Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

30-Second Expert With Flip

An Interactive Tool For Students To Communicate Digitally.

Matthew McDonald, Sherry Franklin | Published: November 7th, 2023 by K20 Center


30-Second Expert

This collaborative strategy can be used to introduce new material or to review texts that students have read. 30-Second Expert helps students summarize and synthesize information in a brief, reciprocal activity.

30-Second Expert

Capture student voice using this free video discussion app.




Hello. Welcome to this Tech-Integrated Strategy tutorial. Whether you’re teaching online or in a face-to-face setting, learning in the modern classroom often benefits from the digital mediation of educational activities.

In this video, you’ll learn how to implement the 30-Second Expert instructional strategy using the Flip tech tool.

30-Second Expert is located on the K20 LEARN site under the Instructional Strategies tab. This strategy has students summarize all they know about a topic and share it in a conversation with a partner.

Flip is an online tool that enables users to respond digitally to a prompt through asynchronous video conversation. You can view the Flip Tech Tool card on the K20 LEARN site under the Tech Tools tab.

In the how-to section, you’ll receive hands-on instructions for how to set up a 30-Second Expert activity using Flip.

How-To Guide

In this how-to video, we will show you how to set up and create a 30-Second Expert using Flip.

Step 1: First, navigate to Select “Sign Up.” Or if you already have an account, select “Log In.”

Step 2: Select “Sign up with Google” or the method that works best for you.

Step 3: Choose your “account.”

Step 4: Insert your date of birth and your country, then select “Done.”

Step 5: Select “I’m an educator.”

Step 6: Select Grade Level. For this example, we will select “Elementary.”

Step 7: Select “Next.”

Step 8: Then, select the “+” next to Group on the left side of the screen.

Step 9: Select “Create a Group.”

Step 10: In the text box at the top, enter a group name. For this example, we will create an elementary reading assignment. Type “Stone Soup.”

Step 11: Next, select a background that fits your theme. You are also able to upload an image. For this example, select “Nature.”

Step 12: Select the first “image.”

Step 13: Then, select “Create” at the bottom of the screen.

Step 14: To share the group with your class, select “Copy” or choose Google Classroom below. Share the link or join code from the screen with the students. This creates a group where you can have multiple topics.

Step 15: Select “X” at the top right of the box to close the share group window.

Step 16: Select “+ Topic.”

Step 17: If you know what prompt you want the students to answer, type it in the “Add a question or idea to discuss” box. For this example, type “What are the story elements of Stone Soup?”

Step 18: Add a description down below to give the students more guidance on answering the question. In the Description box type: “Provide 3 examples of different story elements.”

Step 19: You can add media if you choose, by selecting the icon of the type of media you want to add. For example, by selecting “Add YouTube or Vimeo,” you can add a reading of the story.

Step 20: We want to limit students’ time. Select the “Recording time” box.

Step 21: Select “30 seconds.”

Step 22: Check “Settings” to see if you need any additional options.

Step 23: Once all your settings are correct, select “Post topic.”

Step 24: For younger elementary students, consider sharing each topic link. Select “Copy” and share in your desired method.

Step 25: Select “X” to close the share topic window.

Step 26: An alternative option is to use Flips Topic Co-pilot. Select “Topic Co-pilot” next to the + Topic button.

Step 27: Select the “Age Range.”

Step 28: For our example, we will select “Elementary.”

Step 29: In the “Show me discussion prompts about…” box, type “Stone Soup” meaning.

Step 30: Select “Generate ideas.”

Step 31: Select the “+” next to “How can “Stone Soup” help us be kinder?”

Step 32: This AI tool will generate the description but enables you to edit. Select “Recording time.”

Step 33: Select “30 seconds.”

Step 34: After you have checked settings, select “Post topic.”

Step 35: Select “Copy” to get the individual link. If students are already in the Group, they will have access to the prompts.

Step 36: Select “X” to close the share topic window.

Step 37: Select “Stone Soup” on the left side of the screen.

Step 38: You will be able to view all your prompts. Flip automatically generates prompts for you. You can delete the prompts by selecting “....”

Step 39: Select “Delete Topic.”

Step 40: Check the box that reads “I want to permanently delete the topic and videos.”

Step 41: Select “Delete.” Do this for any topics you no longer need.

Your Flip is now ready for students to access. See the Facilitation section to learn how to implement it in your classroom.


By using Flip for 30-Second Expert, students can record their answers to prompts.

When using Flip, you have the ability to have students answer prompts for the topics at the same time or to rotate them through a few devices. Keep in mind that if multiple students are recording at the same time, the background noise can cause issues.

Students do not need a Flip account in order to participate in the activity. Either provide students with the direct link or have them navigate to and enter the join code from the header of the group you created.

For younger students or students who are unfamiliar with Flip, it is beneficial for the teacher to model for the class how to record a response.

When you are ready for students to answer the prompts, have them select the topic or use the direct link.

Students select the “Record button” with a camera. There may be a pop up where they will need to give Flip access to their microphone and camera.

Once students are in Flip, there will be many video and audio features. Before students start recording, set your expectations for the use of those features.

You also might consider providing students with time to write or think about their answers prior to recording. Students will select the white circle in the middle of the screen to begin the countdown to record. The video will start recording after the “1” and a red dot will appear in the white circle.

Once time is up or when a student has completed answering the prompt, they will click “Next >.” If needed, there is a “Retake” button for students to use if time permits.

This provides students with the option to edit the video. For younger students, consider skipping this step. Once edits are done, select “Next.”

Students have the option of adding a caption or link as needed and editing their cover image. This can also be skipped. Then select “Post to topic.”

Students will then select “Go to topic.” Here they can watch the responses of their peers or select the Group name and answer more prompts.

By using Flip, you can provide scaffolding for ELL students and students who are developing their writing skills.

Provide students with time to watch videos made by their peers. For younger students, consider showing them to the class after you have previewed them. This is also a great way for teachers to grade students’ answers.

Use Cases

Using 30-Second Expert with Flip is a great way for students to share their knowledge on a topic or idea.

While our discussion has previously focused on an elementary reading example, 30-Second Expert with Flip is an activity that can be implemented in any classroom or content area.

For example, in a math classroom, have students discuss the process of how they solved a math equation.

In a science or social studies classroom, have students create 30-Second Expert videos to detail their claim, evidence, and reasoning around a science investigation or defend an opinion about a historical event.

These are just a few examples of the many applications for using 30-Second Expert with Flip. No matter which grade level or content area you’re teaching, this Tech-Integrated Strategy has a variety of possibilities.


30-Second Expert is an instructional strategy that can be used in the classroom to introduce new material or to review texts that students have read.

Flip is a free online tool available with a Google account. It works on smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

Flip makes it easy for students to share their ideas and work together digitally, so pairing it with 30-Second Expert is a great option for all students to be heard while practicing their communication skills.


Do students need an account to access Flip?

No. Students can access Flip with a link or join code and do not need an account. If students are creating their own Flip, then they will need to register and sign up for an account.

Is Flip free?

Yes. Flip is a free tool that can be used by anyone! You also do not need an account unless you're creating Flip discussions.

What other activities can be implemented with Flip?

Flip is a great tool for any kind of asynchronous discussion, debate, or dialogue. Activities that involve students recording a short video or demonstration that can be responded to or commented on by other students works great in Flip.

How long can student videos be in Flip?

Flip videos can be from 15 seconds to ten minutes long.

Consider visiting Flip’s FAQ site.

Other Tech Integrations using Flip
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