“We’re thrilled to see the impact Flipgrid has had in social learning thus far and look forward to helping them continue to thrive as part of the Microsoft family,” Eran Megiddo, corporate vice president at Microsoft, said in a statement. “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.”
As part of the deal, the Redmond company will make Flipgrid, which is used by more than 20 million teachers and students around the world in 180 countries, free for schools — previously, subscriptions started at $40 per year for educators, $800 per year for school districts, and $1,000 per year for schools. Customers who’ve paid for a subscription will receive a prorated refund.
“Flipgrid has always been about the educator community. They are the source of our innovation and impact,” Jim Leslie, Flipgrid CEO, said. “Now as a part of Microsoft, we have the opportunity to scale so we can support every educator across the globe as they empower student voice.”
Flipgrid’s apps for Android and iOS provide video publishing tools that allow students to collaborate on projects and events. They also boasts native Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 integration that educators can use to attach files and documents to topic pages for the purposes of discussion.
Flipgrid is the latest in a series of moves by Microsoft aimed at strengthening its position in the education market. In 2016, the Redmond company took the wraps off Teams for Education, a cloud-based assignments and projects dashboard for educators, within its Office 365 for Education suite. More recently, it added education-focused features to OneNote, new educational content from the BBC, Lego, NAS, PBS, and Pearson to Windows Mixed Reality headsets, and chemistry-focused lesson plans to Minecraft: Education Edition.
Microsoft faces an uphill battle against its chief rival, Google, which dominates the classroom. In the U.S., nearly 60 percent of all mobile personal computing devices shipped to K-12 schools in the fourth quarter were Chromebooks, according to research firm Futuresource. Less than 26 percent ran Windows.
To that end, on the hardware front, Microsoft in January partnered with JP and Lenovo to launch Windows 10 S devices for the education market priced from $189, alongside new Office 365 learning tools for students