Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cool and useful website: EDPuzzle

I've been working with a few high school science teachers that use video in their classroom to help students understand some complex science topics. Video is a great way to do this - after all we live in a video generation. YouTube reports 300 hours of new video are uploaded every minute. Leveraging video lets you bring in multimedia and simulations to your lessons as well as take your students to places they may never get to otherwise.

While working with these teachers we explored one of my new favorite tools: EDpuzzle. EDpuzzle is a really cool tool that lets you take existing video and embed your own voice, comments, and even quizzes. Plus it's entirely FREE! Here's a one minute overview.
Creating an account is super simple. Click on the Teacher button and login with your existing Google or Edmodo account or create an EDpuzzle account from scratch. Using your Google or Edmodo account gives you the advantage of being able to access class rosters and other resources directly from those accounts.

My Classes

Your first task after signing in is to create your classes. If you signed in using Google or Edmodo you can import your existing classes. Otherwise click the Add Class button and follow the prompts.

Find Videos

The next step is to find the video you want to use. Click the Search tab and choose your favorite source for videos. You can also use the Upload button to upload your own video or video you've downloaded from another source.

After you find a video, hover over the thumbnail and either click Use it to start adding your content, or click Copy to add it to your My Content tab and edit it later.

Create your video-lesson

Once you are in your video its super easy to create your lesson. Once you are in edit mode you'll see four buttons across the top of the window.

Crop - lets you use only a section of you need. No need to force your students to sit through an entire 15 minute clip, just crop to the relevant section. To crop, just drag to start and end points.
Audio Track - is used if you want to use your own voice on the video instead of the embedded audio. If you use this option you have to record audio for the entire video clip. Click the microphone button and the video plays at the same time you are speaking.
Audio Notes - lets you record your own commentary at a certain point of the video. Drag the playhead to the point in the video and click the microphone button. You can have multiple audio notes throughout your video.
Quizzes - this is probably the best feature of EDpuzzle. Click on the point in the video where you want to embed a quiz and click the question mark. You can add an open-ended or multiple choice question, or embed your own written comment. The question editing box gives you basic formatting tools as well as the ability to embed links and images into the questions. When students are watching the video, it automatically stops at the quiz and students are forced to answer it before continuing on.


Click the Finish button in the upper right-hand corner. You'll be prompted to select a class to assign the video to as well as a few other awesome features: You can disable skipping so that students can't skip important content. You can also assign due dates to videos.

When you click the Send button it assigns the video to your EDpuzzle class. If you linked your Google Classroom or Edmodo accounts, you need to take the additional step of clicking the Post button and it will appear in the class stream.

EDpuzzle is a must-have tool for any teacher that uses video in their classroom. I love the ability to embed quizzes to hold students accountable for the video content, as well as the ability to disable skipping.

What are some ways you can think of to use video in your classroom? Let me know in the comments below.

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