Tech-i-ya 4.3

by Adrian A. Durlester

Adrian DurlesterI’m still finding it challenging to single out only one online resource in each column. Sorry gang, but I’m going to cheat again and offer a related set of resources for a category: making good use of online videos. If it helps, I’ll share that I came to discover all of these tools through mentions on a single online resource, one with which you are probably quite familiar and which needs no additional promotion or recognition on my part: Edutopia. (If you teach, and you’ve never visited Edutopia, it’s high time to fix that oversight.)

Videos are a great way to enhance learning in class and even extend it beyond the classroom. (To those of you in synagogue school settings whose instinctive reaction is “we can barely get the kids to pay attention in class, but to actually do learning outside of class, forget it” I’ll politely suggest it may be time to rethink this canard. You may not got everyone to engage, but well-crafted use of online videos might actually succeed in engaging more students in activities outside of class time than you think.) Videos can certainly be useful in a wide an diverse array of formal and informal educational settings. They can be an invaluable tool for use in a flipped-classroom model. If a picture is worth a thousands wrods, then a video is worth more than that!

Just showing a video to students is a passive activity. Now there are tools at your disposal to make the ineractive for you students. There are some wonderful tools for curating, annotating, adding threaded discussions, links and more to online videos and making them interactive. 

I’ll begin with Huzzaz. Huzzaz is a tool that allows you to create annotated collections of videos on topics or themes, turn them into playlists, and make notes. You can discover videos on YouTube and Vimeo from within Huzzaz, or add links to discoveries you make on YouTube or Vimeo on your own. 

Zaption is a tool that allows you to add questions, polls, images, and discussions to any video from YouTube, Vimeo, or any other source.  It’s not a free service, but there is a 30-day free trial for educators. An individual educator account is $49 for a year ($79/year for some extra advanced features.) 

Educanon is a free tool very similar to Zaption. It also has a premium version for $48/year which makes it a viable competitor to Zaption.

Finally, the TED-Ed website has a feature that allows you to add questions and notes to any YouTube video, not just the animations found on TED-Ed. This TED-Ed website tour video helps explain how to use this and other features of TED-Ed:

Are you using videos in your teaching? What tools are you usin to enhance the use of videos? Tell us about your experiences so we can share them in a future column.

Talk back to me! You can reach me at: e-mail Twitter: @migdalorguy. I also blog and tweet as @yoeitzdrian and @havanashira. On Google+ I’m +AdrianDurlester.

Hillel said: In a place where there are no humans, strive to be human

Adrian A. Durlester   Cell/Google Voice # (347) 762-0223
Facebook:   LinkedIn:
Twitter: @migdalorguy (personal)   @havanashira (Jewish Music)   @yoeitzdrian (Tech in Jewish Ed)
My blogs: