Monday, September 25, 2017

Passive In The Subordinate Clause

Fill in the blanks with an appropriate active or passive verb form. Answers 1. It seems that somebody has cleaned the room. 2. It seems… Continue reading
from English Grammar

Why I Use Edpuzzle: An Edpuzzle Review

Sponsored by Edpuzzle

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Edpuzzle solves so many of my flipped classroom problems. During the last four years of using flipped classroom techniques, I’ve come to rely on what is called the “in-flip” — I show the videos in class and interact with students to help them do in-class activities with what they’ve learned.

Why I Use Edpuzzle

This blog post is sponsored by Edpuzzle. All opinions are my own. If you use my link to sign up for Edpuzzle, you’ll gain access to a curated library of 50,000 free videos to use with your school.

But I’ve had several big problems with flipped classroom techniques:

  • Just as some students “tune out” a teacher, some would fast forward or skip parts of the videos.
  • Even though I’d ask, students wouldn’t pause the video to do something.
  • I’d like to use videos made by others, but I’d also like to add a few elements of my own.
  • I couldn’t check for understanding during the video.

All of these problems have been solved with Edpuzzle. (And let me add that I was so excited when Edpuzzle contacted me about reviewing their product because I was already a fan!)

Get Edpuzzle and access to the 50,000 video curriculum library

How Does Edpuzzle Work?

1. Import any video.

First, with Edpuzzle, you can import any video. In the resume example shown below, you can see that I pulled in a video from the web. Then, I added voice comments and some quizzes. Try it for yourself.

My Resume Video

I didn’t make this video but used one from YouTube and added my voice and questions.

I upload my videos to YouTube and import them into Edpuzzle. Sometimes I use videos that I find on YouTube as well. However, you can also upload videos directly to Edpuzzle. In a very cool twist, you can have students make their own Edpuzzle. They are, in effect, creating a video just like you would do as a teacher. These videos can be used to teach or instruct others, or to show understanding in a project.

The Start Screen in Edpuzzle

When you start, there are several options. You can add a new video from a source like YouTube, upload it directly to Edpuzzle, or you can create a student project where they create Edpuzzle videos.

Search for videos.

Edpuzzle has made it easy to search for videos from some curated channels. For example, I’d never heard of the CrashCourse channel on YouTube, but it’s become a go-to for many awesome videos that I use in my Computer Science classes.

For purposes of this article, I’m going to work on a binary number video. I could “copy it”, which means that if it’s an Edpuzzle, I can use everything that someone else has set up. I could also “use it”, which means that I’m going to customize everything myself. (I typically customize everything because I want students to hear my voice.)

2. Crop your video.

After you bring in the video by clicking either “new video” or “upload video”, you can clip off the beginning or ending of the video. You don’t have to use it all. Remember that, in minutes, the best length for a video is typically the student’s age + 1.

I prefer shorter videos because if a student doesn’t finish it in a class period, they’ll have to come back to it. While coming back to the video is certainly an option, it really is easier to have them finish in one period.

3. Overlay your voice.

If you want, you can remove the entire audio track of the video and record your voice explaining everything students are watching. I don’t typically do this because I’d rather interject my own voice in just a few spots instead of completely replacing what’s already there. The note-taking example below shows what I usually do — I make the whole video myself using Office Mix, adding pauses, instructions, and quizzes whenever necessary.

But if you find the perfect video and you want to do this, it’s an option with Edpuzzle.

4. Add audio notes.

As you can see in the resume video above, I love using Audio Notes. This feature lets you pause the video and add a quick audio instruction with your voice. Personally, I think adding the teacher’s voice to the audio is an important way to make a connection with your students as you use flipped classroom techniques. I also use this because I want to interject the terminology I’ll be using in class.

5. Add “quizzes”, notes, and more.

My favorite part of Edupuzzle is the ability to add “quizzes” to the video. However, the term “quizzes” is really a misnomer. You can pause the video and add any of the following:

Add a comment.

