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Why you need to try Educanon!

Posted by bdp6740@gmail.com on May 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Those of you that are frequent visitors of this site know that for some time now I've been an outspoken proponent of the Flipped Classroom model of instruction and Mastery Learning.  While both of these methods are not for everyone, I highly recommend Educanon for you class flippers out there.  Educanon provides the best of both worlds; you can upload virtually any video to Educanon and create prompts and or questions for students to answer while they watch.  By doing this the teacher can then view the students progress, level of understanding, and reteach/redirect areas of concern.  You can either make your own videos, demos, or snag one from YouTube, Khan Academy, or anywhere else.


One of the best features of Educanon is cost, it is free!  There is a paid version of Educanon that allows you to search content that others have made, but for a teacher that wants to get started flipping, a free account will do.  Another nice feature is the single sign in.  If your school uses Google or Edmodo students can sign in with an existing account.  Anytime students don't have to remember an additional username and password is good.  Once students sign in they can search for your class by name or you by teacher and add you to their account.  In this way, multiple teachers can used Educanon and the students add classes to their account, the teacher does not have to add students.  Educanon also works on various platforms (desktop, PC, Mac, tablet,  and phone) which is ideal for a teacher wanting to implement the Flipped Classroom concept.  


There are a few things that Educanon could do better.  There are issues with certain browsers (Firefox) that won't let the video or questions appear.  I contacted the good folks at Educanon about this and they got back to me very quickly and explained how to work around this problem.  I've also witnessed some consistency issues as well.  For example, students having to add classes multiple times, questions not showing up, sudden video stopages, etc.  However, these problems have been relatively rare and we must understand that Educanon is still in the beta stage; expect growing pains.  


Quite simply, Educanon is one of the most revolutionary tools I've seen in a while.  Class notes have for the most part become a thing of the past in my Social Studies classes.  Using Educanon, students can either watch the videos at home or in class (or anywhere with wifi), answer the question prompts, and come to class the next day with any questions or concerns about what they've seen the day before.  This leaves more class time for discussion, hands on activities, or whatever you'd like to fit in but couldn't in an age of ever decreasing instructional time.  More importantly, students can go back and view the videos at their leasure.  I've been using it for a few months now and the vast majority of the students prefer taking notes this way.  It's short, they can pause it, check for understanding, and they can always go back and rewatch it later.  Better yet, I know who is "getting it" and who is not.  If you'd like to try but you're not sure where to start, just watch the video below.


 

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