Last semester in EC&I 833, I had the opportunity to review an assessment tool, and I chose Knowledgehook. After reading Amanda’s blog post, I remember learning about Edpuzzle for the first time and thought it would be a great tool to try with my students. I still haven’t tried it, so this is the perfect opportunity to explore an overview and review of the tool, strengths, weaknesses and potential for teachers as a content creation tool.
What is Edpuzzle?
First of all, Edpuzzle is a (mostly) FREE platform, which is an immediate bonus for any teacher. Here is a short video explaining some of the cool features:
First, I created and verified my account with Edpuzzle, and there was even an opportunity to add my school to “connect with educators” in my schools. I started by clicking the question mark in the top right corner, which led me to a “Getting Started” YouTube Playlist. To be honest, usually I just dive into a tool and start playing around, but to give an honest review, I felt that it was important to explore all the resources and information available.
To use with students, I have to first ‘create a class’ and then explore different LMS integrations, including a very simple Google Classroom integration. One of the challenges with online learning is all the different student accounts and passwords, so I appreciated the option of an “open” class compared to a “classic” class type, which gives the teacher various student analytics, but also requires students to login.
When I clicked “share class code” with students, I was faced with this pop-up, which made me realize that to use this tool with my students, I will likely have to get permission from my school division (which is a similar process for using apps like Flipgrid). This goes to show the importance of doing background research on a tool before you immediately start using with students.
I felt like I hit a bit of a roadblock with the class set up, so I decided to leave it for now and try creating some content instead. First, I searched for a video I often use with students when teaching colour theory. I chose this video because it is engaging, short and to-the-point. Edpuzzle has a built in search bar for YouTube, so the video was easy to locate. Furthermore, it showed me 209 different Edpuzzle versions using this video that had already been created by users! I looked at a few for inspiration then started working on my own version. I decided to use my video as review for students after we have already completed our initial colour wheel lesson. I should also note that you are able to upload your own instructional videos as well. For my video:
- I added a variety of multiple choice and open ended questions
- I cut one section from the video about complementary colours (since we did not cover this in our lesson)
Here is my finished product. You can try the video as a guest!
To assign to students, I clicked “Assign” to my test class and chose the option to prevent skipping and turn on closed captions.
Using with Students
For the purpose of this review, I am going to assume I have permission to use Edpuzzle (although I will confirm with my division before using with students). I pretended to be the student and joined the class using the link provided and completed the colour wheel video assignment. One problem I discovered is that I originally allowed Edpuzzle to create fun nicknames for students, so unfortunately I am not able to track student progress. An easy solution is to change this option in your class settings.
Edpuzzle is relatively easy to set up and integrate with a variety of LMS platforms like Canvas, Schoology, Moodle, Blackboard, and Google Classroom. You also have the option of creating your own class either with student logins or with open access through a class code. The best part about Edpuzzle is the content creation tools. You can easily select a pre-existing video from YouTube, Khan Academy, TED Talks, National Geographic or upload your own video. Some of the (very easy to use) creation tools include:
- cutting sections from the videos
- adding questions (multiple-choice or open-ended) or notes at any point in the video
- adding voice overs
- prevent student skipping
- add closed captions
Edpuzzle has a very large collection of videos that can be filtered by subject, grade level and country made by other Edpuzzle users. To me, this was similar to exploring the Seesaw Activity Library, because you can also edit videos that have been created by other users.
The only downside I can potentially see is using this with classes that do not have a dedicated LMS platform. If you have a platform and permission to use with students, the integration should be very easy. With this integration, you will have access to analytics which could provide assessment evidence. In my case, I mostly use Seesaw with my students and I am hesitant to add another website for students to login and access. That being said, I did try sharing an open link for students to try the video and simply used it as extra practice and review. If you want hard analytics, then you should have it fully integrated with your LMS or have dedicated student logins.
I would rate this app a solid 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. The content creation aspect was so easy and valuable and it allows educators to use pre-existing videos that can be focused directly on what the students are learning. In my own experience, I often find videos that are almost perfect, but always add in a detail that is not relevant in our context and sometimes ends up confusing students. I also love the idea of browsing the community library of videos or even creating an Edpuzzle assignment with my own instructional videos. In my opinion, the only downside to this app is trying to figure out a way to share it with your students that works for you as a teacher. Like I said many times, additional logins are a constant headache, so if you can have seamless integration with your LMS I think it would be smooth sailing. Last but not least, this app is FREE*. I kept waiting for something to pop-up saying I needed to upgrade to a premium version. For that reason alone, I think every educator should check out this app!
*Mostly free. Educators can store up to 20 videos in their account with the free plan. Learn more here.
Have you used Edpuzzle with your students? What grade? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Until next time,