What it is: EDpuzzle is a neat new educational site to help you better utilize video in your classroom for learning. You can find and crop video to use only what you need, add audio notes within the video or do some voice over work for a video, and you can embed questions throughout the video to track student understanding. EDpuzzle collects data as students watch and interact with the video. You can see if and when a student watched the video, and see the progress of all students through the answers to embedded questions.
How to use EDpuzzle in your classroom: What makes EDpuzzle great is the level of freedom given in cropping, sharing, and tracking video use in the classroom. EDpuzzle enhances the “flipped” classroom by allowing you to embed formative assessment directly into your videos. As students watch, you can check understanding and ensure active watching vs. passive watching. In a flipped scenario, this gives you the ability to completely tailor a lesson the next day based on the formative assessment results you get from homework. This is truly utilizing assessment to inform instruction (which is the point of assessment!).
EDpuzzle can be used in conjunction with videos that you have made for your students, or with videos that you find. I like using video to introduce students to a brand new topic or idea. Well-created video has the ability to quickly and succinctly help students dive into new learning and formulate new questions and lines of inquiry. For example, when Anastasis Jr. High started our last inquiry block about “How the World Works” and explored the topic of food and farming, they started by watching the documentary Food, Inc. This was a great way to launch their thinking and lines of questioning about where our food comes from. Out of that video, students chose different lines of inquiry to explore and research. EDpuzzle would be a good way for students to help others see where their line of inquiry started from. Students could grab the clip of the documentary that intrigued them, and embed audio to show their thought process as they watched. Sort of a Saved-by-the-Bell Zack Morris “Time out” moment where they can describe their line of thinking.
For primary teachers, EDpuzzle could be used as part of a guided reading center. YouTube has lots of great read-along videos. (You can also create your own based on class reading!) Use these videos along with EDpuzzle to check for comprehension. As the video plays, embed questions to check for understanding. Students can independently go through the guided reading (or Close reading) activity, while you work one-on-one with other reading groups. Rotate the reading groups throughout the week so that each student gets the opportunity to go through the EDpuzzle guided reading activity, and each group gets one-on-one time with you. This is a fantastic way to maximize your time and get valuable feedback from all student learning. EDpuzzle could also be used in this way as a science center (with a video pertaining to an experiment or new learning), a math center, etc. I love using center rotations because it ensures that I have time to work closely with each group.
For secondary students, use EDpuzzle is a great way to check for understanding. It is also a wonderful way for students to create and demonstrate understanding. EDpuzzle would be ideal for sub days. I always dreaded being away from the classroom because it was essentially a lost day. Even if the substitute did EXACTLY what I asked, I missed the opportunity to see my students work and think. EDpuzzle would give you the ability to “teach” remotely and embed the same questions and promptings you would give if you were live in the classroom. While you won’t get to hear all of the discussion, you will have some feedback to better understand how your students were thinking.
With documentary-type videos, EDpuzzle can be used to embed writing prompts. Record a prompt throughout the video so that students can pause and write out their reflections and thoughts. I find that good documentaries are often SO packed full of good things that by the end of the video, only the last 10 minutes get well-reflected on. The documentary Baraka would be an incredible video to do this with!
Have you seen Vi Hart’s YouTube channel? I am obsessed! I love the way that she goes through math in a casual stream-of-conscious type approach. Embed related practice math problems based on the topics that Vi is sharing in her videos. As students get those light-bulb moments of, “oh, that is how that works!” capitalize on the new understanding by giving them a place to put it into practice and try it out.
Do you record your students learning? EDpuzzle could be a fantastic way to record audio feedback to the videos that they upload. These can then be shared with parents and students for review.
Tips: Don’t have access to YouTube at school? No worries! You can still use EDpuzzle with your students. EDpuzzle lets you search for video by topic, or pull video from Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, National Geographic, TED, Veritasium, and Numberphile as well. LOTS of incredible learning just waiting to happen!