Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Upload videos directly into PlayPosit

Any mp4 video you own can be turned into an interactive video lesson with our new uploader. No need to upload your video to a third-party host before bringing it into PlayPosit.   

Simply hit "Design video bulb" and choose the mp4 uploader option. More detailed instructions here

Friday, January 27, 2017

Create rich discussions with PlayPosit

The discussion element is a great way for viewers to interact with each other about what's happening in a video. 

Instructors prompt students to share their thoughts and learn from each other's opinions. Students further observe how thoughts change because each comment is linked to a moment in the video, while instructors collect information about which parts of the lesson are most engaging.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The new PlayPosit builder is here!

Add multiple videos into each bulb, chain questions together, customize student playback with advanced options, add in discussions, and much more

Create richer, more engaging videos with the new PlayPosit builder

Login and try

Overviews and walkthroughs to get you started designing

Video overview of new builder

This quick, < 2 minute, YouTube walks you through the new feature sets introduced with the updated builder

Tutorial: combine multiple video clips into a bulb

Add multiple interactive videos as a playlist within a single bulb. Videos can be from any video source and as short or long as you desire. 

Tutorial: branch answer choices with next steps

Branch answer choices with the appropriate video segment to remediate misconceptions or challenge with advanced content. 

Tutorial: chain questions together at the same video timestamp

Insert a problem set for students to engage with as the video progresses. Questions can be placed at any moment, including the very beginning or end of a video segment. 

FAQ and all tutorials for new builder

This section includes all the tutorials you will need to master the PlayPosit builder. In addition to the tutorials above, a few guides include how to crop videos, customize playback options, create a discussion forum, and change question types. 

Facebook Twitter
You’ve received this email because you subscribed to our newsletter or created an account within PlayPosit. Highest of fives! You can unsubscribe in one click, here

Monday, September 5, 2016

Teacher Story - Using PlayPosit to Get Students Involved

written by Rachelle Dene Poth (@Rdene915)
Over the past few years, I have looked for new, innovative ways for integrating technology into my classroom. I started by focusing on areas that I thought could improve the learning experiences and opportunities for my students.  We took small steps together, slowly adding new tools. We started with a messaging app and an LMS to open up communication and bridge the “disconnect” that I felt was occurring.  We then tried different assessment and presentation tools, to have more personalized learning and for students to have choices. There were two critical components of this process: identifying an area of need and including the students in the decisions.  Before trying anything new, I want to know that the students have an interest, that they understand why I would like to try the new method or tool, and that their feedback is valued and critical for our classroom.

There is always a risk in trying something new. Teachers take a risk by trying something different and new that perhaps is way off from the traditional practice of their classroom and perhaps that takes them out of their comfort zone.  And sometimes it is a slight change in the way they deliver instruction. The students take a risk because they are the ones that will be the most impacted by the integration of some new technology.  They too will be stepping outside of their comfort zone and also trusting the teacher to make choices which will help them to reach their potential.

Getting started: Making changes
So it comes down to a few changes.  First, a change in thinking about what is best for the classroom. Traditionally, teachers made the decisions and rarely asked the students for input. So the first change is there has to be a willingness to step away from the traditional way class has been run, and taking a step toward something different, that may also be challenging.  Regardless, these are the changes, the risks, that will ultimately lead to many benefits for students and teachers in and outside of the classroom.

The benefits of using PlayPosit for interactive lessons
The reason I decided to learn about and use PlayPosit was that I wanted to branch out and try some new things, take some risks, and provide new, more engaging lessons for my students. I wanted more ways to assess the students, to have accountability, but most importantly, to provide more engaging ways for them to learn the material.  And to be able to provide feedback quickly, when they needed it the most.

When trying something new in my classroom, I explain to the students how we are going to use the tool and that I want to know what their thoughts are. Did they like it? Did they have any problems accessing it? Did it enhance their learning or did it take away from something that would have been more beneficial? In other words,  could it have been considered a total waste of valuable learning time.

