Last week, I facilitated a weeklong institute on Mobile Technology in Education. During the institute, the group examined a variety of topics including mobile pedagogy, gamification and app development. Several experts and innovators met with the group to discuss how mobile technology is beginning to shift the modes of instruction and assessment in our schools. One of the speakers, Aaron Sams, really shook the group. For those of you who don’t know, Aaron is the co-author of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student Every Day and is considered by many to be the father of the flipped classroom movement. While he started his career as a chemistry teacher, he now is the Director of Digital Learning at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA and leads his own educational consulting firm. Aaron’s discussion really resonated with the institute participants. Since all of them were classroom teachers, they appreciated Aaron’s practical approach to flipping and his solution-based to common challenges that they may face when flipping their classrooms. While he focused a great deal on the pedagogical applications to flipped, Aaron also shared a variety of technologies that could support flipping. One of the tools, EDpuzzle, was new to many of the participants and really excited the group with all of its functions.
EDpuzzle is a flipping tool that allows instructors to attach videos found from common sites (YouTube, TED, National Geographic, etc.) or to upload their own. Instructors can then embed questions at different points throughout the video to engage and assess students. The site allows instructors the ability to crop videos to showcase a specification section and to prevent students from jumping ahead in the video. The really powerful part of EDpuzzle is the assessment data it collects. The site stores all of the assessment scores from all of the questions embedded in the video and allows for easy downloading of class data. Instructors can also see the individual progress of each student and see which sections were watched multiple times (or not watched at all). The most amazing part is that the site is completely FREE. EDpuzzle is the perfect companion to any instructor who is considering flipping their classroom and using data to inform their classroom instruction.