Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Short Overview of 12 Tools for Creating Flipped Classroom Lessons

One of the most frequent requests that I get is for suggestions on developing flipped classroom lessons. The first step is to decide if you want to create your own video lessons from scratch or if you want to develop lessons based on videos that others have produced. In this post we'll look at tools for doing both.

Developing flipped lessons from scratch with your own videos.
The benefit of creating your own videos is that you can tailor them to exactly match your curriculum. The drawback to this is that it requires more time on your part. The other drawback is that your video might not be as engaging to your students as those made by professional video editors. For example, it would be years before I could make videos that look as good as those produced by the staff on Hank and John Green's Crash Course series.

Tools for creating your own flipped video lessons:
The Knowmia Teach iPad app is an excellent app for creating your own whiteboard videos. Some of the highlights of Knowmia Teach app include the option to use your iPad’s camera to record yourself while drawing on the whiteboard. You will appear in the corner of the screen so that your students can see you while you’re talking them through the lesson. The app includes the option to import images and graphics from your iPad to your lessons. You can draw free-hand on the whiteboard screen, type on the whiteboard screen, and insert pre-made shapes and figures. All Knowia Teach lessons can be uploaded to the Knowmia website with just one tap of your iPad’s screen. Students can watch your lessons on the Knowmia website.

Educreations is a free iPad app that turns your iPad into a whiteboard. You can use the app to illustrate concepts and narrate what you’re doing on the screen. You can draw images from scratch on the Educreations iPad app or you can upload images and draw on them. Your completed lesson can be shared directly to others or made public on the Educreations website.

In the free eduClipper iPad app you can create instructional videos on a whiteboard in the Khan Academy style. You can also use the app to create a video in which you annotate an image or document while talking about it. After creating your video you can save it to an eduClipper board that you have shared with your students through the eduClipper classroom setting. Your students can view the videos on their iPads or in the web browsers on their laptops.

If you don't have an iPad, PixiClip is a good option for creating simple instructional videos. PixiClip provides a whiteboard space on which you can draw, upload images to mark-up, and type. While adding elements to your PixiClip whiteboard you can talk and or record a video of yourself talking. In fact, you can't use the whiteboard without at least recording your voice at the same time. Recordings can be shared via social media, embedded into blog posts, or you could grab the link and include it in an eduClipper board that you have shared with your students.

Clarisketch is a free Android app that has great potential for classroom use. The app allows you to take a picture or pull one from your device’s camera roll and then add your voice to it. While you are talking about your picture you can draw on it to highlight sections of it. Completed projects are shared as links to the video file hosted on Clarisketch. You can share the link to your Clarisketch video and have it play on nearly any device that has a web browser.

One other option to consider is simply recording yourself talking over a set of slides. makes it easy to do that.

Creating flipped lessons from videos produced by others. 
The benefit of creating flipped lessons in this manner is that you can save a ton of time by not having to develop everything from scratch. The drawback is that you might end up using videos that don't exactly match your curriculum. You'll also find that YouTube is the largest source of flipped lessons. If your school blocks access to YouTube, you may find it difficult to find good video lessons.

Tools for creating flipped video lessons with videos produced by others. 
Vibby is a service for breaking YouTube videos into segments and inserting comments into those segments. To segment a YouTube video on Vibby simply grab the URL for the video and paste into the Vibby editor. Once inserted into Vibby you can highlight a segment on the video timeline. Vibby then plays only the sections you've highlighted. Click on a highlighted section to add a comment to it. Videos edited through Vibby can be shared via email, social media, or embedded into a blog or website.

EDpuzzle is a neat tool that allows you to add your voice and text questions to educational videos. On EDpuzzle you can search for educational videos and or upload your own videos to use as the basis of your lesson. EDpuzzle has an online classroom component that you can use to assign videos to students and track their progress through your video lessons. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use the main features of EDPuzzle.

Gooru is a free service for locating and organizing collections of educational resources to use in math, science, social studies, and language arts lessons. Gooru makes it easy to create collections of videos, images, and interactive websites to use as part of a flipped lesson. Being able to add quiz questions for students to answer as they go through one of the units you've created is the feature of Gooru that I like best.

eduCanon is an excellent service for creating, assigning, and tracking your students' progress on flipped lessons. eduCanon allows you to build flipped lessons using YouTube and Vimeo videos, create questions about the videos, then assign lessons to their students. Once you have found a video through eduCanon you can add questions to it at any point along its timeline. Students need to answer your questions before they move on to the next portion of your chosen video. You can track your students' progress within eduCanon.

MoocNote is a free tool for adding timestamped comments, questions, and links to videos. To do this on MoocNote you simply paste a link to a YouTube video into the MoocNote editor. Once the video is imported you can start to add your comments, questions, and links. The link features is particularly useful for providing students with additional resources for learning about the topics covered in your shared videos. MoocNote allows you to organize playlists (MoocNote calls them courses) of videos according to topics that you identify.

Zaption is a tool for creating video-based quizzes. Unlike some services like TED-Ed that have students watch a video then answer questions at the end, Zaption allows you to display questions for students to answer as they watch a video. To create a quiz on Zaption you start by creating a "tour" in your account. A tour is a combination of videos, images, and text arranged into a sequence. To add a video to a tour you can search and select one within Zaption. Zaption pulls videos from YouTube, Vimeo, PBS, or National Geographic. After choosing your video, start watching it then pause it when you want to add a question. You can add questions in the form of multiple choice, open response, or check box response. When students watch the video they will see your questions appear in the context in which you set them. Take a look at the Zaption showcase for some great examples of Zaption tours that incorporate video, images, and text.

What's an Algorithm? What Does an Algorithm Do?

Algorithms is the topic of the latest video produced by Common Craft. The two and a half minute video explains what an algorithm is and the roles that algorithms can play in our lives, particularly in our online lives.

After they watch the video ask your students if they can think of other ways that algorithms are or could be used in their lives. See if they can make the connection between their social media habits and the types of advertising that they see when they're online.

A Couple of Ways to Add Reminders to Google Calendar

Earlier this week Google added a new "add reminders" option to the Google Calendar mobile apps. If you have updated the Google Calendar app on your iOS or Android device, you should now see a red "+" button. Tap that button to add a reminder to your calendar.

The same option to to add reminders hasn't been added to the desktop version of Google Calendar, yet. There are other methods of adding reminders to Google Calendar. One option is to use HashtagToDo to add reminders to your Google Calendar. With HashtagTodo enabled in your Google Account you can create a to-do list in any of your Google Calendars by simply adding #todo to the end of any calendar event title. Once you've added the #todo to your event HashtagTodo will create a daily event listing all of your to-do items for the day. When you've completed a task on your to-do list, delete it from your calendar and it's deleted from your list. If you don't complete an item on your list for the day, it is automatically rolled over to the next day.

I'm a fan of using Google Keep to set reminders for myself. Creating reminders is just one the many things that you and your students can do with Google Keep.

How to Create Interactive Videos

In one of yesterday's posts I suggested creating interactive year-in-review videos with your students. This morning my inbox contained at least five emails from folks who wanted to know a bit more about that process. I like to use to create interactive videos. In my Wideo videos I can build interactive buttons that viewers can click to learn more about anything they see in my videos. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to create interactive videos on Wideo.