Educanon (PlayPosit)
Earlier this past school year, I decided to try Educanon (now PlayPosit). I have wanted to try it for a while, and since it integrates with Edmodo as well as many other LMS(Learning Management Systems), I definitely wanted to try it with a group of my students.  Over the past few years, I have been using some tools to flip my classroom and provide more blended learning experiences.  In doing this, I also wanted a way to make them accountable for the activities that I was having them do outside of class. Without tools like PlayPosit, it can be difficult, aside from actually giving students a test or other assessment, to have proof that they watched a video. So using PlayPosit and having the students enroll in yet another account, was a risk for me. But because PlayPosit is integrated with many different Learning Management Systems, its integration into the classroom is much easier.

Getting started: How does it work?

It is easy to get students enrolled in the class.  You can upload a student roster, have students create an account on PlayPosit, or import your students directly from your LMS. The next step is finding or creating a  “bulb” which is a lesson.  There are over 300,000 bulbs available for use, but it is very user friendly to create your own “bulb”.  You need to select “Design” a lesson and then you can select your video from YouTube, Vimeo, SchoolTube, Shmoop, TeacherTube, and Google Drive, and simply paste the URL into your lesson.  You then can choose from 7 types of interactive questions, discussion, add audio, images, equations and more for your lesson, even explanations and descriptions. The setup is quite similar to the editor in Microsoft Word, and so adding text and symbols is easy. Once you are finished creating your lesson with the activities, assign the lesson, set the due date and the students can begin.  

Monitoring Student Progress
There are many ways to track student progress through the use of PlayPosit by selecting the “Monitor” tab. Teachers have a variety of options for viewing the analytics to see how the students are progressing based on class breakdown or individual student progress. The monitor options enable you to view their answer selections, see if questions were skipped or that students found confusing, and look for trends across the class. Teachers can click on each individual question as well, to see the analytics for each student’s response. The color scheme makes it easy to determine any areas needing some remediation and show trends in the responses, all valuable for the teacher and the students for moving forward.  Other features include the live chat, exporting individual reports and many other capabilities for working to personalize the instruction for students and also to reflect on our practice as the teacher.
Ideas for classroom use
If you are looking for ways to involve students more, you can complete a lesson in class or assign it to provide a flipped learning experience. It provides great data analytics, including average view time, answers, time stamps, any forwarding of the video by the students and more.  If you have any questions, the team at PlayPosit has been great with providing resources and feedback on how to use the tools in the platform and I have enjoyed conversations with them about the uses of PlayPosit for education or any industry. My students have created presentations using tools like this, and I believe it really helps them to learn the material, they can personalize it, it is interactive, they build on their technology skills, and they can see what it is like to be the teacher, to have the power to drive their learning in the classroom.  Feeling valued and having input into the classroom, engages students more and enhances the learning opportunities for all.  As the teacher, I take part in their lesson and enjoy learning from them as well.

What do I recommend?
The nice thing about PlayPosit is that there are so many premade “bulbs” or public lessons already available.  So if you don’t have a lot of time right now to build your own, but want to get started using it, take a look at what is already made and try it in your classroom.  Talk to your students and see how they like it and how it impacts your learning environment.  There is nothing wrong with trying it out and seeing what others have done.  Sharing leads to new ideas and it is all part of the growth process.  The important thing is to just start somewhere, start small, and work your way up.  It may go really well and it may not go as hoped, but it was an opportunity to learn, expand skills and involve students in the process.

Friday, August 26, 2016

PlayPosit and iOS - exciting things coming!

Apple is evolving their approach to mobile video. This means exciting changes to the experience for your students and learners that rely upon iPhones for their video delivery. With the new release of iOS 10 this September, Apple will be allowing inline video delivery on their mobile devices. 

This means the interactivity of PlayPosit will be available to your students with no installation of an iOS app. The PlayPosit team is staying on top of these updates and can't wait to improve your interactive mobile video experience.

