Use EDPuzzle to Make YouTube a Powerful Educational Tool


YouTube, the second largest search engine, is a transcendent resource for educators.  TEDEd is a great tool for engaging and assessing students after they watch YouTube videos. There is another great resource for ensuring students are getting it as they watch. This tool gives teachers the ability to add explanations during videos while individual students watch at their own pace. This free tool, EDpuzzle, is a great way to enrich video instruction.


To get started, go to EDpuzzle. Create a free teacher account:

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Use your school account to sign up. Edpuzzle has a “sign in with Google” feature that is great for GAFE schools. Students also have to set up accounts to log-in. This means teachers can easily keep track of assessment data.

Create classes and enroll students by sharing a unique class code, just like Google Classroom:

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Creating Lessons

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This brings the teacher to “My Content” where lessons are stored:

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To make a lesson with a YouTube video:

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An editor opens that looks like this:

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Teachers can add short-answer and multiple choice questions. To add a multiple choice question:

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Another good option for teachers is audio notes:

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EdPuzzle gives teachers the option to delete and re-record audio notes to get them just right. Teachers can also add a separate audio track:

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One Extra Benefit of EdPuzzle

EdPuzzle just added a “Share to Google Classroom” button:

EdPuzzle Share to Google Classroom for Blog Post

In Conclusion

YouTube is a great resource for teachers. However, it has nothing to ensure students are learning and engaged while watching. EdPuzzle changes that. Use it to make YouTube a powerful tool for your students. This is the EdPuzzle lesson I made in this post. If you have any questions about it, please comment below or tweet me at @edtechtom. The video is The Forgotten War Hero – Milunka Savic by The Great War. It is well worth watching:




4 EdTech Tips and Tools to Revamp Multiple Choice Assessments


Check out my latest post on the Imagine Easy blog where I write about using educational technology to improve multiple choice testing for students. Please enjoy 4 EdTech Tips and Tools to Revamp Multiple Choice Assessments. If you want to discuss these tools, please comment below or tweet me at @edtechtom.

Back to School Night Pro Tip: Use Google Forms to Make Parent Contact Lists in Gmail

Do you want to e-mail all parents for your class without entering twenty-five e-mail addresses into Gmail? Would you like parent e-mail addresses to populate in Gmail so you don’t have to remember them?

Thanks to a great idea Damien Akelman showed me at Mooresville Summer Connection, you can have parents answer a quick form and accomplish both these goals. Damien’s idea was to have parents input their information themselves into a Google Form.

This is perfect for Back to School night. Have parents use their phones, classroom devices or simply have them meet in a computer lab. Share the form using a URL shortener such as or

Your form should have four simple questions. Word the questions exactly as you see here:

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This is what parents will see:

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When you have collected your responses, go back to editing your form:

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This creates a Google Sheet with your responses. In that Google Sheet:

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You now need to open the CSV and briefly edit it. This means uploading it back to Google Drive if you are using a Chromebook. It’s a small inconvenience. If you are using a computer with Excel, simply use that to edit the CSV. This is the only edit you have to make:

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Save your file. If working on it in Google Sheets, you will need to download it as a CSV again. The key is that you have to wind up with a CSV file on your hard drive. The file should look like this when you open it:

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Now go to Gmail.

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This will open a new window with your Google Contacts.

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You will receive the prompt below. Choose the CSV file you downloaded.

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You will see the contacts you just imported on the side of the screen. They will be named “Imported Today’s Date (#of contacts).”

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This is what you see after you click on the group:

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This is what you see when you click on a single contact:

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Now you can e-mail a parent by simply typing their name in the Gmail “to” field:

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You can also e-mail the whole contact list by typing the name you gave it in the Gmail “to” field:

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Thanks for reading. I hope this tutorial was helpful for you. Please let me know if you have any questions by commenting below or tweeting at me at @edtechtom.

GAFE-friendly Tools to Teach Evidence-based Writing



I am honored to once again be published on ImagineEasy’s blog. This time I write about how educational technology improves writing and research. Please enjoy GAFE-friendly Tools to Teach Evidence-based Writing. If you want to discuss these tools, please comment below or tweet me at @edtechtom.

