Time for TikTok – Update (Part 2)

In this post I am applying Dr. Mike Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship to my personal application of TikTok and Flipgrid in the classroom. To keep things organized for my final project I’m going to investigate the themes I feel most relatable to each platform separately. Even though they are both video based platforms, I think there are different applications, audiences, and considerations that are unique to each platform which will affect my final project for EC&I 832.

Image from Let’s Talk Science


Element 3: Digital Etiquette

When copying someone’s content, it is expected that you tag the original creator when replicating. There is a history of Black creator content being replicated by white creators without crediting the original poster. While scrolling TikTok there are many fantastic lesson ideas and resources that teachers have created videos for. While I am still finding my own style, I will need to be cognizant of where I am getting my inspiration from and making sure I credit those creators using appropriate “netiquette”.

Educating Self and Others

Element 4: Digital Literacy

Something I feel can be overlooked in education is the purpose of the technology. We need to be explicit about what platform we are creating and sharing content on. For TikTok, I think it is a great format to share resources, strategies, and teaching comedy. It would be important to communicate the importance of voiceovers, selecting appropriate sounds, and captions as each communicating meaning and intent. The way I’ve been approaching sound selection is by finding a sound and exploring TikToks that use that sound to make sure I am using it appropriately. This has been working, although I haven’t mastered the video and sound synch yet. I can see the potential to teaching students the importance of author’s craft in multimedia literacies.

Element 5: Communication

Author’s craft definitely applies to Dr. Ribble’s fifth element, Communication, which is using the right technology to communicate, for what purpose and to whom. I think this is the real importance of teaching students how to use authors craft to boost engagement on a platform (hey, influencing is a real profession!). This applies to many Saskatchewan Curriculum outcomes such as CR3.2, CC3.3 CR5.2, and so many more! Teachers need to realize that to assess these outcomes it doesn’t have to be a written text, there are professions where sound and art are their primary focus in graphic design, advertising, video game production, T.V., the list goes on. I have dabbled in creating content for entertainment, resources, and a unit introduction, but I still haven’t decided on a “brand identity” for my account.

My first attempt at a content TikTok

Element 9: Health and Wellness

This is probably the biggest concern I had for myself when downloading TikTok, just how much time was I going to spend on TikTok mindlessly scrolling? TBH, it has increased my phone time, although that is part of this project so I really want to look at how it may affect my mental health. It is easy for teachers to compare these “learning snapshots” that TikTok offers, the cute classroom décor, the engaging lesson plans and feel like a complete failure. It is important to remind yourself and others that this is a highlight reel, since we control what we post we are going to put ourselves in the best light we can. I appreciate that in TikTok’s settings there is a “Digital Wellbeing” category where you can set time management and restricted content.

I haven’t engaged with the platform enough to understand my own boundaries with TikTok, so these settings are currently off for my profile. I have noticed that because I haven’t given much personal information to TikTok yet, the algorithm for my “For You” page is not yet tailored to my interests and can often frustrate me with TikTok’s initial algorithm. I’m interested to see how this changes as I engage further with the platform with likes and follows.


Element 1: Law

The first thing I will need to do in my division for Flipgrid is look at students’ Media Release forms. While this form doesn’t apply to limited access platforms such as Flipgrid, it is still important to model respect for privacy and offer choices such as audio recordings or filters to build a community of trust within your school families. In this I believe it is important to be transparent with parents about the access to student work, moderation of comments, and their right to deny use. While I don’t want to disadvantage students by omitting technology or being afraid of it, there is a different comfort level among families that needs to be respected. Teachers and families are a team, not opponents.

Element 3: Digital Etiqutte

The next step to implementing Flipgrid in the classroom will be to determine digital etiquette when interacting with other’s posts. This includes likes, reactions, and comments. It will be important to teach students that what we write is stored, and has serious effects. In the day of screenshots, it is also important to have a conversation of respecting other’s privacy by not distributing or editing images of other people without their consent. This also ties to the next element I’d like to address.

Element 8: Rights and Responsibilities

This element includes modelling our responsibility to report other’s misuse of a platform and maintaining digital equipment (including school provided resources). I’d like to have students create their responsibility list as a class and agree to these conditions, as well as the consequences of not following these conditions. This puts ownership to them in creating a safe digital community. I’d like to scaffold and practice this by first having students upload their videos with a moderated topic, then progressing towards unmoderated topics. This will allow me to have one-on-one conversations with students who are not complying with these responsibilities.

I’m looking forward to testing and comparing these two video platforms. Now, I’m off to make more embarrassing TikToks!

Happy teaching,


7 thoughts on “Time for TikTok – Update (Part 2)”

  1. I love this! I am also using elements of these platforms in my own project and so I liked reading through your process to use Flipgrid and connections to Ribble’s 9 Elements – especially using it as a moment to teach about online content and how to responsibly interact with it. Nicely done!

  2. Hi Leah! Your plan sounds great. The one thought you shared that resonated with me is health and wellness- and the time you will spend on the TikTok as I have been down that rabbit hole myself I know how easy it is to get sucked in. Just last week my screen time was up by 5 hours! I think your students will love the flipgrid idea especially if you do the netiquette talk prior so students feel safe and comfortable in sharing. Have fun!

  3. You brought up some great points about that I hadn’t considered before. I like the idea of the class co-creating a rights and responsibilities document. I am glad that TikTok has some well-being tools built in already, as this could be a concern. I look forward to following your accounts and learning more about your evolving brand.

  4. Like Patricia said, you raised a lot of points that I hadn’t thought about before (maybe it’s because I am trying to avoid Tik Tok, and trying to hold my ground lol). I really love creating guidelines with the help of students and really spending time building together. I think it gives students a voice in a process that they normally don’t always get to contribute within. I also think that kiddos are more eager to follow guidelines when they were the ones that helped create them. This is something that I hope to do more often in the classroom.

    1. It definitely creates more ownership, but it does take time and modelled practice on creating these guidelines. Students often get frustrated and just want me to “tell them”, but eventually they get there!

  5. Thanks for sharing your Major Project update so far, Leah! You’ve done such a great job connecting TikTok and Flipgrid to the elements of DigCit in a tangible way. Also, kudos to you for the work you’ve done on creating your blog. It is such a happy, cheery slice of internet! I have a question about your Plant Adaptations TikTok: how did you use this (or plan to use this) with your students? Did they watch the video and pause it to discuss what different adaptations each plant had? Will you have more videos going into these plants in more depth (or would this be your vision)?

    1. Hello Kara,
      I would like them to discuss what adaptations they have. I have shown all these plants to students before, and usually I end up sending a few chunks of plants with students (sorry guardians). I won’t be creating more videos about them, I usually try to refer back throughout the unit to connect content. However, I’m thinking the mother of thousands plant would be a good one to create a video for.. thank you!

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