Online video services like YouTube and Vimeo can be a gold mine of content for both teachers and trainers. It's easy to search through these video libraries, find videos that support a training topic or a classroom subject, then share those videos with your class.
Sometimes, though, you want to do more than just send a video to a group of people. You might want to include your own comments or notes throughout the video. You might want to share relevant links with your students, e.g. "Check out this New York Times story to read more background information." You might want to track student understanding, or make sure that everyone in your training session actually completed the video. If you're in a situation where you'd benefit from being able to annotate a video like this, EdPuzzle is a service that can provide all of these features.
This tutorial will provide a basic overview of how to use EdPuzzle to find, annotate, share, and track videos. While this software is primarily marketing towards teachers, it can also be used to supplement staff trainings or share an annotated video with a team or committee. Here's EdPuzzle's overview video, which will give you a basic idea of its features and focus:
Setting up Your EdPuzzle Account
1. Go to www.edpuzzle.com, click on the big "Sign up" button.
2. You'll be offered a choice of whether you're a teacher or a student. If you want to annotate and distribute videos, you'll probably want to pick "I'm a teacher."
3. Next up, you'll be offered a few explanatory screens about EdPuzzle and a tour. I highly recommend doing this, as it's a good interactive way to become familiar with the basics of how to use EdPuzzle. At the end of the tour, you'll be prompted to create an account. I'd recommend using your TSS Google account for this, since it will help EdPuzzle work more seamlessly with Google Classroom.
4. You'll need to grant EdPuzzle some permissions in order to continue.
5. You'll be prompted to choose your main topic area and your School. You can choose Journeys or TVCS from the list, or you can pick a TSS Campus (like Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools. After completing this step, click Join. You're done! You now have an EdPuzzle account.
Annotating Your First Video
1. First off, you'll want to click on the "Search" button in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
2. You can use the search page to look for existing lessons, or to search for videos that you want to turn into lessons. The left-hand sidebar allows you to browse through different video sources like Vimeo, YouTube, Khan Academy, and others.
3. You can either search these different platforms to find your video, or you can cut-and-paste a link to an existing video if you already have a video in mind. Either way, once you've found your video, you'll want to select it.
4. Once you've selected a video for EdPuzzle treatment, you'll go through a series of steps to prepare your video for your audience. The steps are identified by four icons at the top of the screen; you can click the icons to move between them. The first step (scissors icon) is to crop your video to the correct length, which you can do by dragging the two red handles back and forth to set the start and end times for your video.
2. Next up, you can narrate an audio track (blue microphone icon) to be played over the video. I don't use this feature much myself, but you could use it to translate a video in a different language or provide your own narration to a video that doesn't have much. Clicking the microphone icon at the bottom of your video will allow you to record an audio track. You may need to provide permission for EdPuzzle to access your microphone. Two important notes: your audio track needs to run the entire length of your chosen video. If your video is 10 minutes long, you need to record 10 minutes of audio to play over top of it. Also, know that if the video already has a soundtrack, it will be replaced by your recording.
3. The third icon (a yellow speaker) allows you to insert audio comments. Drag the yellow microphone icon to the spot in your video where you'd like to insert a comment, then click the microphone to start recording. Click it again to stop recording. You can insert multiple audio comments into a single video, which will be shown as small yellow boxes in the timeline. You can delete individual audio comments or all of them at once. When a viewer watches your video, the video will pause while it plays your audio comment, then resume afterwards.
4. The final annotation you can add is a quiz (the green question mark). This feature allows you to place assessments throughout your video and collect data on what your students have learned. To insert a quiz, drag the green question mark icon to the spot in the video where you want to place the quiz, then click the question mark. You can include free-response questions, multiple choice questions, and ungraded text comments. EdPuzzle also allows you to insert links, images, and equations into your questions.
5. Once you're done making changes, click the Finish button in the top right-hand corner:
Sharing and Grading
After annotating your video, you have two options for sharing it. You can either distribute it via a public link or you can assign it to a class in Google Classroom.
The big difference between these two options is that you have more power and visibility when sharing an edPuzzle video with a class. For instance, when sharing with a Google Classroom class, you can see how much of the video each student watched. If you decide to share a video publicly, you won't be able to see how many people watched it or their answers to your assessment questions.
For a Google Classroom student, on the other hand, you'll be able to see exactly how much of the video the student watched and which portions they re-watched. In my example below, my sample student has watched the entire video once, but you can see they rewatched the last 20 seconds a second time and the last 10 seconds a third time. You can also grade student responses to questions and provide feedback by commenting on their answers.
If you want to switch to a view of the entire class, you can see which students have completed the assignment and which ones still need to watch the video. EdPuzzle will also let you export the results as a CSV file, so you can import the grades easily into a grade book. If you do your grading in Google Classroom, note that grades you assign in EdPuzzle don't automatically make their way to Google Classroom. Also, EdPuzzle only allows the option to grade a response out of 100 points, which is a bummer.
The Student View
When you assign an EdPuzzle video via Google Classroom, your students will get an email notification about the assignment:
When the student clicks on 'OPEN', they'll need to log into Edpuzzle with their Google credentials:
As they watch the video, it will be intersperced with your quizzes and audio comments. Students can re-watch portions of the video, if need be, before answering quizzes:
EdPuzzle is fremium software, meaning you can use the basic version for free, but you have to pay to use the full School Edition version. If you compare features, the free plan is actually quite generous. You'll mostly run into restrictions when you want to share videos with colleagues or maintain a gradebook inside of EdPuzzle. Here's the full version comparison.