Ten Things You Can Do This Summer To Prepare For Teaching In A 1:1 Classroom With Chromebooks

Has your district told you your students will bring Chromebooks with them to class in the fall? Are you eager to integrate this technology into instruction but unsure how? Here are ten things you can do this summer to hit the ground running in the fall, brought to you by a teacher who has been in your shoes.

1. Ask your administration for a Chromebook to use this summer.

You want to know the Chromebook user experience before school starts. What better way to learn than by doing? This teacher loves Chromebooks in the classroom for many reasons. You will too, especially if you understand the platform your students use. See if your administrators are willing to loan you the same model students will use in the fall. Use it for everything this summer and you will be prepared.

2. Become a Google Educator.

If you want to successfully use Google Apps for Education (GAFE) in classroom instruction, you need to be proficient in them. Go through Google for Education’s process to earn Google Educator certification. The process involves online modules and five $15 (as of Summer 2014) tests. Author’s Note (6/28/15): This process has just changed. Please have a look at Google’s new options and see what works for you. Going through the modules will make you more than proficient in Google Apps. Taking and passing the exams will earn you a Google Educator certificate, a nice asset for your CV.

 3. Upload your files to Google Drive.

This is essential for you to work with your students in a 1:1 classroom. After the Google Educator modules, you should be able to easily upload folders to Google Drive. Or, you can watch this video about doing it with a Windows computer:

Or this one about doing it with a Mac:


4. Get to know Google Classroom.

First, watch this video introducing Google Classroom. Imagine the possibilities. Get excited!

Then, read up about Google Classroom and how to use it to do transformative things such as seamlessly include absent and home-bound students in your class.

5. Learn from the experts.

There is so much great content about integrating technology into the classroom. It can be overwhelming. Start small by following these eight experts on Twitter and reading their blogs regularly. If starting a Twitter account seems overwhelming, read Alice Keeler’s blog post about signing up for Twitter. Here are my favorite education technology experts. Their names hyperlink to their blogs.

6. Digitize your print documents.

Do this during the summer to save time during the school year. Once a print document is digitized, it can be altered and, hence, improved.

7. Convert your multiple choice assessments to paperless Google Forms your students can answer on their Chromebooks.

My visual tutorial will guide you through this process. Doing this during the summer will save you untold time at the photocopier and ScanTron machine during the school year. If you are curious about grading, read my grading tutorial, but it will not be necessary until you give your first multiple choice assessment.

8. Use TEDEd to change the way video is used in instruction.

Rather than have the whole class watch a projected video, you can add short-answer and multiple choice assessment questions, discussion prompts and links to further resources to any YouTube video. Make a list of your favorite YouTube videos used in instruction, and make them into powerful instructional tools with YouTube this summer. Students can work with videos at their own pace on their Chromebooks and you can use TEDEd’s tools to assess understanding.

9. Use PDFSplit to break up large curricular PDFs into smaller documents.

Instead of printing the pages of the PDF you want your students to read and scanning them, use PDFSplit to make original quality PDFs of the exact pages you want students to read. PDFSplit connects to your Google Drive to access your PDF. It makes a new file with only the pages you specify. Students then read beautiful PDFs on their Chromebooks, not scans of photocopies.

10. Join Google Plus education technology communities.

This will serve as another great source for education technology information. Just like with education technology experts on Twitter, start small. Here are four great communities to join:

Teaching in a 1:1 classroom with Chromebooks reignited my passion for education. I hope it does for you too! If you would like to talk more about successful technology integration in the 1:1 classroom, please comment below or send me a tweet at @edtechtom.

Google Classroom Experts Name My Absent Student Strategy a Best Practice

I am honored Google Classroom Experts named my strategy for including absent students a best practice:

#005 - GC Best Practices #2

Google Classroom Experts are posting a new best practice to their Google Plus page weekly. To read more about how I use Google Classroom to fully include absent and home-bound students, please have a look at my blog post about it.

If you would like to discuss ideas for using Google Classroom to include absent students, please comment below or send me a tweet.

Make Paperless Assessment with Google Forms – Part 2 of 2: Grading with Flubaroo

In part 1 of this post, I showed you how to create a Google Form, import questions from a Google Doc or Word Doc and collect answers. Now it is time to grade your Google Form and give students quick, helpful feedback.