As shown in this video, I can add a comment into the video. Sometimes I want students to pause and think about what they’ve just heard. I can do this by typing in a comment of my own.

Here’s the screen showing where I’m pausing and adding a comment. Just click the ? to add comments, quizzes, or an open-ended question.

In this example, I’ve paused the video and added a comment about the numbering system that my students already know. I think that pausing the video and adding a short comment can help students process what they’ve just heard, especially when it’s a complex idea. You can also add audio notes with your voice, but sometimes I want to include a definition or detail. Usually I use this technique for things that I want added to their notes.

Add a multiple-choice question.

You can add one or several multiple-choice questions. Just make sure that each of these questions has only one answer, as two correct answers will automatically be marked wrong. As you can see in the Introduction to Digital Note-Taking assignment, I’ve added multiple-choice questions at several locations. Also note that I’ve set this video to prevent students from skipping.

Add open-ended questions.

Open-ended questions are my favorite. Students can reflect. They can even ask questions for you to answer later. I usually just read the answers as I’m grading and check them off, but I can also respond back to the student via a comment. I love that two-way communication is a possibility here.

6. Assess the video.

You might want to just use the statistics in the dashboard to see how students are watching and what they’ve done, but I love that it tells me how many questions I have to assess or grade.

You can see if a student has finished the video. Some of these grades look artificially low because I haven’t graded the open-ended questions yet. The aqua colored button in the top right corner shows that I have 32 questions to grade. (The name of this video is Preso Basic computer skills if you’re wondering. It is cut off to hide student names.)

As you click “grade”, Edpuzzle shows you the items you need to grade. You can add a comment, quickly check, or give partial credit. I like how this feature groups common questions together, making it easier and faster for me to grade.

Why Edpuzzle Is an Essential Classroom Tool

If you’re like me, you know that videos are a fantastic way of bringing content into the classroom. However, as teachers, we must check for understanding. Every opportunity that we have for interacting with a student is a time when we can enhance his or her learning experience. Our videos must be that way, too!

Edpuzzle adds the essential interactive feature. I already had this tool on my list from ISTE this year, and I started working with it when I came home from the conference. I love how Edpuzzle makes videos interactive to really ensure that students are learning the content. Teaching can be a challenge, and as we explore each new tool, we often need to find ways of adapting it to our own practice. If you’re using videos (or if you’ve held off on using them because of the problems I stated at the beginning of this blog), now is the time to start using Edpuzzle. And because it links with Google Classroom, just creating an embed code for a video can enroll someone in your class easily. I embed the videos in my LMS and students participate — and we’re good to go!

Add Edpuzzle to your toolkit today. You can get started by clicking this link and you’ll get access to the 50,000 curated videos in their library.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored blog post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)

The post Why I Use Edpuzzle: An Edpuzzle Review appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog

Powerful Leadership, Vision, and Problem Solving for Districts

Dr. Baron Davis on episode 156 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Dr. Baron Davis believes in building partnerships with parents, businesses, and the community. Today we talk about partnerships but we also discuss casting a vision, solving problems, and how district leaders can handle the stress. Baron is the superintendent of Richland School District 2 in South Carolina. This is a show you’ll want to share with anyone in district leadership.


Today’s sponsor is Kids Discover Online. They’re doing awesome things to drive inquiry-based learning. Join me, Richard Byrne and Monica Burns next Tuesday, October 3 for a special webinar on 10 Ideas for Excellent Inquiry-Based Learning

The Kids Discover online platform lets students explore 150 different science and social studies units for elementary and middle school learners at three different lexiles. It is a perfect inquiry-based tool you can use in your classroom and with your students.

Go to and get started for free. They support single sign-on with Google and Clever.

Listen Now

Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. All comments in the shaded green box are my own. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.


Enhanced Transcript

Powerful Leadership, Vision, and Problem Solving for Districts

Monday, September 25, 2017

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Dr. Baron Davis @DrBaronDavis, a superintendent in South Carolina about really casting a vision.