We cannot wait for the launch!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Zaption Workday Acquisition - The PlayPosit Guide for Institutions and Districts

Update September 6: We've finished development of our migration/import tool. If you'd like to transition your content to PlayPosit, we are migrating tours for PlayPosit premium users. Please email integrations@playposit.com with your Zaption standalone files to begin the process.

We have created a helpful table to show you what features of Zaption are imported into PlayPosit. We are aiming to support most features near-immediately through the migration tool and our upgraded Student Viewer/Playerlist. You can view the table here

Zaption recently announced that they were eliminating their stand-alone offering and will be incorporating their interactive video feature set into Workday's finance and human relations software. As a result, Zaption intends to shut down their services by September 30. 

Our goal at PlayPosit is to make your transition as easy as possible. We are passionate about the use of interactive video in education and our love for educators runs deep. We know you have a lot of questions about what these changes mean for your classroom, so we've put together this Zaption migration guide to help explain how quick and painless migrating to PlayPosit can be. 

Zaption Alternatives

  • Pricing. PlayPosit will honor Zaption's pricing for any current school or institution customer that switches to PlayPosit.* Our plan offers LTI integrations with your Learning Management System, professional development delivery, on-going trainings, white-label branding, video host integrations, and much more.  Interested in more details? Reach out to integrations@playposit.com or 443-821-7776 and we would be happy to get you running for the Fall. 
  • Migration help. We know how much time you've devoted to creating interactive video lessons -- we don't want that valuable time to go to waste. If you need help migrating your Zaption tours into PlayPosit bulbs, we are happy to facilitate your district or institution. If after migration, you find any issues we recommend referring to this article.  
  • Amazing support. Whether you’re new to online video or have been flipping your classroom for years, we’re here for you. We've got a fully searchable knowledge base, live chat with our former-teacher support team, and an always on-call customer support line - 484 483 6449. 
  • Commitment. We started PlayPosit in our classrooms with our students. Now we are used by over 1 million educators and students for their interactive video coursework. We can't emphasize this enough: we love educators. We are committed to continually providing the most stable and powerful video learning experiences. 

At PlayPosit, we are here to help you and your students - now, and in the future. If you have any questions, please reach out to integrations@playposit.com. Or, if you are new to PlayPosit, we recommend trying it for free

Check out PlayPosit at https://www.playposit.com

*In order for us to match the Zaption price, please send us your 2016 Zaption quote. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Teachers Turn Pop Culture Into Engaging Online Learning Videos

As I browse through the video lessons in the PlayPosit database, I am continuously impressed by the creative ways teachers transform traditionally non-educational videos into engaging learning experiences. For me it would be hard to envision the educational value in a Katy Perry music video or a clip from a recent Simpsons Halloween special. But, of course, I should never underestimate the creativity and tech-savviness of the teacher community!
Among the most interesting video lessons like this I've stumbled upon are those centered around figurative language. I believe that is because English teachers recognize the prevalence of similies, metaphors, personification, and so on throughout popular culture—recognitions that an average person will miss. So what are some ways teachers have taught these literary devices using music videos and television? In this post, we'll dive into specific video examples with embedded questions. 
Also, for creative uses of TED Talk videos in the classroom, I recommend our recent post, Six Ways to Use TED Talks Effectively in Your Classroom.
1. Let Michael Jackson Teach the Lesson
Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but Michael Jackson's Thriller is filled with literary devices that are easy to miss the first time through. While official music videos made by the artist are certainly engaging, a video with the lyrics as the focus (as in this lesson) highlights the figurative language of the song. You will also notice that the embedded pauses help focus the student's attention on the significance of certain lyrics.
2. Use a Mashup of Songs, Songs from TV, and Movies
Why settle for one song or television clip, when pop culture is filled with thousands of examples? In this video lesson, students are tested on whether they can recognize the literary device in clips from Step Brothers (a Will Ferrell film), The Goonies, Katy Perry videos, and much more. Moreover, the quick change from one clip to the next increases student engagement and makes the student feel like a gameshow participant. 
3. Use Songs Written about Figurative Language
While figurative language is a challenging concept for many students, a number of YouTube stars have created great music videos to make the concept approachable and fun. This video lesson is built from aFlocabulary rap.
 4. Use a Clip From a Popular Show, Like The Simpsons
I love this lesson (and not just because I'm a huge Simpsons fan). In this "Treehouse of Horrors" clip, the narrator recites Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven while characters from the show act out the poem. The cartoon is entertaining and embedded questions teach basic figurative language concepts. For example: "Poe uses napping, tapping and rapping in the poem—these words can be considered as two types of literary devices—what are they?" 
There are plenty more examples like these out there, so take a look.

