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.

How to be an organized teacher? Use Evernote!

Organization is one of the most important characteristic that a teacher must have. With all the different students and lesson plans, teachers can easily get confused or forget things. Last week, I discovered an interesting tool which will drastically improve my organization. This technological tool is called Evernote and was created in 2008 by Stepan Pachikov. With this software, users can create, organize and store various type of documents such as written texts, photos, videos and audio files. There are many advantages of using this technological tool for teaching purposes. First, as mentionned by Michael Cruz, an university teacher focusing on technology and productivity, Evernote is great for educators because «its usefulness can range from planning a course to delivering a lesson plan to capturing feedback after class». Using this software is quite simple and clear when creating a lesson plan. For instance, as an ESL teacher, I usually create a ‘main’ note which will be titled accordingly to the unit I am covering with the students, for example, Murders and Mysteries. Then, when I click on this note, I can attach other tags to it. In this case, I usually create a new note for every activity involve in this unit for example, « Who killed Mr. Jameson ? ». Then, to this note you can add whatever you want, the documents for the activity, evaluation grids, the competencies involved, feedback sections, videos, pictures, e.t.c. As you can notice, Evernot is not complicated at all and offers one of the most useful tool to get organized. In 2013, Jeff Dunn wrote an article about the ten most popular teachers tools that were used in 2013. He put Evernote at the fifth place and reported that «It’s crazy useful, saves time, and keeps your life organized». Another advantage of using Evernote is its free cost. You can download it and use it for free as long as you want but you may also buy the premium version of Evernote which gives you acess to more options. However, from my point of view, for teaching a second language, the free version of Evernote is more than enough. I would only recommend you to get other versions only if you have a business or something like that. Another great advantage with Evernote is its availaibility. You can download it with Microsoft, Apple, with mobile phones and tablets. One of the greatest advantage of using Evernote is problably because it is a cloud storage. It means that your notes are stored in your Evernote’s account and not on the techonological device that you are using. When you download Evernote, you have to create an account with your email adress and then you can log in wherever you are. For instance, if I am creating lessons templates and stuff like that at my place with my computer, and when I am at school I use another computer, I have access to all my work and notes through my account. There is also more than that with Evernote. You can also share your notes with other users. In teaching, this is amazing ! If you are absent, you can share your lesseon template with the substitute teacher ! Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has recently published an interesting article about the use of Evernote by teachers. The group of dedicated teachers whom wrote this article implied that teachers should use this application in education for many reasons. One of them was that there is a special section for education called Evernote for Education where you can learn about how teachers can use it for their classroom. SRA. CARRO, who writes for FlapJack, an educational website, suggested in an article to create a note for each student. In these notes, you could make notes about student progress and behaviour. Finally, Evernote is one of the best tools that every teacher should use. Not only it substantially helps to get organized but it is also a great workplace. Moreover, the logo is awesome !

ClassCraft! Gaming while learning?

Hey guys ! I have something really nice for you this week. Last week I attended to the SPEAQ on campus and I learned about an awesome game called « ClassCraft ». It is an online role playing game that teachers can use while teaching to their students. As Alison Anderson reported last year, « This game didn’t focus on a specific subject matter, like physics, but instead helped enhance the general dynamics of the classroom. »It was created by Shawn Young, a physics teacher in high school in 2013. In this game, students are in teams and each of them chooses a character between a mage, a warrior or a healer. They can also choose the sex of their own character. This type of teaching is way more motivating for students and it creates a positive atmosphere toward the learning.. Each characters has their own advantages and disavantages. They all have health points, which can be decrease when the student misbehave, energy points, which can be spend to use powers, and experience points which serve to level up. It may seem confusing by now but don’t panic, I will gladly explain everything to you. First of all, every character has their unique powers. For example, a student can spend energy points to bring food in the class or bring note during an exam. When the life total of a student becomes zero, the team gets a consequence such as coming at school during a pedagogical day. Healers can help their teammates by giving them health. Warriors can protect their allies by taking up damage in their health points to save a student and mage can give energy points to their teammates. This method of teaching is interesting because it is not about academic performance but more about the behavior and efforts of the students. Also, this game is free and available to download for everybody. The popularity of this game is now worldwide. As Geneviève Proulx mentioned in an article about this roleplay, this video game is now used in 65 countries, has more than 100 000 users and is translated in eight languages. But the most important question : Is it improving learning or not ? Well, Dan Crawley wrote in an article that most of the teachers using Classcraft said that their class average have gone up 20 to 25 percent. This stastistic demonstrates how amazing is ClassCraft for students and teachers. As a future teacher, I will use this game to teach to my students without any hesitation.

Google Drive is the future of teaching!

