Easily Turn Video into Engaging Lessons with EDpuzzle

Larry Ferlazzo describes EDpuzzle as “a new innovative site that lets you take just about any video off the web, edit it down to the portions you want, add audio notes and questions for students, and create virtual classrooms where you can monitor individual student work” (Source). Perhaps the best part is that teachers and students can use it for FREE.

To see an example, view Bobby Barber’s EDpuzzle that he uses in his math classroom.


Getting Started

The following quick demo will help you begin using EDpuzzle.

Flipped Learning and EDpuzzle

“EDPuzzle is a great resource for the flipped classroom, allowing teachers to create and present innovative lectures in a safe environment” according to Education World. Further, iLearn Technology notes that as “students watch, [the teacher] can check understanding and ensure active watching vs. passive watching. In a flipped scenario, this gives you the ability to completely tailor a lesson the next day based on the formative assessment results you get from homework. This is truly utilizing assessment to inform instruction.”

Educational Connections

EDpuzzle can be used:

  1. In flipped classrooms (as discussed above).
  2. To make lecturecasts, tutorials, video directions, etc. more engaging and interactive.
  3. For compiling data and information about students’ performance, and perhaps understanding, which can helpful formative assessment.
  4. So that students can annotate video reflections, recorded reports and skits, and more.
  5. To allow students to develop tutorials and quizzes about the current topic of study. Putting students in the teacher’s role can encourage higher-levels of thinking.

How Would Your Classroom Be Different?

Episode 009


Educational Reform – Bill Gates Addresses Legislators

The following is the text of Bill Gates’ remarks at the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Microsoft co-founder shares his ideas about “how federal stimulus money should be used to spark educational innovation, spread best practices and improve accountability” along with his belief that the “U.S. must improve its educational standing in the world by rewarding effective teaching and by developing better, universal measures of performance for students and teachers” (Source).

An “A” for Effort


The following editorial came through my Inbox (Thanks, Lee). I share it as a follow-up to my recent post, Confusing the Level of Effort with Quality of Work.

‘A’ for Effort? Not in My Class
By: Bill Maxwell


Even now, more than 20 years later, I clearly recall the student’s anger as she flung the red-inked essay across my desk and screamed that she had “worked too hard” for the grade of C. It was the first time a college student had so vehemently challenged a grade I had given on a writing assignment. It would not be the last.

Along with being startled, I wondered if I was in danger of bodily harm. The student, a freshman, continued to scream, saying her parents would kill her if she earned anything less than a B. She had been an honor student in high school, she said, and demanded that I change the grade. I explained that her writing was undistinguished, merely satisfying the standard — “average” — requirements of an expository essay. I did not change her grade. The term was young enough for her to withdraw from my class and find another.

When I told colleagues about the incident, I was surprised that all of them had similar experiences. Over time, I came to expect students to challenge lower-than-expected grades solely on the basis of having “worked hard” and having satisfied the basic requirements.

A recent New York Times article shed light on the increasing problem by summarizing a study, “Self-Entitled College Students: Contributions of Personality, Parenting, and Motivational Factors,” that was published last year in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. I read the study, and it confirms everything my colleagues and I had discovered years ago by way of sharing anecdotes.

Conducted by researchers for the University of California, Irvine, the study reports that many of the students surveyed, a diverse group that included East and Southeast Asian Americans, Caucasians, Latinos and other groups, expected B’s because they attended class. A larger number expected B’s for having read the assigned material.

The researchers, professors themselves, looked for the sources of this growing trend of entitlement among students. More than any other factors, they found that pressure from parents and competition among peers and relatives have given students a greater sense of what is referred to as “achievement anxiety.”

Other researchers in education and the behavioral sciences also have been looking into the causes of the phenomenon. Some have traced it back to students’ experiences in their K-12 classrooms, where they are bombarded with high-stakes tests that determine if they move to the next level — or even graduate from kindergarten. One result is that they have become exceptionally skilled at preparing for tests, producing a level of efficiency that encourages these young people to search for what one professor calls “a magic formula to get high scores.”

When such formulas get students high scores in K-12, the expectation of high scores follows far too many freshmen into the college classroom. This expectation has become a new religion, a very real and perhaps harmful sense of entitlement.

As my colleagues and I had experienced, the study shows that the rising sense of entitlement creates, among other negative problems, selfishness, unrealistic and demanding attitudes toward professors, exploitation of peers and university staff members, narcissism and, of course, various forms of academic dishonesty.

A University of Maryland senior who spoke to the New York Times is a poster child for the academically entitled college student. “I think putting in a lot of effort should merit a high grade,” he said. “What else is there really than the effort that you put in? If you put in all the effort you have and get a C, what is the point? If someone goes to every class and reads every chapter in the book and does everything the teacher asks of them and more, they should be getting an A like their effort deserves. If your maximum effort can only be average in a teacher’s mind, then something is wrong.”

Obviously, I disagree. Putting in your maximum effort does not always produce levels of excellence that deserve the highest grade. As my colleagues and I reminded many disgruntled students, you should want to explore ideas, test new techniques and expand your knowledge.

You should set aside the need to be instantly rewarded with a mere grade for effort. Enlightenment should be your goal. And yes, you can call me out of step and old-fashioned.