Developing a Video Solution for Low-Bandwidth Classrooms

The Challenge
Most classrooms in the United States are Internet enabled. At first glance, that number seems hugely impressive. It suggests that the vast majority of students have access to broadband capabilities. The challenge is that while most classes are Internet enabled, less than half are actually Internet capable. In a speech at Mooresville Middle School in North Carolina, President Barack Obama noted that “The average American school has about the same bandwidth as the average American home, even though obviously there are 200 times as many people at school as there are at home.” 
The goal of Obama’s ConnectED initiative is to equip every school in the country with high-speed broadband by 2018 at speeds greater than 100 Mbps. Given the current rate of implementation, however, that timeframe looks to be delayed. Most estimates show full school Internet capability as not feasible until at least 2021. That leaves us with at least five more years of classrooms with insufficient broadband.
Beyond internet capability, not every student has access to a laptop or tablet necessary for most ed-tech tools. This digital divide is especially stark between low-income and affluent students. 
Trouble Shooting
Since PlayPosit is a platform used to deliver interactive video lessons, low bandwidth is a common challenge for us. Typically, each student opens up a video lesson from their own device, but that means there may be more than 30 videos simultaneously streaming on a network that might only be able to handle a few.

We want students to be able to watch video lessons together as a class, regardless of device, firewalls, and bandwidth. In order to accomplish this we needed to re-think our standard solution. 
Rather than relying on each device streaming videos simultaneously we decided to put the teacher in control of the video delivery experience. With our new tool, called Broadcast, teachers stream a single video to their class and when the teacher’s video reaches the moment a question has been embedded, students respond together. The question pops up on whatever device the student has available&mdash;phone, tablet, laptop&mdash;and is viewed effectively, since it is only the single teacher’s video putting strain on class bandwidth.

As a start-up, you launch a product to tackle a pain point that you know exists within your industry. In your journey to solve that pain point, you realize the magnitude of other challenges preventing the effective use of your product. It is your job to continually adapt to the landscape and find the best way to make life easier for your end user. In our case, that’s teachers. 

Winners of the Challenge Cup Education and Milken Penn GSE Competition

*note this is a repost from 2013
PlayPosit honored with recognition and funding from both 1776 Challenge Cup and Milken penn GSE competition. The D.C. based 1776 rewarded PlayPosit with $100K in investment for taking first prize in the education category. The very same week, the team travelled to Philadelphia for the Milken Penn GSE competition where they won the McGraw Hill Open Ed award and earned a $15,000 grant.
As the 1776 website describes, the competition aims to "identify the most promising start ups in the world tackling the biggest challenges" in the health, education, energy, and smart cities categories. Last week, the winners from cities all over the world convened in Washington D.C. to compete in the national and international finals for their respective categories. After winning the domestic category (and being guaranteed a 50K investment), PlayPosit went head to head against the Iraeli based Lingua.ly - an impressive language learning application with 130000 downloads in its first month - and won.
Within the same week, PlayPosit competed in the Milken-Penn GSE Business Plan Competition for funding from seven different prizes. Among which, the McGraw-Hill education prize is given to the company that best leverages open source content for the experience of learning. eduCanon was awarded this prize for its ability to support the growth of educators and students using OER.
It was a big week for the PlayPosit team. Co-founder, Swaroop Raju, noted that these investments “will help PlayPosit expand its team, accelerate the company’s growth, and establish itself as the leader in the interactive video space”.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Choosing the Perfect PlayPosit Package for you

PlayPosit offers three basic editions to choose from. Find below details on the package that best fits your classroom and school needs.