Now, Baron, you and I have talked. You really like to bring a lot of people to the table to help them understand their role in really helping our schools be excellent.

How do you cast a vision? What do you say?

How do you cast this vision, and what are the kind of things that you say?

Baron: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on this show.

I think that that’s a very good question, and it really starts with the development of a vision and getting key people involved as you’re crafting the vision as a school leader.

Our vision of Richland School District 2 in Columbia, South Carolina, is to be the premier school district – a learning and working environment where all partners are committed to creating, sustaining and investing in a culture and a climate of excellence.

And where everyone’s afforded an opportunity to get some talents as they pursue their pathways to purpose.

I think having a vision like that was so easy for folk to galvanize or be attracted to. Everybody has a gift and a talent. Everybody wants to be committed to excellence.

To get them to see their part in that, and to see that they have not only a role to play, but also the vision is about them as well.

Who do you consider partners of your district?

Vicki: So, when you say “them”… who are you reaching? Your audience is not just students and teachers. It’s more, isn’t it? Who is it?

Baron: Right. It is very broad. It is students and their parents. They’re considered partners.

We talk about partners. We have three components to our partners:

  1. There are our students and their parents.
  2. There are employees who are partners.
  3. Then we talk about our community.

When we look at our community, we’re talking about the business community, the faith-based community, the support systems of our students – their grandparents, maybe any individual that has a connection to the community that surrounds our school district. All of them have an important role in the partnership of working together to provide a premier educational experience for all of our students.

What do you ask the partner organizations to do?

Vicki: Now there are some schools that just want businesses and faith-based organizations and parents to give their money — and leave the educating to the school.

Baron: (agrees)

Vicki: What are the things that you ask these group to do, as they work with you to improve your school?

Baron: Each one of them can play a specific role.

You know, when we’re talking to our business community, for example, our business community has a very important role to play when it comes to the education of students in our state. Where our schools are funded in the state of South Carolina, our businesses shoulder the majority of the tax revenue that goes to funds for schools in the state.

So it’s important that we can continue to produce or help have a great product when it comes to the performance of our students. That, in turn, impacts the businesses, because it impacts people coming to our community and wanting to enroll their students in our school district.

So they have to see their connection to that. And they also have an influence when it comes to meeting with legislators and other individuals that make policies.

So it is helping them see that they have that part. It’s not simply just kind of saying, “Hey, we’ve done our part, and that’s it.”

And it’s the same thing with our parents and the same thing with faith-based organizations. We do a lot of what we call parent advisory councils. We have faith-based organization advisory councils. We have business advisory councils. We meet with them on a monthly basis, and we try to give them as much information as we can about what’s going on in our schools so they can serve as ambassadors in the community about the things that have taken place in our district.

Vicki: So… that’s a lot of meetings to have!

Baron: (agrees)

How do you make time for meetings with these groups?

Vicki: How do you take those things and put them into action? Because, you know, some superintendents aren’t so eager to meet with parents and business people because they kind of feel like they get “bashed” a lot.

Baron: It is difficult. It’s a lot of time that’s involved. But what we do have our strategic plan that we have in place, and we use our strategic plan as our North Star on how we operate in the district. And within that strategic plan, there are components and times that are set aside to meet with those individual groups.

But the superintendent doesn’t shoulder that responsibility all by himself. I have various people within the school district that of course help with getting that message out — and of course meeting and listening to the concerns of our parents.

And it’s not all parents. Our parent advisory council consists of typically the SIC presidents from the various schools in our district. We meet once a month, and they bring issues to the table and we have an opportunity to discuss those issues. We share information with them to go back out and communicate to the individual parent groups at their schools.

But it’s important to have that opportunity, and not get bogged down in information and forget about communication. That’s something that we really want to work on here in our district – to practice more of communicating and relying less on providing a bunch of information.

What are the biggest mistakes districts often make with community partners?

