eduCanon: For Making Videos Interactive

Videos can really be a good addition to any class, especially for students who may be struggling readers or those who are visual learners. Additionally, there are so many to choose from online that you can find videos for every imaginable topic. In the past, I have made traditional paper worksheets for students to complete when watching videos in class or at home, but with eduCanon I can now make videos more interactive by embedding my questions directly into a video (called a bulb on eduCanon).

eduCanon is a great resource for instructors wanting to engage students more fully with videos. Creating an account is free and easy, especially if you use your Google or Edmodo login. Once you log in, you can design, assign, and manage your bulbs or video lessons. You can also add and monitor students as well as invite others to join the site. Additionally, you can browse bulbs that others have made, watch videos about eduCanon and creating bulbs, and read the blog. If you decide you need access to even more features, the premium account is just $80 per year, but I recommend starting with the free account to see whether or not you will use eduCanon enough to make that a worthwhile investment.

Now to the fun part! Creating bulbs is simple. When you click on the “Design” tab, you enter some basic information about your lesson. You begin by inserting the video URL: If you have made your own video, just put it on YouTube or another site and then use that URL to get started; if you want to use a TED Talk or other video, just use that link instead. In the next step, you will see the video and have the opportunity to add questions at any point in the video. With the free account, you can add multiple-choice questions, check all the apply questions, or reflective pauses. For the two question types, you write the question, answers, and explanations or feedback for each answer. Once you finish adding questions, you are done, but can go back and edit your bulb at any time if needed. All your bulbs are conveniently saved under the “Bulbs” tab.

Once you have made a bulb, there are multiple ways to share it with students. You can assign a bulb to a class if you have added your students to eduCanon, or just share the link. Both options will allow you to monitor their responses. When students view the video, it will stop at each point you have added something and they will need to answer the question in order to continue watching. Students get immediate feedback on their answers through the explanations you entered when creating the bulb. They are not able to skip through content to avoid watching certain parts, but can go back at any point if they have missed something or want to hear a section again. Instead of watching videos as a whole class, students view them individually at their own pace in the computer lab or at home.

Start using videos more effectively with eduCanon. eduCanon bulbs are easy to create, share, and monitor. They make differentiating instruction even easier and would be an excellent addition to a flipped classroom. Try it out and let us know what you think!

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master's degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.
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