Edpuzzle solves so many of my flipped classroom problems. During the last four years of using flipped classroom techniques, I’ve come to rely on what is called the “in-flip” — I show the videos in class and interact with students to help them do in-class activities with what they’ve learned.
But I’ve had several big problems with flipped classroom techniques:
- Just as some students “tune out” a teacher, some would fast forward or skip parts of the videos.
- Even though I’d ask, students wouldn’t pause the video to do something.
- I’d like to use videos made by others, but I’d also like to add a few elements of my own.
- I couldn’t check for understanding during the video.
All of these problems have been solved with Edpuzzle. (And let me add that I was so excited when Edpuzzle contacted me about reviewing their product because I was already a fan!)
How Does Edpuzzle Work?
1. Import any video.
First, with Edpuzzle, you can import any video. In the resume example shown below, you can see that I pulled in a video from the web. Then, I added voice comments and some quizzes. Try it for yourself.
My Resume Video
I didn’t make this video but used one from YouTube and added my voice and questions.
I upload my videos to YouTube and import them into Edpuzzle. Sometimes I use videos that I find on YouTube as well. However, you can also upload videos directly to Edpuzzle. In a very cool twist, you can have students make their own Edpuzzle. They are, in effect, creating a video just like you would do as a teacher. These videos can be used to teach or instruct others, or to show understanding in a project.
The Start Screen in Edpuzzle
Search for videos.
Edpuzzle has made it easy to search for videos from some curated channels. For example, I’d never heard of the CrashCourse channel on YouTube, but it’s become a go-to for many awesome videos that I use in my Computer Science classes.
For purposes of this article, I’m going to work on a binary number video. I could “copy it”, which means that if it’s an Edpuzzle, I can use everything that someone else has set up. I could also “use it”, which means that I’m going to customize everything myself. (I typically customize everything because I want students to hear my voice.)
2. Crop your video.
After you bring in the video by clicking either “new video” or “upload video”, you can clip off the beginning or ending of the video. You don’t have to use it all. Remember that, in minutes, the best length for a video is typically the student’s age + 1.
I prefer shorter videos because if a student doesn’t finish it in a class period, they’ll have to come back to it. While coming back to the video is certainly an option, it really is easier to have them finish in one period.
3. Overlay your voice.
If you want, you can remove the entire audio track of the video and record your voice explaining everything students are watching. I don’t typically do this because I’d rather interject my own voice in just a few spots instead of completely replacing what’s already there. The note-taking example below shows what I usually do — I make the whole video myself using Office Mix, adding pauses, instructions, and quizzes whenever necessary.
But if you find the perfect video and you want to do this, it’s an option with Edpuzzle.
4. Add audio notes.
As you can see in the resume video above, I love using Audio Notes. This feature lets you pause the video and add a quick audio instruction with your voice. Personally, I think adding the teacher’s voice to the audio is an important way to make a connection with your students as you use flipped classroom techniques. I also use this because I want to interject the terminology I’ll be using in class.
5. Add “quizzes”, notes, and more.
My favorite part of Edupuzzle is the ability to add “quizzes” to the video. However, the term “quizzes” is really a misnomer. You can pause the video and add any of the following:
Add a comment.
As shown in this video, I can add a comment into the video. Sometimes I want students to pause and think about what they’ve just heard. I can do this by typing in a comment of my own.
In this example, I’ve paused the video and added a comment about the numbering system that my students already know. I think that pausing the video and adding a short comment can help students process what they’ve just heard, especially when it’s a complex idea. You can also add audio notes with your voice, but sometimes I want to include a definition or detail. Usually I use this technique for things that I want added to their notes.
Add a multiple-choice question.
You can add one or several multiple-choice questions. Just make sure that each of these questions has only one answer, as two correct answers will automatically be marked wrong. As you can see in the Introduction to Digital Note-Taking assignment, I’ve added multiple-choice questions at several locations. Also note that I’ve set this video to prevent students from skipping.
Add open-ended questions.
Open-ended questions are my favorite. Students can reflect. They can even ask questions for you to answer later. I usually just read the answers as I’m grading and check them off, but I can also respond back to the student via a comment. I love that two-way communication is a possibility here.
6. Assess the video.
You might want to just use the statistics in the dashboard to see how students are watching and what they’ve done, but I love that it tells me how many questions I have to assess or grade.
You can see if a student has finished the video. Some of these grades look artificially low because I haven’t graded the open-ended questions yet. The aqua colored button in the top right corner shows that I have 32 questions to grade. (The name of this video is Preso Basic computer skills if you’re wondering. It is cut off to hide student names.)
As you click “grade”, Edpuzzle shows you the items you need to grade. You can add a comment, quickly check, or give partial credit. I like how this feature groups common questions together, making it easier and faster for me to grade.
Why Edpuzzle Is an Essential Classroom Tool
If you’re like me, you know that videos are a fantastic way of bringing content into the classroom. However, as teachers, we must check for understanding. Every opportunity that we have for interacting with a student is a time when we can enhance his or her learning experience. Our videos must be that way, too!
Edpuzzle adds the essential interactive feature. I already had this tool on my list from ISTE this year, and I started working with it when I came home from the conference. I love how Edpuzzle makes videos interactive to really ensure that students are learning the content. Teaching can be a challenge, and as we explore each new tool, we often need to find ways of adapting it to our own practice. If you’re using videos (or if you’ve held off on using them because of the problems I stated at the beginning of this blog), now is the time to start using Edpuzzle. And because it links with Google Classroom, just creating an embed code for a video can enroll someone in your class easily. I embed the videos in my LMS and students participate — and we’re good to go!