Vicki: Yeah. So Baron, let’s say a new superintendent was starting his or her job today. If they came to you for advice, and said, “What are the biggest mistakes that I need to avoid when working with the parents, and the community, and the faith-based organizations and grandparents. What mistakes should I avoid?”

What would you tell them?

Baron: I would say, avoid the perception that those parents or individuals are not committed to the success of their students. That commitment and that support to the success of their students looks different for different people. The only way that you can get any kind of idea of what it looks like is to interact with them.

So finding opportunities to immerse yourself in the community in an informal way will kind of give you a better idea of what that looks like for that particular family or that particular group of individuals.

So that’s something that I would recommend to a new superintendent – to try to remove some of the formal barriers between themselves and the community that their school serves.

How do you cope with the worst days as superintendent?

Vicki: So Baron, how do you handle your worst days? Because, you know, you’re in a hard job. You’re in a job that wears people down and burns people out. When you have one of “those days,” how do you deal with it? How do you cope?

Baron: That’s a good question. I’m probably still working on figuring out the best coping mechanisms. (laughs)

Vicki: (laughs)

Baron: My coping strategies as a new superintendent, and as a fairly young superintendent… I think one of the ways that I definitely cope is that I have a strong faith. I try not to show too much of those difficult issues that come up, where I let them wear me down. It’s a part of the job. It’s a part of the role. So I embrace it.

But I try to spend time, of course, with my family where I’m not focused necessarily on some of those bigger issues that have just come up.

And I try to address concerns as quickly as possible so they don’t fester and become bigger.

Vicki: Yeah.

Baron: I think that’s a really big, really great strategy. If you see something that eventually turns into something big – address it immediately or as quickly as you can. You’ll save yourself some stress down the road if you do that.

Vicki: Today’s headache is tomorrow’s hospital visit. (laughs)

Baron: (laughs)

Vicki: I mean, how else can you put it? That’s what happens in schools. If you ignore problems, they just grow, don’t they?

Baron: Exactly. They just grow… and they collect. They get added, and so the problem gets bigger and it adds to the other big problem that you have, and now there’s a new big problem. So I try to address them as quickly as possible — or make sure someone’s addressing them, should I say, as quickly as possible.

30 Second Pep Talk to Education Leaders to Unleash Excitement

Vicki: So Baron, as we finish up, could you give us a 30-second pep talk as if you were talking to those leaders. What do you say to unleash the excitement about your schools?

Baron: That’s a great question.

I would say that every student, every teacher, every employee, every parent, every person in your community has a gift and a talent. It is our job as educators to help them discover what that gift and what that talent is, and then give them a platform to demonstrate that gift and talent so that they can find their passions.

If they can find their passions and put those passions into actions, then that will help lead them to their purpose. Once they’re working within their purpose, they will find the joy in the work. They will continue to do it, and continue to impact others.

Our job is to help build citizens for tomorrow, so those citizens can lead and excel in whatever pathway they decide to take.

Vicki: Oh, I’m fired up, and I want to come visit your school tomorrow. (laughs)

Baron: (laughs)

Vicki: So teachers and principals and superintendents, we have a really Motivating Monday topic for us today.

You know what? I might just replay that last little piece several times and get it in my own mind – this whole philosophy of helping people put their passions and their strengths into action in finding their purpose.

I mean, talk about a great thing for us educators to do. I’m more motivated myself!

Baron: Awwww, sounds great. I’m always pumped up and motivated to do that! (laughs)

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Dr. Baron R. Davis – Bio as Submitted

An educator for almost 20 years, Dr. Baron R. Davis is Richland School District Two’s Superintendent. Davis served as one of the district’s assistant superintendents prior to his transition year as superintendent-elect. As an assistant superintendent, he supported overall educational excellence in the schools by providing leadership, administrative direction, supervision and technical support.