Start by going to the Google Form assessment you shared with your students:

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Then return to the Google Form’s answers spreadsheet:

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Now it is time to install the Flubaroo add-on for Google Sheets. This is what makes grading the Google Form so easy:

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Now that it is installed, use it to grade the answers by taking these steps:

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Flubaroo is very valuable to teachers. It highlights students who struggled and questions many students answered incorrectly. It has one other great feature: the ability to quickly give students detailed feedback. To e-mail students their results:

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Some teachers might not be comfortable e-mailing the answer key. I prefer total transparency when assessing students. The nice thing about Flubaroo is that it gives you options for how much you share with students.

If you would like to know more about creating assessments in Google Forms, take a loot at part 1 of this post. If you would like to ask me any questions about making paperless assessment in Google Forms, comment below or send me a Tweet at @tmullaney23.

Make Paperless Assessment with Google Forms – Part 1 of 2

Are you teaching in a school that recently went 1:1 or is about to go 1:1? Do you hate stacks of paper burying your desk after you give students a test? Do you want students to take tests on their devices? Do you hate it when your school’s photocopier jams? Do you want to reduce cheating on assessments?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, read on. This is a visual tutorial for making an assessment with Google Forms. By the end of this post, you should be able to create an assessment and add questions from assessments you have in Microsoft Word and Google Doc formats. In part 2, I show you how to automatically grade paperless assessments in Google Forms.

To get started creating a Google Form, go to the Google Drive folder where you want to store the form and:

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Checking “Shuffle question order” means the questions will appear in a different order for each student taking the test. This makes cheating during the test very difficult.

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My students use HP Chromebooks. The touchpads are sensitive. This causes students to accidentally submit forms before they have answered all questions. Making each question required prevents forms from being submitted until all questions have been answered.

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Now that you have started entering questions into your form, here’s a suggestion: get rid of all numbers for the questions and letters for the answer choices. Those are relics of the Scantron era. In part 2, I will show you how to automatically grade your assessment. You won’t need numbers or letters. The absence of letters and numbers makes cheating harder. Additionally, to tell another student an answer, a cheater would have to state the question and the answer. Instead of saying “2 is b,” a cheating student is re-teaching content!

Once you have entered your questions, get your form ready for students’ eyes:

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Your form will open in a new tab.

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After students have taken the assessment:

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The answers, on a Google Sheet, appear in a new tab:

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This is where I will end this post. Now you should be able to create a form and view answers. In the second post, I demonstrate how to use Flubaroo to easily grade the assessment and give students fast feedback. If you have any questions about Google Forms for assessment, please comment below or send me a tweet at @tmullaney23.

Making Lesson Recap Videos with Screencastify

Making video recaps of my lessons has revolutionized my teaching. I am so grateful to Chris Aviles for suggesting it at EdCamp New Jersey. A parent told me she wishes every teacher made video recaps. A learning support teacher uses them to help my students study in her instructional support classes. Students who need multiple opportunities to learn and absent students benefit the most from video lesson recaps.

I have documented how I use SnagIt to make recaps on my Chromebook. SnagIt met my needs until it had a problem with static in March 2015. I researched and found that Screencastify does essentially the same thing. Screencastify is an extension for the Google Chrome browser so it works an any computer with the browser.

Watch this video where I discuss how I use Screencastify:

After installing the extension…

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Before starting the recording be sure “Desktop” is selected and “Embed webcam” is not.

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“Desktop” makes sure Screencastify captures the entire screen. “Embed wecam” puts a small webcam in the lower right corner of the screen when you screencast. I prefer to open the computer’s webcam and size the window to my liking.

When you stop recording, Screencastify puts the video file in a Google Drive folder.

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Overall, I have been thrilled with Screencastify. Its file sizes are roughly 10-20MB per minute. That is much lower than SnagIt-made video files. This saves me time when uploading videos to YouTube. If you do not want to be on YouTube, share the video in Google Drive with your students. The small file sizes mean less bandwith used when multiple students view it in your classroom.

Video lesson recaps have tremendously benefited my students. I am happy to share this strategy far and wide. Please be in touch if you want to discuss further!