Our challenge this week was to choose an assessment technology and use it in our classroom/teaching this week. This is timely, considering that many of my classes are currently working on viewing and listening assignments – an area I struggle to incorporate beyond the boring watch/listen and then discuss or answer questions. Yeah, it checks off the outcome, but how is this interesting or engaging for students? It’s not. This challenge prompted me to reach outside of my comfort zone, and I was inspired by the SPDU workshop about Embedding technology in the Secondary ELA classroom that I recently attended. Using video or audio in the classroom can be fun! Watch and see:
With the goal of creating an interactive video that would be more engaging for students, I chose EdPuzzle as the tool I wanted to explore this week. EdPuzzle allows teachers to crop, customize, and remix online videos for use in their classrooms. It is free to use and did not require me to watch a bunch of tutorials or attend a whole day PD on how to use and incorporate it – it is very intuitive and user friendly! I was quickly able to search for a video relevant to the curricular outcome and topic I wanted to cover – in my case, an introduction to the play Bad Seed which we study in ELA 20. The title of the video is “Narcissist, Psychopath, or Sociopath: How to Spot the Difference.”
Using EdPuzzle, I was able to edit the video, crop the length, and build in questions that students must answer while they watch. Though I did not use the voiceover tool, the option is available for teachers as well as the ability to comment, include resources, and create quizzes. The best part is that teachers can use EdPuzzle with any existing online video to create an interactive experience for students. Here is the link to a brief Screencastify showing the teacher view of the screen while editing and how the questions are tagged in the video:
The biggest challenge I had in creating this was simply the time to sit and play with the tool – starting from scratch with a video was not an option for me this week. 3 Way Conferences, a full PD day, and a full weekend of coaching left me very little time to play around to any extent. If this is an issue for you as well, fear not! There are a vast array of videos that are ready to use on the EdPuzzle site with some of the work already done. I accessed a copy of the video I wanted to use which already had questions developed from another user. Then I previewed the video, cropped it for time and relevance, changed the questions to better suit my students’ needs, and DONE! Ready to use viewing activity for my classroom.
Since I am not currently teaching a regular ELA 20 class until next semester, where I would use this video as a pre-teaching tool or formative assessment, I decided to test out the video on my Pre-AP ELA 20 students. The students appreciated that they could access the video themselves and answer the questions at their own pace. I used the video as a stand-alone activity for my Pre-AP class but many of them were able to draw connections to characters in some of the literature we are reading.
This EdPuzzle Review states that “while it will meet many needs, Edpuzzle could use more features to annotate and remix videos, especially the ability to combine multiple videos.” Regardless of this deficit, I found this tool simple and easy to use while still being effective for engaging my students. Many of the viewing assignments I’ve used thus far in my career are a bit lackluster to say the least. They only required lower-level thinking skills. EdPuzzle gives me options to encourage interaction with the video which increases the desire to learn the material. Adding supplemental resources and links would further enhance this. Students can also use EdPuzzle to research, create, and share their own video lessons – it could prove very useful for them as a learning tool.
EdPuzzle is a tool that I will continue to use — check it out and see for yourself how fun and easy it is to create interesting and engaging content for your students!