Since the beginning of this school year I have been using my class website to post weekly assignments to be done outside of school in preparation for in-class learning. A few of the items I have included each week are links to content-specific videos intended to support textbook readings and minimize the amount of lecturing that I need to do during class, which frees up time for more engaging student-centered activities. This strategy is the hallmark of the flipped classroom concept. Unfortunately, there has been no way for me to know if and when students are actually accessing and watching these videos, or how much they are learning from them. Furthermore, for those who do watch them on a regular basis, they are merely passively taking in the content rather than actively participating.
Enter eduCanon – a free site that allows teachers to take any video from YouTube, TeacherTube, or Vimeo and build “lessons” which include questions at set points throughout the video. Up to eight unique classes can then be created, and the lessons assigned to each individual class. Students can then create free accounts, add the class that their teacher has created specifically for them, and then complete lessons as they are assigned. Once a student starts a lesson, they are not able to skip ahead in the video, they must watch the entire thing and only get credit for the lesson when they have completed viewing and have answered all the questions. Students results are available for teachers to view upon completion. For a modest yearly subscription fee ($48 right now), teachers are able to search through the public library of lessons which they can then assign as is or edit as necessary, download .csv files of student results, and access a wider range of question types to include in lessons.
Using eduCanon I will be able to assign videos and monitor my student’s progress as they complete the lessons. The interface is sleek and user-friendly, making accounts and adding classes is simple and intuitive, and best of all the creation of the lessons does not take that much longer than it does to actually watch the video. I intend to pilot this application in two of my classes during the second semester of this school year, and am excited about the possibilities it opens up for myself and my students. More to come…
Not sure what to make of eduCanon? Give it a try from the student point of view: make a free student account, click “Add Class”, search “Mr. Vigliotti”, join the “Test Class”, complete the “DNA Replication” lesson.