Flipgrid and EdPuzzle- Awesome Video Tools for the Classroom

Video is a powerful learning medium. Today, I write about two EdTech tools that can leverage video to enhance learning, Flipgrid and EdPuzzle.

Flipgrid is a video discussion platform. It couldn’t be easier for students to use as they simply click a big green + button and begin to talk. As a teacher, I can control how long their responses are supposed to be.

I used the tool this year in two similar but different ways. I have my students journal every couple of weeks usually via a blog or google docs. Instead of a written journal, a couple of times I asked students to do a video journal.

Here is one such example as this student reflects on an in-class simulation. It gets even richer as students begin discussion threads and go back and forth discussing and debating ideas. Below is a screenshot of a portion what I see as a teacher. You can see each video has its own unique shareable url. I can easily comment on any of these posts with a typed or filmed comment. You can also see that “4th wall” of teaching is partially penetrated. These kids are viewing what their classmates have to say. Blake had 11 classmates view his responses. The discussion moved beyond the classroom.

I also used it for quick status reports as my students did a month long maker-space project. Simply clicking through the video responses was a quick and easy way for me to gauge student progress.

Stacy Roshan is a Flipgrid superuser and posts quite a bit on her own blog about Flipgrid. Here are some highlights.

EdPuzzle 

EdPuzzle should be on your shortlist of essential tools. Why is EdPuzzle essential and so useful?

Simply this, take any video from YouTube or Khan Academy (and other sites) and make it interactive by embedding questions right in the video.

This allows for:

  • self-paced lessons. It lets students move through content they already understand to focus on what challenges them. Students are also able to stop and review content they missed the first time the teacher taught it. 
  • students to ask questions that they too embarrassed to ask in class
  • teachers to easily add images, interactive graphs, websites and comments to a video lesson
  • students to respond to teacher posed questions. There is a useful “big-brother” aspect to this. As a teacher, I can see how many times a student watched a particular segment (or if they watched it at all).  I’ve had students watch segments of a video up to 5 times to answer a particular question. This lets me know if my question is too hard or the concept is too challenging.
  • full integration with Google Classroom.

Take it another step. Tape yourself either during class delivering the content or in advance of class. Now your lesson is archivable and interactive in ways it never was before.

By the way, I rarely go to edpuzzle.com as I usually use the chrome extension to do my edpuzzling. It gives me all the utility I need and saves me some clicks.

To learn everything you could ever want to know about EdPuzzle, check out its YouTube Channel.

 

Preview Files in Google Drive

It may sound obvious, but sometimes the best way to find something is to start looking.  Google Drive lets you quickly preview more than 30 file types and quickly flip between files until you find the one you want.

To see a preview of a Google document, right-click on the file name and select “preview.” Once the preview window is open, you can click on the arrows on either side to flip to other files. And right from within the preview, you can watch video files or scroll through multi-page documents.

You can select and copy text from the preview — even for a PDF or Microsoft Word document — or use the zoom buttons to see a file in more detail. Each file preview also gives you one-click access to share, download, print or open a file for editing.

Via: google drive blog

Find Quality Videos More Quickly

I frequently check YouTube for videos for my classes. I’ve found some gems, but I’ve also waded through some dreck.  This video shows how to use YouTube Playlists to find quality videos much more quickly, curate videos for your classes, and to use playlists in lesson plans.

Other video tips, use EdPuzzle to further edit YouTube videos. As FCS teachers, we all have the extension added to YouTube. Just click Edit with edpuzzle.

Finally, if concerned about distracting thumbnails for other videos and content, use a tool like safeyoutube.

 

Google Classroom Essentials

Google continues to improve on its Google Classroom. Here is a useful guide from Common Sense Media on all things Google Classroom.

Teachers’ Essential Guide to Google Classroom | Common Sense Education

What is Google Classroom? Is Google Classroom an LMS? Who can use Google Classroom? How do teachers use Google Classroom? How do I set up my Google Classroom? What is Google doing with my students’ data? Should I be worried about privacy? How can Google Classroom support differentiation in the classroom?

 

and here is the Google Classroom Community Page which has all sorts of resources and a terrific feature “describe your issue”

Click Image to go to Google Classroom Help Community

Copying Google Classroom

FCS teachers have asked the FCIT several times both last year and again this summer if one can copy a Google Classroom class page. The answer is yes. Google Classroom added this feature last Fall and many undoubtedly will find it useful.

A word of caution, only use this If you are sure you want to teach this year’s course with very few changes to last year’s course.  If you are making even moderate changes, it may be easier to reuse posts from last year’s class or use this terrific idea.

-Alex