Mike Sammartano

EdPuzzle Makes Flipping Easy

The biggest complaint I hear from teachers in my role as instructional coach is that they never have enough time. Class periods fly by as teachers struggle to engage students in the huge quantity of information they are required to understand. This is where the Flipped Classroom model comes into play. In Flipped Model, the majority of content, including facts, dates, concepts, and even procedures, is presented to students through an engaging video outside of the classroom. Students then interact with that content in some way, whether it be answering questions, taking notes, or some other assignment.

I had tremendous success with this model in my 8th grade Earth Science classes. I attribute this success to a few factors. First, I only did this for topics that I felt were reasonably accessible, nothing too complex or difficult. Second, I spent a fair amount of time ensuring that my videos were engaging, entertaining, clear, and, most importantly, not too long. Finally, I would always accompany my videos with some sort of assignment that would hold students accountable. Often, it was a simple guided notes page on which students would record key concepts. Teaching this way allowed me to experiment with so many more innovative and exciting classroom activities as I was no longer tied to the arduous task of communicating huge amounts of content during class time.

Here’s some good news for those of you who are interested in trying out the Flipped Classroom model, or some version of it, in your classroom. In this day and age, there is so much engaging, well-produced video content available on the Internet, that you rarely need to create your own (unless you want too, of course!). Additionally, there are now tons of tools that can help support and simplify this approach to teaching. Sites like EdPuzzle, TED Ed, Playposit, and Zaption (which recently shut down) allow teachers to take any video content from the web, or that they created, and edit it to include interactive questions, links, text, and more. While I like all of these tools, my favorite has become EdPuzzle.

EdPuzzle has full Google Classroom integration, allowing you to import your classes to monitor their progress on your videos, and to easily share your videos assignments into your Classroom Stream. EdPuzzle is completely free for students and teachers, without feature limitations. It offers the simple “log in with Google” feature which is perfect for G Suite districts. Check out this sample EdPuzzle lesson to get a sense of how it works.

I’m a big believer in the power of flipping your classroom, and tools like EdPuzzle make the process much less daunting. Check it out, and give it a try!