Davis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Francis Marion University. From the University of South Carolina, he earned master’s degrees in school counseling and educational administration, and Educational Specialist and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in educational counseling. He holds superintendent, school counseling, secondary principal and secondary supervision certifications. In addition to his formal educational training, Davis has participated and completed numerous educational leadership programs offered through the South Carolina Department of Education including the Tapping Executive Educators Program, the School Leadership Executive Institute, and the South Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program, and the Riley Institute at Furman University Diversity Leaders Initiative.

During his educational career, Davis has served as a successful school leader in rural, urban and suburban school systems where his schools were recognized for closing the achievement gap, increasing graduation rates and increasing Advanced Placement participation rates. While principal of Spring Valley, the school was recognized by the Washington Post as one of America’s Most Challenging High Schools and by Newsweek as one of America’s Top High Schools.

In the role of assistant superintendent, Davis helped to establish the Richland Two Assistant Principal Academy, the Administrators Development Series, the Training Administrators Program and the Administrators Mentoring Program. Under his guidance, all five of the district’s high schools were accepted to TransformSC’s network of innovative schools in May 2016. He also provided overall supervision for the opening of R2i2; which included the selection, development, and implementation of academic areas of focus, course development, the establishment of partnerships, selection of personnel, development of organizational structure, building supervision, and day-to-day operations.

Davis’s support of education and his community extends beyond Richland Two. He has served as a principal mentor and coach for induction principals participating in the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of School Leadership Principal Induction Program. Currently, he serves on the Francis Marion University Alumni Board, the University of South Carolina Trio Programs Advisory Board, the South Carolina Male Achievement Conference Planning Committee, Rotary International (Spring Valley Club, Columbia S.C.), national and state associations of school administrators, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (Omicron Phi Chapter). He participates in the City of Columbia’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. Davis was inducted into the Columbia Housing Authority’s Wall of Fame in 2015 and in past years has given service to the University of South Carolina’s Department of Counselor Education Advisory Council and the SCASA Institute of Innovation Planning Committee. Most recently, Davis was selected as the 2017 Administrator of the Year for both the Richland County Education Office Professionals and the National Association of Educational Office Professionals.

Davis, a Columbia native, is a member of Brookland Baptist Church. He and his wife, Pamela, have three daughters, all of whom attend school in Richland Two.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)

The post Powerful Leadership, Vision, and Problem Solving for Districts appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Simple Present Tense Exercise

This grammar exercise tests your ability to make questions and negatives in the simple present tense. Fill in the blanks with an appropriate tense form.… Continue reading
from English Grammar

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Simple Past Or Past Continuous Tense Exercise

Fill in the blanks with an appropriate tense form. Answers 1. I was sleeping. I didn’t hear the door bell. 2. I phoned her many… Continue reading
from English Grammar

Friday, September 22, 2017

General Grammar Exercise

Fill in the blanks with an appropriate verb form. Answers 1. After he learnt his lesson, he went out to play cricket. 2. While I… Continue reading
from English Grammar

5 Ways to Flip Your Classroom

Hip Hughes on episode 155 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

History teacher Keith “Hip” Hughes has a massive following on his YouTube channel.Today, he shares his technique for flipping the classroom in engaging, powerful ways.

Today’s Sponsor: Edpuzzle is my new favorite flipped classroom tool. You can take your videos or those from YouTube and:

  • Clip the video
  • Record your own voice over
  • Pause the video and add your voice just in certain spots
  • Add comments, multiple choice or open-ended questions.

And if you click, Edpuzzle will give your school access to the 50,000 best lessons from Edpuzzle, organized in folders and ready to be used by teachers. Once click and you have everything you need for the year!

Listen Now

Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. All comments in the shaded green box are my own. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.


Enhanced Transcript

Five Ways to Flip Your Classroom

Friday, September 22, 2017

Vicki: So today we’re talking with Keith “Hip” Hughes @hiphughes of and also creator of the “HipHughes History” YouTube channel.

And Keith, today we’re going to talk about “Five Ways to Flip Your Class.”