Welcome back everybody! This week we will talk about another useful website for teaching: Google Drive. In fact, Google Drive is a file storage launched in 2012 by Google. On this website, users can drop documents, share files, edit documents and many other options. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the advantages of using Google Drive in a classroom but also to identify the weaknesses of this service.

First of all, Google Drive is free. All you need is an Internet connection. Creating an account is really simple. You only have to enter your email address and then you can start working on your documents. Like a Microsoft word document, you can write texts and change many features such as the writing color, the size of the writing and the writing style. Like I said previously, you can share your documents with people. For example, a teacher could create an assignment and share it with all members of his classroom. But the advantage of sharing has a lot more to offer than that. When you share your document, you can also go in the settings and allow people to modify your shared file. For instance, as a university student, I have a lot of team projects to do and I often use Google Drive. When I have a text to write with a colleague, we put it on Google Drive so that we can work at the same time on the document and see the modifications instantely. It would be really useful to use this tool in a secondary classroom because it could help students to work in teams and it could help them getting organized. Lauren Acton created a document for the Senior Teaching Assistant program at university York about the different advantages of using Google Drive. In this document, she mentions that with this website, teachers can keep track of the modifications made by the students. Also, with Google Drive, users can post files which are too big for moodle or email. Starr Sackstein wrote an interesting article for a website called Education Week Teacher. The title of this article is “Why schools need Google Drive”. The author reports several important points related to teaching. He says that students need “appropriate feedback directly on the computer”. In Google Drive, when a file is shared, people can highlight parts of the text and write comments about it. This is useful for the teacher because he can directly give feedback to students and learners can immediately see the modifications.

On the other hand, Google Drive has some weaknesses. David Frankk cites the most major one: “In case of a scenario where the Internet isn’t functioning, access to your data in such situation becomes impossible. » Also, Google Drive has some security issues.

To conclude, even if Google Drive has some weaknesses, it is a useful tool for teaching and learning because it allows students to work collaboratively with their peers and teachers in a dynamic and creative atmosphere. Moreover, according to the website PC Advisor, Google Drive is one of the seven best cloud storage services.

Popplet! The essential application!

As a future teacher, being aware of the new technologies and applications related to teaching or learning is really important. Today I want to talk about one specific application which is called ‘Popplet’. This is a recent application which focuses on ‘mind mapping’. According to Tony Buzan, mind mapping is « a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain»[1]. Simpler, a mind map is a graphic which can be made of different shapes representing your ideas in an organized and clear way. On a Popplet, you can put texts, pictures and videos. It is probably the best application to do so for many reasons. First of all, it is really simple to access. It’s free and you only have to enter your email address and your name to subscribe. The only disadvantage with a free account is that you have a limit of five different popplets to edit and save. But if you want to have more, you can pay thirty dollars to have unlimited popplets for a year which is very cheap when you realize the effectiveness of this application. Moreover, if you don’t want to pay but you want to do more than five popplets, you only have to click on the ‘try it out’ button and the only difference with having a real account and always trying it out is that you won’t be able to save them but you can still upload them on your own computer as a pdf document. Secondly, this application is really easy to use. There is a little tutorial at the beginning which teaches the basics of Popplet. In fact, when you are on the website, you only have to click on the screen and a little bubble will appear with your name on the top of it. You can write whatever you want in this bubble and you can attach other bubbles to it just by clicking on the sides of the main bubble. You can also change the colors of the bubbles and the letters. There is not limit of how many bubbles you can put in one Popplet. It is very useful for teachers when they want to show their students a plan, an outline or a video. With the new programs in school which enable students and teachers to use their electronic devices such as tablets or computers, Popplet is a very effective application during classroom. With Popplet, teachers can also make their students work collaboratively because students can share and work on the same popplet. . According to Laurent Carlier, a specialist in didactic of languages and new technologies, Popplet is an essential tool on tablets in language classrooms. He also suggests that the teacher should put the students in teams of two when working on Popplet. He also explains that students could organize grammatical rules such as verb tenses on Popplet. Therefore, it is essential for students to use it, especially during a pre-writing activity because with Popplet, we can create clear and simple outline. There are several advantages for teachers to use Popplet in their classroom. Teachers can use it to show students visual informations, videos, images and many other things. Dr Jenny Lane wrote an interesting article about Popplet in which she gave us many ways to use Popplet for pedagogical purposes such as: Create curriculum plans, mind maps, shared bulletin boards, scrapbooks and photo galleries.[2] According to Amanda Bindel, Popplet is an interesting and fun tool for kids because popplets are fun to create and really easy to do so.[3] Finally, Popplet is a great application for learning or teaching because it enables us to create dynamic visual representations of any subjects easily and it is also very useful when you want your students to work collaboratively.

[1] http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/mind-mapping/

[2] http://edujen.com/2012/02/27/ipad-app-guide-16-popplet/

[3] https://www.graphite.org/app/popplet