’NEX vehicles for the The Great Fifth Grade Race in our STEM class. Yet, there were six other classes who needed to use the same pieces. When each class finished, they analyzed their racecar’s design and justified why their vehicle would win the race in a Flipgrid video. What’s super cool about that? They’re contributing to a space where they get to see other student’s designs, too. Flipgrid’s asynchronous, individual spaces give students time and opportunities to see each individual design. In terms of facilitator moves, this is incredibly way more extensive and potentially effective than your next PD jigsaw.
  • Problem: No Time for Feedback
    • Solution: Flipgrid’s asynchronous platform allows for open-ended opportunities to give and receive feedback. Students benefit from having a safe space in which to practice all parts of the feedback process. Educators can manipulate Flipgrid settings to allow for privacy, views, likes, comments in video or text, and much, much more. Serving about 900 students as specials teacher, it’s not realistic to give every child meaningful feedback every time when assessing performance. It’s not always realistic for peers to provide feedback to each other in class, either. Flipgrid’s flexibilities provide feedback opportunities at first glance–as well as when circling back to the archive later.


Smartphones capture a ton of information. Probably too much. Yet, might your phone also be a valuable device to archive meaningful moments in your educator journey? Most phone cameras can be set to stamp the time, date, location, and other details. It’s not likely that educators have much time to tweet or record a Flipgrid video during the day, as they are present in the moment with our most treasured stakeholders–students. Yet, there might be a moment to take a picture or record a thirty-second video that will add value to future learning experiences.

For me, these archiving processes are priceless. Especially since I can’t remember (or find) what I wore yesterday.

How do you archive? Share your thoughts. I’ll save them in this space.

What are your thoughts? Comment here!

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