You should know all about this because you make these awesome videos. So how do we start?

#1 Define the kind of teacher you want to be

Keith: Sure! And first, thanks for having me on the program. It’s so good to talk about a subject that I love so much – the craft of teaching!

So basically, flipping your classroom – and I guess this is the first kind of tip is explaining it.

I always explain to people that I’d rather be called a FOLE than a teacher. A FOLE is a Facilitator Of Learning Experiences, and I think we can all kind of understand that analogy. We want to be “conductors” of our classroom. But I wanted more time for my kids to “compose.”

I have a saying. It’s maybe not the most graceful analogy. “Content consumption without content creation may lead to learning constipation.”

Vicki: Oh wow! (laughs)

Keith: I know, it’s not graceful. But I think it gets the point across. It’s basically shifting that content to the homework piece so you can have kids do more real things in your classroom.

#2 Understand what flipping the classroom is (and isn’t)

Vicki: Absolutely. You talk a little bit about flipping the classroom, but not everybody may understand real clearly what it is. Do you want to give us a simple definition?

Keith: The basic idea is to try to reduce the amount of time you’re talking to kids from the front of the room. I think sometimes we have this illusion that the kids are learning in the space between our mouths and their ears, and I’m not sure how much that might be happening.

So “flipping” is saying, “Let’s have the kids get the content somewhere other than the classroom.” Many times, that could be a reader, but many times it could be a really great video that explains a concept that you would normally be explaining in front of the room. You’re probably still going to have to review it. But the idea is to free up time in your class so kids that are working through skill-based activities that might in the past have been done as homework. Now (those) can be doing that in class with your facilitation.

The next step is designing projects and really having kids doing authentic inquiry-based awesome stuff in your classroom, using the content.

So that’s the basic idea of flipping your class.

Vicki: Yes! And you know, I do this. I have to do the in-flip, which means I do the videos sometimes in class, and use tools like “EdPuzzle” to kind of insert that formative assessment and that sort of thing. But we do want to shift to these authentic projects.

#3: Move to product-based learning

What’s our third way to flip our classroom?

Keith: I think it’s really to think about what you want to do with that time. If you’re going to have – let’s say 50% more time where kids are actively engaged and doing things in your class – I think we can shift to think about not just Project Based Learning but Product Based Learning.

I think it’s so important that our kids have time to use content to create new meaning – not only to achieve curricular goals, but also to start using that to form a sense of their own identity about who they are – not only in the real world, but in the online world.

Vicki: So how would you define Product Based Learning?

Keith: Product, to me, is something that exists after the activity, that can live on and have meaning outside of the classroom.

So many times, I’m a techie guy, so I talk technology but it doesn’t necessarily have to be technology. But I’m thinking about students designing websites, creating their own podcasts, making videos, doing community action projects, collaborating with classes around the world tackling problems. Doing real things that real adults do. But the idea is that we can insert our learning. So all the layers of literacy that go into these projects…

Vicki: I love it. So global audience. And we know that global audience does improve our performance, both as teachers and as students.

#4 Understand how students are interacting with your videos

OK, what’s our fourth, Keith?

Keith: So you mentioned it before, and I’m so glad you did. Using these types of things like EdPuzzle or PlayPosit, where you’re using video. And the partial flip or the in class flip. I’ve done that before. You kow, we haven’t closed that digital divide quite yet. So we have to consider that, as to whether we can do a full flip or not.

But if we are showing videos in the classroom, or you’re assigning them – you want to make sure that you’re the one that’s holding the flashlight on that video.

We can talk about what makes a great video, making sure they’re engaging, hitting your objectives. But using EdPuzzle or PlayPosit, I can pause that video, insert that exam question or reflective thought idea, or send them to a website, or give differentiation by offering a different resource.

  • Edpuzzle is a sponsor of this episode. Our sponsors have no impact on the content of the show. However, if you want to sign up for Edpuzzle, use this link as it will give your school access to the 50,000 curated video library on Edpuzzle. (Something you can get by using this link they gave for my listeners and readers.)

