Editing videos with EDpuzzle!

John Deway once quoted ‘If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterdays, we rob them of tomorrow’. This is why I think it is substantial to be aware of new teaching’s methods. This week, I want to talk about an online tool which is by far one of the most useful teaching application. It is called EDpuzzle.

What is it ?

Larry Ferlazzo describes EDpuzzle as an innovative online tool which allows its users to take just about any video off the web, edit it down to the portions you want, add audio notes and questions for students, and create virtual classrooms where you can monitor individual student work. Moreover, it is free. With EDpuzzle, you can take video from Youtube, Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, National Geographic, TED Ed, Veritasium, Numberphile, Crash Course, Club Academia, Vimeo and TeacherTube, then, instead of taking the whole video, you can simply take parts from it, create a video with as many parts that you want. Then, you can add your voice, keep the original audio track, insert audio notes and even insert quizzes.

How does it work ?

 

First, you have to sign as a teacher or as a student. Then, on the website, you can search for any videos that you want and it will suggest you different browsers or you can simply click on youtube or another one and write the title of the video you’re looking for. For instance, if you’re looking for a video explaining a specific English rule, you can type something like the difference between this and that. When you have chosen the video, you can simply crop the video and take the part that you need. For example, if you only need the first two minutes of the video, you can cut it after two minutes. Then, if you want to add your voice, you can click on the microphone directly on the website. If you want to record yourself, the original audio track will be removed. Also, you have to record during the whole video. Otherwise, the recording won’t work. The next step is to add audio notes. For example, instead of recording your voice during the whole video, you can insert short audio notes at any moments during the video. The next step consists of inserting questions at specific moments in the video. You simply have to click on the question mark and choose where do you put the questions. Then, you have to type the questions. When you’re done with the video, you can upload it in your private session and even share it with the community on EDpuzzle. On that website, teachers can create classes and invite their students to join the class by giving them the number of the class which is given by the website at the beginning. You can assign your videos to your classes ask your students to watch it and to answer the questions. You can even put a due date for watching the videos.

How would I use EDpuzzle in a ESL classroom ?

First, as mentioned by EdTechReview, I would assign to students some videos in the target language. Then, they will be able to wach them until they get comfortable with the language. When you’re teaching verb tenses, it would be very useful to use a video made by a professional explaining the particular verb tense. Then, you could also insert questions during the video to have your students practice. I would also use it to track my students’ progress. Suggested by Duqetech, I would see which students watched the videos and I would also track if their understanding. Another way to use EDpuzzle in the classroom is to share your videos with other teachers. On the website, you can privately share your videos with teachers. This way, you can get new ideas.

The benefits of using EDpuzzle in the classroom :

 

First, it is free which is a great advantage. Second, it allows teachers to track their students’ progress. EdTechReview reported that using Edpuzzle in the classroom boosts classroom engagement. Adam Watson supports that Edpuzzle enables students to actively use critical and high-order thinking skills. Another nice benefit of EDpuzzle is that it allows its users to quickly create videos.

The Verdict :

EDpuzzle is a great application for teaching. I think that most of the teachers should use it in their classrooms.

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Pray for Socrative! No need to pay!

This week I will talk about a teaching tool that I did not know. Two days ago, I came across an application which seemed very nice. It is called Socrative. When I first read about this, it attracted my curiosity, but now it has all my attention. Keep reading if you want to integrate a tool which will positively entertain your students.

What is it ?

 

Socrative is a free web application which is mainly used for creating formative assessments and getting results in the actual time with students (Bharti, 2014). In other words, it is an application on which both the teacher and the students are connected on their own electronic devices, and then the teacher can ask his students to complete educational exercies on the website and get the results in the actual time. Socrative is available on laptops, tablets, smartphones and computers. Using it, the teacher can have his students answer multiple choice questions, true or false questions, short answer questions, participation in a space race activity, which is in teams and the goal of this activity is too answer questions quickly, and also have the students complete an Exit ticket, which is like a little self-evalution. With Socrative, the teacher can create quizzes or can also use pre-made quizzes on the website.

Multiple choice :

A question must be asked to the students either orally or on the board. Then, on their screens, the students will be given A through E options. On the teacher’s screen, the teacher will see the students’ results at the same time.

True or False :

 

True or False questions follow the same process of Multiple choice, the only difference is that students either click on ‘True’ or ‘False’.

Short answer :

The teacher orally asks a question or writes it on the board, then he clicks on Short Answer, the students answer the question on their devices and click on Submit.

Quiz :

There are two types of quizzes. The first one is related to the student’ pace. When the student answers, he goes to the next question. The next one, it is the teacher who decides when the students can answer the next question.

 

How it works :

First, you simply need to subsribe with your full name, your email adress and your job. Then, the site will give you your room number. For the students, they only have to write the teacher’s room number to log in. Then, you can create quizzes, or have your students answer questions. Creating a quiz is really simple, you name your quiz, then you choose the type of question, you write the question and you add as many questions as you want and then you click on ‘SAVE’. There is also a community with which you can either share your quizzes or import quizzes to your own library. There is another option which allows you to manage your quizzes. When they are saved, you can go back to your quizzes and modify them.

