The growth of digital technology has fueled massive opportunities in the education sector, especially with the use of interactive online tools for learning and teaching.
You can agree that it’s easier to remember the things you have watched better than the things you have read. Visuals will always win. Learning is much better when you combine information from multiple platforms incorporating print with digital resources.
The covid-19 pandemic reiterated the need for online learning and the need to have tools that contribute positively to the learning environment.
One such tool is Edpuzzle, an online video software that allows for an interactive learning environment in classrooms. Teachers can use Edpuzzle to create videos and upload them or use the discover feature to search from the vast content on the platform or from other online sources including YouTube videos and TED talks, relevant to their lessons.
Using Edpuzzle in the classroom
With the understanding that video in general is a powerful tool for teaching and disseminating information, here is how you can use Edpuzzle in the classroom to reap the maximum benefits from incorporating video into learning. Younger students like in elementary school who tend to have short attention spans could hugely benefit from having Edpuzzle in the classroom to stimulate engagement and keep them focused.
- Virtual Field Trips
Would you rather be told how the Himalayas mountain range looks or shown what it looks like? Better yet, as a teacher imagine describing how the Grand Canyon looks compared to showing a video of the real thing explaining the different concepts to students.
Virtual field trips have changed the game in the classroom by allowing teachers and students to have a glimpse of what they are teaching or being taught, helping them to experience things firsthand.
Students and teachers can complement their lessons by traveling anywhere in the world through virtual field trips and experiencing for themselves different attractions and the diverse cultures that exist.
- Class Demos
If there is one thing students fear is getting feedback after a class presentation. Some students may second-guess themselves and feel like they did not deliver the best. One way to use Edpuzzle, in this case, would be to record students as they do their presentations and then share the videos to help them critique themselves as well. It’s a better learning lesson when you can see for yourself what the teacher pointed out as areas that need improvement.
- Teaching Languages
Learning a new language can be very challenging especially if the dialect is completely different from your native language. You can apply Edpuzzle in the classroom by sharing videos that teach the grammar and vocabulary of the new language. If you are teaching French, for example, you can give your students a virtual field trip to a native French-speaking country to let them in on the culture and experience how the language is used in different settings.
Since new languages need constant practicing, the good thing with Edpuzzle is that if you are not there as the teacher, the video will still be available for the students to continue learning the new language.
- Substitute Teacher
It’s not always guaranteed that a teacher will be around to teach their lesson. Something might come up like sickness or an impromptu trip that prompts the teacher to be away from the classroom. Does that mean that students stop learning? No. Edpuzzle can be used as a substitute teacher where you leave your students with a couple of videos for that lesson to continue learning with the presence of a substitute teacher to supervise.
You can also incorporate assignments into the videos and have them submitted via email. Edpuzzle will also show how many students watched the video.
- Flipped Classroom
This is a great tool provided by Edpuzzle where students can be assigned video lessons to watch later and use class time for other meaningful activities. It allows students to learn at their own pace helping to complement what the teacher teaches in the classroom. Flipped classroom if done well can go a long way to reinforce students’ understanding even of some of the hardest concepts because they are not rushed like in a classroom setting.
Tips for choosing videos to use in the classroom
If you are thinking about incorporating Edpuzzle in the classroom, here are some tips to help you reap the maximum benefits of using videos for your lessons:
- Let the videos be short and engaging. If you have a very long lesson to teach, then consider splitting the video into short segments that keep the students engaged throughout.
- One way to use videos in the classroom is by incorporating them into your lessons. Some of the theoretical topics can be very long making students lose concentration. Having videos to act as ice breakers during lessons will help keep the students engaged and maintain the learning momentum.
Some of the videos could also be used to reinforce what you are teaching to help the students understand the topic better.
- During class time, consider using a communal screen where all students can watch at the same pace. It is easier to gauge the engagement this way and have a discussion with everyone either during or at the end of the video.
However, you can also allow them to watch at home or in class on their own devices for further comprehension. They can watch as many times as possible to ensure that they don’t miss out on any concepts.
- For some complex videos, you can consider having printed or digital transcripts to give to the students to help them understand the topic better. They can read them on their own time especially if they are to apply the learnings from the video to their assignments.
With new technological advancements coming into play in the education sector, Edpuzzle presents a great tool to be used by teachers and students in the classroom. Some of the elements like the flipped classroom and substitute teacher are very critical in helping students learn for themselves not just to supplement in-class learning, but also in the eventuality that their teacher is not around.
But generally, using Edpuzzle in the classroom is a welcome idea for teachers who care about incorporating technology to enhance learning and engagement in their classrooms. Hopefully, the above tips help you to be inspired to come up with ideas for your classroom.