A good video clip can spark discussion, reinforce a key concept, or introduce students to an entirely new topic. Just showing a video or telling students to watch a video usually isn’t enough direction to make the video meaningful. That is particularly true if the video is more than a few minutes long. Here are fifteen tools to use the next time you’re planning to use a video in your classroom.
Video Discussion Tools
Vynchronize lets you create an online room in which you can watch a video while chatting about it with other viewers at the same time. To use Vynchronize just go to the site, enter your name, and pick a name for your chat room. As soon as you do that your chat room will be launched and you can invite others to join by giving them the URL assigned to your room. Within your room you can play videos from YouTube and Vimeo. To play a video just copy its URL from YouTube or Vimeo and then paste it into the video queue. Chat about the video happens in a side panel on the same page. You can pause, rewind, and fast-forward the video just like you can on YouTube or Vimeo.
ClassHook has a feature called Pause Prompts that is perfect for in-classroom discussion of video clips. Pause Prompts are short questions or discussion prompts that you build into the video clips that you plan to display in your classroom. When you play a video in your classroom the video will automatically pause and display your discussion prompt or question to your students. Watch my short video to see ClassHook’s Pause Prompts in action.
Timelinely is a tool for annotating videos that are hosted on YouTube. To get started you just have to copy a YouTube URL into the Timelinely homepage to get started. Once you have entered the URL for a video, a new screen appears that allows you to add tags or annotations to the timeline of the video. You can do this while the video plays or you can simply jump to a place on the video to add annotations. Your annotations can include text or images.
TurboNote is a Chrome extension you can use to take notes while watching any video. To take notes students just need to click the TurboNote extension icon in their browsers and start writing notes in the menu that appears on the right side of the screen. Any notes that students type are automatically time-stamped. Notes can be edited while the video is playing or while the video is stopped. All notes can be shared via social media and email.
Flipgrid can be used to have students record responses to videos that you post for them. Post a video as a “topic resource” and then let students reply with their own video comments. A detailed overview of how to use Flipgrid is available here.
Graded/ Quiz-style Activities
Year after year EDpuzzle remains on my list of great tools for teaching with video. EDpuzzle is a neat tool that allows you to add your voice and text questions to educational videos. On EDpuzzle you can search for educational videos and or upload your own videos to use as the basis of your lesson. In your EDpuzzle lessons you can make it a requirement for students to answer a question before moving forward in the video. EDpuzzle has an online classroom component that you can use to assign videos to students and track their progress through your video lessons.
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 straightforward 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.
TES Blendspace makes it easy for teachers to organize and share educational materials in a visually pleasing format. On TES Teach you arrange videos, links, images, and files around any topic of your choosing. TES Teach has built-in search tools so that you do not have to leave your TES Teach account in order to locate resources. When you share a set of TES Teach materials with your students they can give you feedback to show that they understand the materials or they can ask questions about the materials. You can also see if your students actually looked at all of the materials that you have shared with them.
PlayPosit is an excellent service for creating, assigning, and tracking your students’ progress on flipped lessons. PlayPosit allows you to build flipped lessons using YouTube and Vimeo videos, create questions about the videos, then assign lessons to their students. Once you have found a video through PlayPosit you can add questions to it at any point along its timeline. Students need to answer your questions before they move on to the next portion of your chosen video. You can track your students’ progress within PlayPosit’s classroom environment.
MoocNote is a tool for adding timestamped comments, questions, and links to videos. To do this on MoocNote you simply paste a link to a YouTube video into the MoocNote editor. Once the video is imported you can start to add your comments, questions, and links. The link features is particularly useful for providing students with additional resources for learning about the topics covered in your shared videos. MoocNote allows you to organize playlists (MoocNote calls them courses) of videos according to topics that you identify. MoocNote could be a good tool for high school teachers who want to organize playlists of videos for their students and add some clarifying information to those videos. You could also have students use MoocNote to annotate videos to demonstrate an understanding of the topic at hand.
Trimming Videos and Removing Distractions
ytCropper lets you share just a portion of a YouTube video by specifying the start time and end time of the video that you want others to see. To do this simply go to the ytCropper site then paste in the URL of the YouTube video that you want to share. Once you have done that you can specify the start and end time of the portion of the video that you want people to watch. ytCropper will generate a link to the cropped version of the video. Share that link to have people watch your specified portion of the video.
Watchkin is a service that provides a few ways to watch YouTube videos without seeing the related video suggestions and comments. You can enter the direct URL of a video into Watchkin to have the sidebar content removed. You can search for videos through Watchkin and have family-friendly results displayed (if a video appears that is not family-friendly Watchkin has a mechanism for flagging it as inappropriate). Watchkin also offers a browser bookmarklet tool that you can click while on YouTube.com to have the related content disappear from the page.
Quietube is a convenient tool that you can add to your browser’s bookmarks bar. With Quietube installed you can simply click it whenever you’re viewing a video on YouTube and all of the related clutter will be hidden from view. Installing Quietube requires nothing more than dragging the Quietube button into your browser’s toolbar.
SafeShare.tv makes it possible to view YouTube videos without displaying the related videos and associated comments. To use SafeShare.tv simply copy the URL of a YouTube video and paste it into SafeShare.tv. SafeShare also offers browser a bookmarklet tool that will eliminate the need to copy and paste links from YouTube into SafeShare.
If you plan to show a video through Google Slides use the built-in formatting tools to specify start and end times. The video formatting tools in Google Slides includes the option to specify specific start and end times for the videos that you include in your slides. Watch my video to see how to set start and end times for videos in Google Slides.