How can an ESL teacher use Socrative in the classroom ?

There are many ways to use Socrative in a class. First, you can use it as a pre-activity. For instance, using the true or false question, you can introduce a topic and ask your students what they know about the subject before engaging in an activity. For example, if the topic is Endengered Species, the teacher can ask questions and states facts such as Pandas live in Africa then, students will have to answer if it’s true or false. With the Space Race, the teacher can ask general questions in the students’ second language and the students have to answer in teams. The ESL teacher can also create quizzes related to grammar or any other topic. The website Tablets for Schools stated that ecause the teacher receives answers from the whole class in the actual time, he can provide immediate feedback and answers students’ questions.

The benefits of using Socrative :

 

First, reported by the website Tablets for Schools, Socrative is really simple to use for both the teacher and the students. Second, mentioned by Dave Yearwood, using Socrative allows teachers to provide instant feedback to their students. Third, according to EdTechReview, Socrative is a good student response sytem for creating quick student engagement. Moreover, EdTechReview also stated that the Exit Ticket, which is the section that allows the students to evaluate themselves, is a really nice feature that teacher can use to extract students’ response. Finally, it is free.

My opinion

From my point of view, even if I did not try Socrative in a classroom, I think that this is one of the best educational application ever. As an ESL teacher, I will integrate Socrative in my classroom without hesitation. I think that the best advantage of using it is that it entertains students and they get more involved.

Studying has never been that fun!

Welcome back everybody! Today I will discuss about another tool for teaching that I had never heard about. It is called Study Blue! I am sure that this application will change your teachers’ life and that you will enjoy working with your students.

What is it?

First of all, Study Blue is a free online studying application for teachers and students. This application allows its users to create digital flashcards and to store study materials. On Study Blue, the study materials are divided between classes. Not only you can create flashcards to study with study blue, but you can also use it for in-class activities. It works with a cloud storage, which means that you can go on your account and see your study documents with any computer, as long as it has an Internet connection. This application is not only offered on computers, but also on smartphones.

How does it work?

When you are on StudyBlue, you can either sign up with your Facebook account or simply by creating an account. Then, if you’re a teacher, you click on “teacher” and students click on “student”. If you sign up as a teacher, you must write the school you’re teaching as well as the subject and the class number. You can add another class at any time. Once the classroom is created on Studyblue, you may invite your students by clicking on “Send invites” and then you may enter your students’ email addresses with a customize message. Then, you can create flashcards for your class by clicking on “create flashcards”. A new window will appear and you just have to write a specific term with the definition in the bottom. For instance, an ESL teacher could create a category about kitchen tools words and write ‘kettle’ with the definition in the bottom. After creating all the flashcards related of a category, you click “Done” and the flashcards will go in your “Backpack” section. When your flashcards are created, you can also give quizzes to your students or to yourself. You simply click on “take quiz”, then you choose among three types of quizzes; Multiple choice, Type the answer and True or false. Then, you can also choose how many flashcards will be on the quiz and in what order. The progress of your students will be tracked as long as they use StudyBlue and you will be able to view their progress.

The advantages of using StudyBlue

First, it is free. Second, like I mentioned above, you can keep track of your students’ progress, which is very useful when evaluating. Also, students can study anywhere either individually or collaboratively. Mentioned by Jeff Herb, “Studyblue has the ability to track items that haven’t been mastered and will allow the student to drill on those specific items”. Moreover, Jason Combs, a writer for Education Quest, points out that you can even transfer your notes from other applications to Studyblue. For instance, if you’re using Evernote, you can convert your lecture notes into flash cards. Another strong point of Studyblue is that students can evaluate themselves by doing quizzes at any time. In addition, Wiktor K. wrote in an article that Studyblue is better than the other studying applications because it allows you to add pictures and sounds to your flash cards.

To conclude, I suggest language teachers to use Studyblue because of its efficiency and simplicity.

Videos in classroom with Animoto! :)

Technologies in teaching are sometimes useful to entertain students and to keep their attention. This week I will discuss about the advantages of using Animoto, an application that I did not know but recently discovered. If you want your students to learn while having fun, keep on reading you will be satisfy.

What is it?

Animoto is an amazing video creation application founded in 2006 by Jason Hsiao. This application has over 10 million users and it allows them to create HD videos easily from photos, video clips and music. Animoto can be used to create any type of videos such as business presentations, family presentations, special events and in education. The videos made with Animoto can be shared with family, colleagues, friends, etc.

How does it work?

