Trying Something New: Flipgrid

Have you ever made a really cool assignment and then forgot to assign it? Well, hopefully this has happened to you, but every so often it is a trick I like to pull on myself.

When I first try out a new tool, I am always trying to come up with an engaging and yet meaningful and productive way to work it into the flow of my course. When I wanted to try out Flipgrid.com, I  created a simple but effective way to incorporate Flipgrid into a lesson on Digital Citizenship that I would be teaching at the very end of my college course for pre-service teachers.  And then promptly forgot about the assignment.

I re-discovered the assignment after the Digital Citizenship lesson, but before my students had submitted their final work for the semester, so I invited them to try out Flipgrid anyway. They were to read a newspaper article about teachers and social media sites in Ontario, as well as a legal response to the same article. Then, using Flipgrid, they were to record a 1-2 minute video reflection and post it in the ‘classroom’ for classmates to view if they chose. So basically, Flipgrid is a tool that lets students submit video responses to a prompt, and watch what their classmates have to say as well.  The paid “Classroom” version of Flipgrid then allows students to make video responses to their classmates’ video responses, but alas, as usual, I have a budget for the free version!

Check out the assignment and responses here.

Flipgrid does seem like a tool that I will use to create future assignments with….and hopefully remember that they exist!

EdPuzzle website …trying something new

EdPuzzle. Check it out for your flipped classroom videos!

EdPuzzle. Check it out for your flipped classroom videos!

Today in my college Ed Tech course, I finally had a chance to test run the website EDpuzzle.  I came across this website on Twitter when EDpuzzle started following me, and as a result, I checked out their product.  I’d say this site is still in its start-up phase, but it has lots of potential, especially in the world of “flipped classrooms”.  Basically, the website allows you to personalize any video from the web by shortening it, adding voice-over content, and embedding comments or quiz questions.

Earlier in the semester, I had hoped to try it out with a grade 10 video on globalization, but it just wasn’t quite the right assignment.  This week, I came up with a solid place for a trial.

While tweaking my “movies in education” lesson for pre-service teachers, I modelled the use of EDpuzzle by shortening and adding project-related comments to an iMovie tutorial.  The video that I personalized could be reached by a URL, and did not require log-in to view….all excellent features.  When my inserted comment points were reached, the video actually stops and shows the comments in a speech bubble to the right of the video.  Students must then choose ‘continue’ or ‘ replay’ in order to finish with the video.  I imagine that some students will find this annoying, but as a teacher, I love that I can have students get my explanations or reminders at the relevant point in the content.

I haven’t yet tried the most intriguing aspect of this product.  If you create a Class and have students login and launch their video watching from the website, it will track their views.  Did they watch the whole thing? Did they review certain parts? And while logged in, they can then also do video quizzes WHILE they watch the video. Like the comments feature, the video stops, presents the questions (multiple choice or short answer) and students must answer the quiz before they can continue.  This will allow students to go at their own pace and re-watch as necessary.  Think of the value of this for flipped classrooms or virtual/online course work!

I haven’t done any test runs with this quiz feature, but I am quite excited to try it, and I’m sure I will be compelled to discuss my experience here!  (Click here, and you might be able to try an interactive video quiz that I eventually created.)

EDpuzzle is new and growing.  One of the downfalls is that you can only clip or shorten content from the beginning or end of a video.  The video tutorial that I was using about iMovie had some content from the middle portions that wasn’t as relevant to the class project.  I couldn’t figure out how to clip this middle content, so I “asked” EDpuzzle if this was even possible. Turns out, the answer is “not yet”, according to the Co-Founder who responded by email to my query.  This is evidence of a being a new ed start-up — when the Co-Founder is answering client emails!  It will be interesting to see how EDpuzzle changes as it grows.

EDTS 325 students, if you are reading this, I would be very interested in your take on the EDpuzzle experience in the comment section way below.