Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

Microsoft Buys Video-Discussion Platform Flipgrid

Microsoft Buys Video-Discussion Platform Flipgrid

Flipgrid started when Charles Miller, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota and former co-director of its Learning Technologies Media Lab, was traveling overseas for a research project and wanted to continue class discussions with the 12 graduate students in a course he was teaching.

Microsoft's acquisition of Flipgrid comes one week before the major International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Chicago, the largest edtech conference and trade show in North America.

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Microsoft today announced that it has acquired Flipgrid (formerly Vidku), a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based video sharing platform aimed at students and educators, for an undisclosed amount. Now that Flipgrid is now part of Microsoft, the service has become free for all educators and students and Redmond will provide a prorated refund to every educator who upgraded in the past year. And many teachers use the tool to ask students to give answers in video messages rather than writing out an essay. The acquisition is great news for schools: Microsoft is slashing the current price tag of $1,000, and making the service free just like Office 365 for Education.

"We're diligently committed to making sure their platform and products continue to work across the Microsoft, Google and partner ecosystems to benefit students and teachers everywhere", said Eran Megiddo, corporate vice president for Microsoft, in a statement. The college maintained a 4 percent equity stake. The service now sports a user base of more than 20 million people across 180 countries.

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One potential rub is that Flipgrid works well with the Chromebooks and Google services that now dominate the education market in the USA and elsewhere.

Flipgrid is where your students go to share ideas and learn together. All educators have been automatically upgraded to Flipgrid Classroom (we'll simply call it Flipgrid going forward).

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Terms of the transaction were not announced.

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