First, you need to go on Animoto’s website and then you sign up. There are three different packages that you can purchase. There is a personal package for 9.99 $/month, a professional package for 19.99$/month and a business package for 29.99$/month. The differences between the three packages are the number of video styles that are available, the number of music tracks and more options such as the number of users and the creation of logos. However, if you want to try the application before purchasing a package, there is a 14-day free trial. Teachers can send an email to Then, after signing up, you must choose a video style that will determine the look and atmosphere of your videos. After that, the application will direct you to the video creator. The web site will propose you to watch a tutorial, even if it is simple and easy, I recommend you to watch it because it gives useful tips. Then, you can add any pictures, videos or texts you want and select the order of your sequences. After that, you may choose a soundtrack for your video. At any time during the movie making, you can click on preview and watch what you’ve done so far!

How can an ESL teacher use Animoto?

There are many ways to use Animoto in education. First, as mentioned by Nick Merlino, this application is useful for creating welcome messages that will entertain students and attract their attention. Second, teachers can use it to explain a subject about the class. For instance, an ESL teacher could create a short video with images and add a voice in order to evaluate his students’ listening skills. An ESL teacher could also use Animoto to explain a specific chapter in an English novel or even to describe a specific place around the world. According to the website Teaching History, Animoto can be used by teacher as “a way to bridge curriculum and student engagement or develop digital storytelling projects”. Also, this tool can be used as visual aids. For example, an ESL teacher could create a video with functional language on it to help his/her students to perform an activity.

How students can use Animoto?

Students can use Animoto for many purposes in class. Kathy Wickline mentioned that students could use Animoto at the beginning of the school year in order to introduce themselves to the class. By using this app, they could put pictures of themselves, their interests and their families. Also, it is useful when they are creating a project. For instance, they can use it to present research information or to present a poem that they wrote. According to Pelin Irgin and Yildiz Turgut, Animoto is designed with a constructivist approach encouraging students to navigate, create, and construct their knowledge.

The benefits of using Animoto

One of the most important advantages of using Animoto is cited in an article on Teachinghistory.org: “Students will find the ability to express themselves through new media tools an attractive aspect of Animoto ». In other words, by using Animoto, students will have the opportunity to be more creative. Also, another advantage of Animoto is that the videos and productions can be shared via email or by embedding them into blogs or web sites. Moreover, an article on Learnitin5 adds that Animoto’s user scan upload videos and pictures from other web-based libraries such as Flickr and Picasa. In addition, the quality of visuals on Animoto is insane. Pictures and videos are in HD. Another substantial benefit of using Animoto is that it has a wide variety of styles, videos, pictures and music tracks.

To conclude, I honestly think that Animoto is “The” slideshow application that teachers should use.

Content management system into teaching practices? Of course!

Nowaday’s, students are surrounded by technological devices in their everyday lives. Communication between teachers and their students has greatly improved since the creation of school websites and portals. The purpose of this blog article is to demonstrate that integrating a website or a content management system, such as a portal, into teaching practices is now almost substantial.

What is it ?

A school portal is a website which can be accessible by the school staff, the teachers, the students and the parents. The main goal of a school portal or website is to distribute information about the school and to facilitate the communication with the students and parents. Usually, on a school website, we can find the school’s rules, the adress and phone numbers, the school’s goals, programs and activities, important dates, etc. Most of the schools have their own websites and portals, but there are also some portals that can be found on the internet, such as Edmodo, Omnivox. Here are some pictures of school portals :

Brother Parker wrote an article in 2014 about the importance of content management systems and described them as «web-based or software applications that allow companies and educational institutions to deliver content and resources to their learners and manage their delivery.»

How an ESL teacher can use a portal for teaching practices :

 

First, with a school portal, teachers can usually send messages directly to their students and/or the parents so that they can communicate any time. Second, teachers can also put a calendar on it with important dates such as exams, assignements and pedagological days. Third, teachers can also put notes and documents about their classes. For example, an ESL teacher could post a document about specific verb tenses on the portal and asks his students to read it before class. An ESL teacher could also post the homework assignements on the portal of his class. Moreover, teachers can also put results of exercises and exams on the portal so that students and the parents can consult them. For the home taken assignements, the teacher can create a specific file with a due date and in which students have to post their work. Last but not the least, with almost every content managing systems, it is possible to create not only a class forum but also a private forum for each students. On the class forum, students can interact together and share their knowledge about the class. On the private forum, the student and the teacher can exchange privately and send documents to each other.

The advantages of using a content management system into teaching practices :

There are many advantages for teachers to use a content management system. First, as mentioned in an article by Foradian, it saves a great deal of time. When the students have questions, they can always look on their portal and on their documents given by the teacher. Second, in the same article, the author mentions that it is easy to customize all the documents because « all the learning materials are uploaded in a central location, it allows learners and teachers to upload new content or modify the existing ones ». Third, since the results of each students are online, it is easier to follow the progress of the learners. Using a content management system also has a positive impact on the environement because it allows students to have online materials instead of printing them. Brother Parker implies that using this kind of system offers a centralized source of learning and is available everywhere and at any given time.