Don’t Just Watch,

Engage, With EdPuzzle

I am definitely dating myself here, but I grew up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I used to love watching the beginning of the show, after he changed out of his suit jacket and into his sweater and after he changed into his sneakers, he would talk about what he was up to that day. He would look right into the camera and ask us questions like: Do you ever wonder how pencils are made? or, Have you ever planted a seed? He would pause for a moment, giving us kids a chance to think about the answer. Sometimes my sister and I would even be compelled to answer out loud. Watching Mr. Rogers was more than just a passive exercise in consumption of content. He was a master at getting us to pause, reflect, and even respond.
Since we have become a 1:1 chromebook school, with each student having their own device, teachers are utilizing more and more video in their lessons. As our students are watching videos, we want them to interact with the content. We want them to reflect, be thoughtful, and make connections. In short, we want to turn a video into a lesson.
EdPuzzle is a platform where you can turn any YouTube (or other) video into your next lesson. It is super simple to set up, the analytics tell you if your students are interacting with the video, and it is easy to share lessons with colleagues. Also, I should mention that it is FREE! Another bonus is that it works seamlessly with Google Classroom.
According to EdPuzzle, more than 84% of students use YouTube to help them with homework. The nice thing about videos is that they allow students to learn at their own pace. They can pause or re-watch videos, which they cannot do during your class. Using video in this way allows students to have some control over their learning.
Here is how EdPuzzle works.
Step 1:  Upload or choose a video. Built into the EdPuzzle platform is a whole list of places to find great educational videos including YouTube, Khan Academy, National Geographic, TED, etc. You then have the opportunity to crop the video. If you have a long video, you can easily crop it so your students will only see a portion of it.
Step 2: You can add an audio track to the video. If there is something that you want to explain in your own words, you can record it right in EdPuzzle.
Step 3: Now you have an opportunity to add audio notes. For example, you can add an introductory comment that will show up before the video begins.
Step 4: At this point you can add questions to the video. As your students watch the video, it will pause and your questions will pop up. You have the option of adding open-ended questions, multiple choice questions-if you choose this option you can make an answer key and it will auto-grade for you, or just insert a comment which can have a link, an image, an equation, or text.
Step 5: Once you have your video lesson set up, you can assign it to your class. It will automatically assign in Google Classroom or you can give your students a link directly to the video. You can assign it with a due date and you can also check a box that will prevent students from skipping ahead in the video. When you assign it to a class, you can track student answers, see who viewed the video and how many times they viewed it.
Are you using video in your classroom? What tools are you using? Go ahead and post in the comments section and share what is working for you.