EdPuzzle - Make Videos Interactive

Demo Video

https://youtu.be/-L62wAxCzEM

What is it?

EduPuzzle allows you to use a video from a source like YouTube, and then inject your own notes and questions into the video.

You can put in multiple choice questions or short-answer questions and students get feedback on their responses.

If you create user accounts for your students, you can track who watched the video and you can get their responses to the questions.

The editor is fairly basic but includes bold, italics, underlining and the ability to insert graphics, as well as a rudimentary equation editor that allows fairly complex equations in a fairly easy manner. The editor is simple but effective.

Adding Students to Classes

You can create classes and add students to them.

If you're using Google Classrooms, adding students is fairly easy. If you're not, then it's a pain in the backside. You have to invite students to the class. This means you get a link and code that identifies the class they are joining. What could go wrong with that approach? About a million things. So, this is pretty much a deal breaker in my mind. If I can't create the student accounts in advance and have them configured to be the same as their email addresses and existing passwords from their school system, then it's not going to fly.

You can configure the videos to not allow the user to skip ahead if you really want them to watch the whole video (or at least text their friends while the video plays in the background) . Combined with the injected questions, it's a good way of seeing who watched the video and paid attention.

Some Practical Considerations

You can manually mark short-answer questions.

There is a gradebook that can be exported.

The system indicates where the questions and notes are positioned in the videos, so if you allow skipping ahead in the video, students will know where the questions are located.

They system feedback is not extensive, but it's fairly meaningful. It shows:

  • what percentage of the video the student watched
  • when they last watched
  • and you can see their responses to the questions.

How it works

The process is fairly simple. Find a video on YouTube (if you don't have your own video) and get the share link for the video.

  1. Click on Content | My Content
  2. Click on the Add Content button that will appear in the upper right of the My Content screen.
  3. Click YouTube in the left menu.
  4. In the search bar, enter the link to the video you want to use.
  5. Click Search.
  6. When you see your video in the results, click on it to select it.
  7. When the Video appears in EdPuzzle, click Edit in the lower right corner.
  8. Click the play button until you come to a point where you want to add a voic-eover, comment or question.
  9. Pause the video.
  10. Click Cut, Voiceover, or Questions above the video window and follow the prompts.
  11. When you're done adding you can continue in the video and add more comments and questions or you can click Finish.
  12. Once you've finished editing you can assign the video to a class.

Important Notes

Once a video has been assigned to a classroom, you can't edit the location of the voice-over, comments, and questions in the timeline. You have to make a copy of the video and edit the copy and then re-assign it.

Students can't change the speed of the videos even if they originate on YouTube which supports this ability.

If you make a mistake in the answer key for a question, you can't go back and change it. 

If you want to delete a question from an assigned video, you also don't seem to be able to do that either. You can only delete questions from a video by making a duplicate of it. 

Use it or Not?

It's not difficult to use, and the learning curve is short. The feature set is fairly small but it has the essentials for making better use of video content. That's all good.

If there isn't a good way to import student account information, it's pretty much a deal-breaker; however, the ability to track who has watched and how much they watched along with being able to get responses to basic comprehension questions is really compelling. I just can't completely rule it out.

 

 

Science Lab / Math Tools - Virtual Experiments

This looks like it has some very useful tools for simulating science experiments and math on-line.

https://www.explorelearning.com/

whiteboard.fi

Each student has their own whiteboard and teacher can see what everyone puts on their whiteboard in real time.

https://youtu.be/dNEJrMJPRQQ

 

Monthly Current Events Articles - What in the World

https://www.lesplan.com

LesPlan has several publications that are targeted at different age groups and provide thought provoking articles on topics that tap into what's currently going on in the world. They have some materials available for free but are primarily a subscription service. However, the quality is very good and includes related curricular activities.

PlanBoard - Lesson Planning Software

This is an on-going project so this document will be updated.

I've been transitioning to using Planboard for a month now and am slowly making it my primary planning tool. I was currently using a combination of Excel (to get a highlevel view of my classes and lessons, and OneNote for doing detailed lesson plans. I still have a hard time getting away from the easy of using Excel to sketch out the high level view of my schedule.

Overall, I really like the software. Some of the things I like are:

  • Made in Kitchener, Ontario (support local)
  • It handles our school's 9-day schedule fairly well (with some caveats that I talk about later)
  • It generates PDFs of the week or the day which can be printed out to put in a day book to keep your admin happy.
  • It allows multiple sections of the same course, so if you teach the same course multiple times, it provides a logical way for managing that.
  • You can share lesson plans fairly easily between sections.
  • Lessons can be organized into units.

It handles our 9-day schedule fairly well, although it's not able to handle our hybrid learning schedule which alternates students being in-class and on-line every other day. As a result, I have to identify the on-line classes manually.

It's also not able to automatically handle the fact that our Wednesday schedule is always shortened periods. Rather than 4 periods on the normal schedule with a lunch break in the middle, we have 4 55-minute classes back-to-back and the day finishes at 1:00.

