Tag Archives: flipped classroom

How to Use Videos in the Classroom

by Hope Morley

A video we made using PowToon

There’s no shortage of video-sharing websites that teachers can access to enhance their lessons. But how can you find the most helpful, appropriate, and engaging videos for the classroom without spending hours sifting through the millions of online offerings?

Finding Videos

When it comes to finding video content online, YouTube seems to be the obvious choice. But YouTube isn’t as useful in the classroom as you might expect. Anyone can post to YouTube, and there is little to no content moderation, so you never really know what recommended videos might pop up. And videos often start with ads that may or may not be student-friendly. Plus, many schools block the site. However, SafeShare allows you to share a YouTube video safely. SafeShare removes the ads, sidebars, and recommendations for related videos, so students see only the content you’ve chosen for them.

SchoolTube has been designed specifically as a YouTube alternative for K–12 students and teachers to share content they’ve created. A team of volunteer teachers and other school staff moderates each video posted on SchoolTube to ensure that it’s suitable for student viewing.

If you’re looking for premade video lessons to incorporate into your lesson plan, Khan Academy is a good place to start. We’ve reviewed Khan Academy and found that the site has several helpful features, including a variety of video lessons across several subjects and metrics that keep track of students’ progress.

Making Videos

Plenty of educators have developed video lectures simply by setting up a tablet or camera and hitting record. But if you don’t want to be the star of your own video, various screencasting tools allow you to make a video screen capture of the movements you make on a computer or tablet. This method is perfect for creating a how-to video or recording on-screen video of an IWB presentation you’ve made. Some of this software must be purchased, but there are free options as well. (We use Quicktime on a Mac to create our ActivInspire how-to videos.)

One notable video-making option available online is PowToon, a site that provides templates for creating customized animated videos and presentations. To test how user-friendly the site is, we made a video on how to use a semi-colon. The 2-minute, 23-second video took almost 2 hours to make (mainly because we were having fun playing around with the different choices), but the site was relatively easy to use. We stuck to the free version, but subscriptions are available that include longer video lengths, better upload quality, and other style options.

Using Videos

So you’ve found or made your video. What’s next? Free web tools encourage higher levels of student engagement and interactivity than simply watching and discussing a video in class.

The Mad Video allows you to add “tags” to any Vimeo, Brightcove, or YouTube video to link to related articles, images, videos, or websites. As they watch a video, students can click on these tags to access the additional content. This is a great tool for differentiated instruction, since you can add content targeted to students of differing abilities.

VideoNot.es allows users to annotate online videos in real time. Simply provide a link to the video, and take notes as you watch. VideoNot.es synchronizes your input with the video, so later, you can click on your notes and the video will automatically jump to the related segment. This service connects through Google Drive, so you must have a Google account to use it. VideoNot.es is a must for any blended or flipped classroom.

How do you use videos in the classroom?

Hope Morley

Hope Morley is a consultant and social media coordinator for Green Light Professional Development. She writes about social media, conferences, and anything else on the web that helps both students and teachers learn. Follow her @GreenlightLT

Khan Academy: Data-Driven YouTube for Math Class?

by Erin Dye

Headphones and keyboard for Khan Academy

New tools for math class | credit: © Restyler | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Khan Academy has gotten quite a bit of buzz lately, including hype around their high profile partnerships. Their videos have been the subject of both praise and censure. Because of all this, you probably already know that Khan Academy hosts videos on a wide range of subjects with the goal of creating blended classrooms and differentiating instruction.

What I didn’t know until recently is that the site has made major changes to the way math teachers can organize lessons, oversee class behavior, and monitor progress. The site had some data management before, but the interface, the reporting, and the behavior management mechanisms have been revamped with the busy math teacher in mind.

For example, check out this video on how the glossy new dashboard works.

The dashboard offers a rich array of sorting options. You can organize your reports by class, by student, by exercise, by activity, by date, and by the goals you set for the class or for individual students. You can see a top-level chart that shows how the students are doing overall, and you can drill down into the data to find out why a particular student is falling behind, seeing exactly where the confusion lies. You can then assign that student a set of videos, lessons, and games that will help him or her grasp the concept. You can differentiate between students who have completed skill versus those who have mastered the skill.

Khan Academy has aligned their content to the Common Core for grades 6–8, and they are in the process of mapping lessons for the other grades. At a recent professional development seminar in Chicago, the facilitators mentioned that similar interface changes may be coming to their other subject areas in the near future.

If you’re considering blending your classroom, Khan may be what you’re looking for. Create a free login, then check out their Resources page for a walkthrough of how to get started.

You can also see testimonials from teachers who have used Khan Academy to support their blended classrooms.

Have you tried it? Do you love Khan or does it leave you cold? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Erin DyeErin Dye is a consultant for Green Light Professional Development with extensive experience creating digital materials for interactive whiteboards and iPads. She writes about IWBs and free online resources for teachers.