PlayPosit Basic

This package is perfect to get a taste of the full power of PlayPosit. Create as many video bulbs (our term for videos with embedded questions) as you'd like and deliver to unlimited students. Seamlessly incorporate multiple choice, free response, and reflective pause questions into the online video of your choosing. Receive basic analytics on who watched your video and which concepts challenged your students.

PlayPosit Master Teacher Package

Engage Deeply

Embed higher order and advanced interactions into your video instruction.
  • Advanced cropping: Video contains extraneous or inappropriate content? Remove any portion of a video with the 'skip segment' question type.
  • Student Created Bulbs: Stimulate your students' highest Bloom's by having them act as the instructor and create their own PlayPosit bulbs!
  • Autograded short answers: Students type in their response to your question and their responses are automatically graded
  • Third-party websites: At the moment in time you designate, have students interact with a third-party website (article, game, etc.). We feed you analytics on how long the student spends on your activity.
  • Check all that apply: Allow the learner to select more than one response as correct from a list of answers

Save Time

No need to reinvent the wheel with access to our database of 300,000+ teacher-created bulbs. Our advanced algorithm prioritizes the best videos with embedded questions, making it dead simple to plug and play a bulb for your next learning objective.

As a member of our Master Teacher package you get access to a live chat with a pedagogy expert from our support team. Need a walkthrough of the platform? Need help finding the perfect bulb for your students? We can help with that.

All of the bulb questions you embed are available as PDF worksheets that your students can print or interact with offline. All student scores are also downloadable as an excel spreadsheet for easy integration with your current gradebook system.

School + District Editions
The PlayPosit School and District editions are specifically tailored for educational institutions and school leaders. On top of all the features within the Master Teacher package, school leaders are given access to an Admin dashboard to monitor and track teacher usage. More than that, with the school package, it is easy to deliver professional development to teachers within your school. Read a case study within Education Week on flipping professional development with PlayPosit.  
For our school partners we offer integrations with your school's Learning Management System (Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, etc.). No need for teachers and students to create new accounts for PlayPosit - we'll automatically pull in login information from the system you have in place. Gradebook integration sends PlayPosit student data directly into your LMS gradebook.
The School & District Editions include a dedicated pedagogy specialist to ensure that your teachers are equipped with the background and tools to fully utilize the power of PlayPosit. Ongoing support webinars keep your instructors updated with the latest and greatest strategies for flipped and blended instruction.

Reach out to integrations@playposit.com, if you have any questions about the PlayPosit school edition. We love to chat!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

How to Flip your Professional Development

A few years ago, flipped instruction, was a concept touted by only the most adventurous of educators.  Now, however, the movement has taken off from being a rare practice to an integral part of thousands of classrooms all over the world. According to research from online course provider Sophia Learning and the Flipped Learning Network, the number of teachers who have flipped a lesson has grown from 48 percent in 2012 to 78 percent in 2015. Moreover, google trend reports (see graph below) analyzing the quantity of searches for the term ‘flipped classroom’ point out that interest in this movement has grown by magnitudes within the last five years. Also within the graph below you’ll notice a relatively constant quantity of search for the term since 2013, counteracting the common criticism that the flipped classroom is a fad destined to fade away.

Along with this rapid growth of adapting flipped methodologies with classroom students, flipped instruction has recently become a mainstay for instructional leaders to provide differentiated learning pathways for educators at their school. Use cases vary among strategies to administer state testing, manage classroom behavior, incorporate the newest learning management system, and much more. 

Flipped Professional Development at Hudson Middle 

I chatted with Misty Mitchell, Media Specialist/Educational Technology Specialist on the Middle School Campus of Hudson ISD, to learn more about why and how they are flipping professional development. 

