Thursday, January 9, 2014

Three Good Tools for Building Flipped Lessons That Include Assessment Tools

In the right setting the flipped classroom model can work well for some teachers and students. I recently received an email from a reader who was looking for a recommendation for a tool would enable her to add an assessment aspect to her flipped lesson. Here are some tools that can accomplish that goal.

eduCanon is a free service for creating, assigning, and tracking your students' progress on flipped lessons. eduCanon allows teachers to build flipped lessons using YouTube and Vimeo videos, create questions about the videos, then assign lessons to their students. Teachers can track the progress of their students within eduCanon. To create lessons start by identifying a topic and objective then searching YouTube and Vimeo from within the eduCanon site. Once you've found a suitable video you can build multiple choice questions throughout the timeline of your chosen video. You can create as many lessons as you like and assign them to your students at any time. The video below provides a short overview of eduCanon.



Teachem is a service that uses the TED Ed model of creating lessons based on video. On Teachem teachers can build courses that are composed of a series of videos hosted on YouTube. Teachers can write questions and comments in "flashcards" that are tied to specific parts of each video and display next to each video. Students can take notes while watching the videos using the Teachem SmartNote system. Creating a Teachem course a straight-forward process of choosing a video URL then writing corresponding questions. When you create a Teachem course you can make it public or private. Public courses can be accessed by anyone that has address for your course. Teachem contains an option to collaborate with colleagues on the creation of courses.


Knowmia is a website and a free iPad app for creating, sharing, and viewing video lessons. One of the best features of Knowia is a tool that they call the Assignment Wizard. The Knowmia Assignment Wizard allows teachers to design assignments that their students have to complete after watching a video. Students can check their own Knowmia accounts to see the assignments that their teachers have distributed. To aid teachers in assessing their students, Knowmia offers an automatic scoring option. Knowmia's automatic scoring function works for multiple choice questions and numeric questions. The automatic scoring is based on your answer key. Assignments are scored when students make a submission. Along with automatic scoring teachers have the option to see when a student initially opened an assignment and how many questions they've tried before submitting the assignment. Visit the Knowmia support blog for a complete run-down of the all of the assignment scoring options.

English Monstruo - Apps & Games for Learning Verb Conjugation

English Monstruo is a free app (iPad and Android versions available) containing eight games designed to help students learn verb conjugation. English Monstruo was developed by researchers at Cambridge University who examined the results of 200,000 exams to determine the words that give Spanish speakers the most difficulty when taking an English exam.

The games in the English Monstruo app contain activities ranging from fill-in-the-blank to sorting words to replacing incorrect words with correct words. Each game has a series of levels to work through to earn points and unlock increasingly more difficult levels. To access all eight games a player needs to first earn the maximum points in the first six games in the app.

Applications for Education
I found myself sucked into a couple of the games in English Monstruo and I think that students will get sucked into them too. The games provide a fun way to practice recognizing correct spellings and verb conjugations. The games are designed for intermediate level ELL students.

Click here for the Android version. Click here for the iPad version.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Glean - Search for, Watch, and Ask Questions About Educational Videos

Glean is a new service designed to help teachers and students locate educational videos. The site is currently focused on topics in math and science. When you search on Glean you will find video lessons arranged according to topics and Common Core standards. As registered Glean users students can ask questions of other users while they are watching video lessons. After watching a video students have the option to watch it again or click through to a related video lesson.

Applications for Education
Glean has the potential to be a good place for students to find help with math and science homework. As a teacher you could have all of your students watch a video and enter their their questions in the margin next to the video. Having those questions available to you could be helpful in formulating the next part of a math or science lesson.

Inside Your Computer - A TED-Ed Lesson

We and our students use computers all the time, but do we know how they work? This short TED-Ed lesson provides an overview of the basics of how a modern personal computer functions.

Edublogs Users Get Updated to WordPress 3.8

If you're an Edublogs user, the next time you sign into your dashboard you will notice a new look. That new look is WordPress version 3.8 which has a slick new look to it. From an end-user perspective the most significant aspect of WordPress 3.8 is the mobile-friendly dashboard. The mobile-friendly dashboard bridges the gap between using the Edublogs mobile apps and going to a computer to use the full version of the admin dashboard. Click here to read the announcement from Edublogs.

If you're thinking about blogging this year and you need some ideas of what to write about, take a look at the twenty day blogging challenge that Kelly Hines put together.

And if you're trying to decide which blogging platform is best for you and your students, take a look at my chart comparing five blogging services commonly used in schools.