These are both unusual requirements so it's not surprising that the software doesn't accomodate this but I figure they're worth noting for people who face similar scheduling challenges.

mPower from TVO

Mpower.tvo.org

Mpower is a collection of math games that are linked to the Ontario k-6 curriculum expectations which help students to develop math skills in a fun way. The system is ad-free and free to use for Ontario educators and families and it runs on computers, and tablets. I assume it would also work on a phone but didn’t test that. 

TVO mPower’s goals are:

  1. To provide Ontario students with opportunities to practice important math skills and to foster positive attitudes towards math by making learning fun and engaging;
  2. To show students that math is everywhere by connecting math games to the big ideas in science and social studies; and, 
  3. To support students to develop 21st Century Global competencies by integrating skills such as metacognition, problem solving, creativity and citizenship. 

Classroom Q

ClassroomQ is a classroom management tool which addresses the issue of kids getting direct help from the teacher during a work period.

URL: https://classroomq.com/

Introduction Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8vXjRgTy0E

 

 

YoTeach!

YoTeach is a Web site that allows you to create a communications channel that can function in the background during your class or you can use it to surface questions that your students might have.

I also find it interesting that they mention another tool called SpaceBoard which looks like a whiteboard functionality which I would like to investigate further.

URL: https://yoteachapp.com/

 

 

Geoguessr

Geoguessr is a geographical exploration game. It drops you into a location and you have to explore around until you get clues as to where you are.

URL: https://www.geoguessr.com/

Cost: Free version with limited functionality and a pay account which offers a richer experience. You can also use the paid version once per day for free.

 

Great Big Story

The Great Big Story seems to be a collection of short inspiring stories. These topics could be good starting places for discussions or media comprehension assignments.

https://www.greatbigstory.com/

Google Tour Creator

Allows you or your students to create a 3-d tour. You can provide your own graphics or use existing google images.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s4rhDbyYo4

 

Google Expeditions

https://edu.google.com/products/vr-ar/expeditions/?modal_active=none

Google expeditions is an app that allows kids to go on a virtual field trip. Google has partnered with National Geograhic, American Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum of Art.

The App provides a virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality experience by allowing users to tour different environments.

Prowritingaid

https://prowritingaid.com/

This tool allows users to upload their written work and have it evaluated. It includes some basic grammar and spelling tools like you'd expect from a word processor but has additional tools as well. I does things like identifying: words used in correctly, overused words, redundant words, and rambling sentences and reports on readability, sentence length, pronouns as well as a number of other factors that influence the quality of your work.

Cost: Free trial version and a pay for use version.

Grade appropriateness: I haven't used this in the field but I'm thinking it's more of a middle and high school tool.

Class Dojo Alternative

Equity Maps

https://equitymaps.com/

IPhone/IPAD ONLY: Tracking student participation can be hard. This app provides an easy to interact with interface for tracking who in your class is participating. I don't generally recommend anything that is not available on Android but I thought this one was worth a mention.

A Google A Day

http://www.agoogleaday.com/ is a fun sight that helps kids to develop searching skills. It poses a question and students need to use their search skills to find the answer. It may be multiple searches to ultimately answer the question. The question are probably appropriate for middle school or higher. 

RAISE Identified Schools in Ottawa

I won't claim to be an expert on this because information seems a little hard to find but this is what I think it's about.

The Ottawa school board (OCDSB) evaluates all elementary and secondary schools on a set of criteria that identifies some schools as being in need of financial assistance to bring them closer to other schools in other regions of the city. Each school is given a a RAISE score. I couldn't find a range for the scores but they are categorized into 4 categories:

  • -1.0 and lower
  • -0.99 to 0
  • 0 to 0.99
  • 1.0 and higher

mPower from TVO.org

http://Mpower.tvo.org

Mpower is a collection of math games that are linked to the Ontario k-6 curriculum expectations which help students to develop math skills in a fun way. The system is ad-free and free to use for Ontario educators and families and it runs on computers, and tablets. I assume it would also work on a phone but didn’t test that. 

TVO mPower’s goals are:

  1. To provide Ontario students with opportunities to practice important math skills and to foster positive attitudes towards math by making learning fun and engaging;
  2. To show students that math is everywhere by connecting math games to the big ideas in science and social studies; and, 
  3. To support students to develop 21st Century Global competencies by integrating skills such as metacognition, problem solving, creativity and citizenship. 

Mathtv.com

MathTV.com is a collection of math tutorial videos organized by topic. It covers topics from K to 12 including calculus. The videos are straight to the point and generally focus on solving specific problems rather than teaching lessons. They follow a consistent style of a teacher at a whiteboard. The quality is good. It doesn't have ties to specific curriculum expectations so you have to have some idea of what you're looking for. 

The advantage of this over youtube is that it is limited to relevant math topics, so the potential for distraction by other videos is eliminated. On the negative side, they don't seem to be as lesson oriented or focused on explaining concepts so it's less instructive.

Differentiationdaily.com

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https://differentiationdaily.com

Introduction

Differentiationdaily.com is the work of Paula Klutch, a teacher and author of 4 books that focus on differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning (UDL). The site is a curated collection of links to materials that are designed for teachers in diverse classrooms.