As Misty points out, before flipping, professional development simply did not effectively connect with teachers. During their conference period, teachers were required to come in and sit for an hour, passively listening to the instructor go through a powerpoint presentation. As Misty points out "If you are only using lecture style teaching, it doesn’t matter whether you are teaching students or the most experienced teachers, it is simply not effective”. During traditional lecture style professional development, attendees do not listen, they lose focus, and in many cases get angry because an hour of their time is wasted. More than that, the PD instructor has no way to track who understands their content and consequently they have no way to fine tune their presentation to the needs of their audience. 

Cristina Peterson
Realizing the inefficiencies with the traditional professional development model, Cristina Peterson, the counselor who oversees the administration of state tests at Hudson Middle, decided to flip her professional development. The transition to flipping was simple. She took the same professional development lecture she was delivering live except now she ran a screen recording application (like Screencast-o-matic) in the background while talking through her powerpoint slides. In order to incorporate accountability and receive data on the understanding of concepts, she embedded questions into the recording using PlayPosit. The end result is an accountable video lesson demonstrating to instructors what is required for the state test’s writing samples:

Following the at-home video lecture, teachers come in for a live hands-on session with their teacher trainer, Cristina. Since Cristina already has data from PlayPosit on viewing behavior and which concepts were the most challenging, the live sessions are seriously condensed with a focus on only the training that needs to happen. Teachers appreciate the time saved and are generally more engaged during the live sessions as a result of the personalized instruction. Furthermore, for the teachers with no experience with flipping, this is a great introduction to the practice. After experiencing the benefits of flipping (more hands-on time with the instructor, deeper conversations, more critical thinking, etc.) first-hand, they are ready to introduce the methodology into their own classroom. 

At schools like Hudson Middle, flipping has evolved from a strategy to more deeply engage students, to a strategy adopted by nearly all stakeholders within the school. Are you at a school flipping professional development or in the process of considering the practice? If so, we’d love to learn more about your school and use case! Shoot me email at swaroop@playposit.com

Thursday, February 18, 2016

PlayPosit Bookmarklet!


build with PlayPosit!
The PlayPosit bookmarklet empowers you to add questions into nearly any video you find online with the click of a button. 
Adding, the bookmarklet is as easy as dragging the icon above to your bookmarks bar. If you are having trouble with adding the bookmarklet to your browser, I recommend the tutorial that the folks at marklets made.
Now that you've added the bookmarklet, you add questions into the video by simply clicking the "Build with PlayPosit' bookmarklet you should see in your browser. For a list of video sources we recommend, check out the video sources we love. *
*by using the bookmarklet on a video you acknowledge that you have the rights to use the original video in your class

Monday, February 15, 2016

We have a new name!

eduCanon is now PlayPosit
Same product. Same team. Same awesome experience.
As we grow, we wanted a name that grows with us. Over the years we've evolved from just a canon of video lessons to a whole, new interactive medium - a dynamic environment for instructors to play engaging videos and posit accountable questions.

With this name evolution, all of your bulbs, class groupings, and student data remain intact. We will continue to do what we can to help you blend and flip your classroom. In fact, find below some of the awesome new features we're releasing with the name change.

The Latest and Greatest

1. Video Channels - Curated Lists of Quality Videos to use in your Class

Video channels are a great way to find raw, engaging videos to build a playposit bulb from. More than that, they give you an easy venue to see what other educators have done with a video that interests you.

See this video for a full walkthrough of Video Channels:


2. Quicker Access to Bulb Student Data 
Now with just two clicks you can access all student data for a given bulb. Simply navigate to your bulbs tab and click the triple dots to pull up the Monitor data for your video lesson.

3. Deeper Integrations
No matter the Learning Management System your school is using, we have an integration in place. For teachers and students at schools that partner with playposit, we will integrate their existing LMS login credentials - no new logins to manage. More than that, we even offer gradebook integrations to pass your playposit student scores back to your existing gradebook. To learn more about our powerful integrations, reach out to partnerships@playposit.com.