But I also can track that data. I can use that information to gauge how I’m using videos in the classroom. And believe it or not, some kids will do it because they know you’re watching.

Vicki: Yeah. And I love it because I can insert my voice. It will pause the video. I can insert my voice! So I don’t have to remake everything. And that’s been such a relief for me, letting them hear my voice but I don’t have to remake it all.

#5 Create content that is exciting

OK, what’s our fifth?

Keith: So I want to talk about content creation, because sometimes – and I think it depends on our personality and our time that we have in the classroom – you know, we want to “be the face” for those kids. Human relationships are so important in our classroom. If we can carry that over, and if we have the time and the enthusiasm to do it – WHY. NOT.

So, you know, I would say, “Jump in!”

That’s my tip. Don’t worry about detail. Don’t worry about how to do it. Just film yourself. Talk to that camera like you have your kids’ attention and no one’s going to interrupt you.

Flipped classroom mistakes

Vicki: OK. What do you think the biggest mistake is, Keith, that people make when they start trying to flip their classroom?

Keith: I think it’s their choice of video, to be quite honest. I think if we’re choosing videos – I don’t want to call them textbook videos, but I’m going to call them textbook videos. (These are) videos that are just primarily concerned with the content. They might have a dry voiceover wit very direct literal imagery. I think those videos need to walk in those students’ world a little bit. Not only with the language that we use – it doesn’t mean you have to be a goofball – you can be an academic. But in the visuals we choose, the music we choose, the pace of it? I think voice is really important because it emotes emotion. And I think if you’re comfortable on camera, a face can make a difference as well.

How to make exciting videos that students will want to watch

Vicki: It can! You know, it’s funny! My students like it when I make them laugh. So I try to put unexpected things in there. It makes them watch it, you know?

Keith: Include those mistakes! If you make a little mistake, do a jump cut. The kids will laugh, and I think that laughter is, in a sense, a little magnet of attention. You can draw them back in.

Vicki: Totally. So you’ve been doing this for a while, Keith, and you know a lot about making exciting videos. Of course, we could do a whole other 10-Minute Teacher on videos.

But as we finish up, could you give us a pep talk about how to make exciting video that kids want to watch?

Keith: Sure, and let’s not talk about the technology. You can go watch a different tutorial. I think Number One is – you need to relax. You need to be yourself. Kids can smell authenticity. So don’t try to pretend.

And if you can do it, try to read off of a script. I know that’s difficult for some people. But you’re allowed to make mistakes. And it’s so important to look at that camera, or use your voice to connect with those kids.

And don’t always be so literal. Sometimes some imagery that draws kids in and makes them laugh a little bit is important.

And use different modes of literacy. You know, there’s nothing wrong with a little “Sanford and Son” with a title in the middle of the video– not only to divide concepts, but again, to make them laugh, draw them in.

Vicki: So teachers…

Flipping that classroom – or in-flipping the classroom, where you show the videos in your classroom — is such an important part of my own classroom.

Remember, we have the bricks (which is the face-to-face classroom) and we have the clicks (which is the online classroom). And the best classrooms these days are blended.

So making those videos and flipping that classroom? That’s kind of what so many of us need to be doing today to be remarkable.

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Bio as submitted

Keith Hughes is an educator,

YouTuber and innovator in the field of technology and education. A 16 year veteran of the Buffalo Public Schools and adjunct professor at the University of Buffalo, he has spent his career engaging students as well as fellow educators.

As the producer of HipHughes History, he was recognized in 2012 by YouTube and Khan Academy with a YouTube Edu Guru Award. Keith has also appeared on the History Channel’s United Stuff of America and AHC’s America’s Most Badass.

Currently, Keith is employed as an Instruction Technology Coach by the Buffalo Public Schools and engages with other educators and schools across the world through professional development presentations.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)

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