Lecture is a Poor Use of Instructional Time, But…
More and more teachers are now willing to admit that lecture is not a great use of instructional time. Many are even open to the idea of transitioning from traditional lecture to making short instructional video lessons. The concerns I hear most often from teachers about video lessons:
How can I make sure students watch the videos?
They’ll just fast-forward through most of it, if they watch it at-all.
Won’t they just look up the answers to questions instead of watching?
I’ll have to sacrifice formative assessment. I can’t check for understanding, and students can’t ask questions.
YouTube is blocked at my school.
EDpuzzle is a Game-ChangerEDpuzzle.com
While it can’t do much about the tyranny of blocking a valuable educational resource like YouTube, EDpuzzle can address many of these concerns. It is not often that I describe an instructional tool as “game changing,” but EDpuzzle has more than earned that description. It’s also free! I only wish it had been around in the first several semesters that I flipped my classroom.
Teachers can create lessons by embedding questions within their videos. Students can only access (and respond to) the questions by watching the video. The video will automatically pause at any point a teacher has added a question. Students can NOT fast-forward the video, but they can rewind it before answering a question.
Use Nearly Any Video
Free, Unlimited Video Hosting
I cannot stress enough the value of making your own instructional videos. Some of the worst videos I have made receive a better response from students than many of the best videos that are made by someone they don’t know.
Free video hosting isn’t too hard to find, but you’re usually limited to enough storage for only a few videos. YouTube is great, but sadly blocked in too many schools. EDpuzzle provides free, unlimited hosting.
Off The Shelf Videos
Teachers can directly access videos from popular sites like YouTube, Khan Academy, National Geographic, and more. You can also re-use other teachers’ EDpuzzle video lessons.
Turn Videos into Lessons
Teachers often find a brief gem within a much longer video. EDpuzzle makes it easy to crop out only the parts you want your students to see with just a few clicks.
Record Your Voice
I often find video clips that I love, but find their explanations too hung up in the “cult of seriousness” to be meaningful to students. Now you can record a voiceover for any video directly within EDpuzzle.
Add Audio Notes
Sometimes instead of a complete voiceover, a video just needs an introduction or some comments. You can add audio comments at any point in a video.
A Great Formative Assessment Tool
Check for Understanding with Quizzes
Click on the question mark when the playhead is at the appropriate place to add open-ended or multiple choice questions. You can also add comments at any point in the video.
Tip: Create a final question to ask for questions or comments. The first answer choice is automatically selected as the correct answer. I would frequently forget to change it, resulting in miskeyed questions. Adding a feedback question at the end of the quiz allowed students to let me know of my mistake without flooding my email inbox. It later proved to be a great way to generate questions.
Grading and Feedback Made Easy
Multiple choice questions are automatically graded for you. EDPuzzle even makes grading open-ended questions a breeze. The ability to view all student responses to a single question on one page greatly speeds up grading. You can also add comments to any response.
Monitor Student Progress
EDpuzzle is a great formative assessment tool. You’ll need to create classes to get started. Students can be imported from Google Classroom, or they can enroll themselves using a teacher-provided class code. Reports can be viewed by student or by question to provide teachers with valuable feedback. You can also export results to a .csv file. A grade book option is available as a premium feature for schools.
Student Created Video Lessons
Perhaps my favorite new feature in EDpuzzle is the ability to assign “Students Projects.” Teachers simply provide a project’s subject, goal, and instructions. Students are then given access to all tools for creating a video lesson.
A Great Choice for the Flipped Classroom & Blended Learning
If you’re looking for a place to host your flipped / blended videos, or a platform for turning them into video lessons, EDpuzzle is tough to beat.