Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fixing the Flipped Classroom: @EDpuzzle

About a week and a half ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Quim (pronounced ‘kim’) SabriĆ”, one of the cofounders of EdPuzzle. His company is currently going through the startup accelerator ImagineK12, and he wanted to receive some additional feedback on his product.

I was actually really impressed with their work, because I think it solves a lot of the problems that are inherent with using videos in the classroom. Flipped classrooms too often end up a digitized version of the lecture-driven classroom model, and information delivery becomes impersonal and passive.

In fact, it was that frustration with flipped classrooms that drove Quim and his cofounders (Santi, Jordi and Xavi) to create EdPuzzle.

#1 - EdPuzzle makes video lectures personal.

Quim used to teach in Spain, and decided to flip his classroom for his students. After attempting to become the Spanish version of Sal Khan, he received some surprising feedback from other teachers. Although they thought his videos were useful, their students didn’t want to use them; they didn’t want to listen to Quim’s voice- they wanted to listen to their own teacher’s voice!

Because of that, EdPuzzle gives you the ability to remix current YouTube videos with your own voice, or insert audio notes.

I’m so impressed with this story, and not just because it influenced a fantastic product feature. Quim’s history shows that he isn’t afraid of failure and that he’s truly focused on building a product teachers will want to use.

#2 - EdPuzzle makes video lectures an interactive experience.

Quim mentioned that another reason teachers didn’t want to use his math videos was because students didn’t have the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback. If students were simply given a video, they would often skip ahead if they didn’t understand something (and have to go back the next day when they realized they missed a concept). Sometimes students didn’t even watch the videos at all!

EdPuzzle makes video delivery an interactive experience- teachers can build in questions for students to answer and can track the amount of times a student watched a section before getting the question correct.

This is probably my favorite part of EdPuzzle. One of my biggest frustrations I had with providing videos to my students was how passive the information delivery was. I need to know if my students received the information, if they understood it, and where I need to focus my instruction the following days!

There are a lot of other really useful features- like:

  • Video cropping (use only the parts that are useful)
  • Single sign-on (students can sign in with their Google password!)
  • Individual data tracking (accountability tracking for which students watched the videos)
  • Group analytics (how often the class repeated a certain section of the video)
  • Repository of lessons (find videos and quizzes created by other teachers and copy to modify your own version)
  • Multiple sources (use videos from YouTube, Khan Academy, LearnZillion, etc.)

I highly recommend checking out this product- it’s free for teachers and students, and will ease a lot of the frustrations that come with using videos in the classroom!

To get started, visit Sign up and play around- it’s fairly intuitive, and there are really only four steps: create a video, create a class, create an assignment, and watch the analytics!

Images from

1/23/2014 UPDATE: EdPuzzle just released a new product feature: the ability for teachers to assign students the task of creating their own videos. Very cool way to bring project-based learning into the product- nice work!

1 comment:

  1. A great alternative with more than 10K lessons and teachers is eduCanon. Provides timed rich-text questions, sharing/embed, and paced/pedagogically-founded student learning!