Zaption is a really cool website that allows you to create interactive videos out of anything off youtube and vimeo. I gave a presentation about this tool last week at MATCH (Music and Technology Conference of Houston) and will be repeating it next February at TMEA/TI:ME. Check out my presentation below.
Video is everywhere. It’s definitely everywhere for our students so why not embrace it. These are two of my absolutely favorite videos. Are they educational? Of course not but not everything in our lives revolves around whether or not it’s educational. Some things are just fun.
Did you know that Youtube is the #2 search engine behind Google? Or, that the top content categories on Youtube are music videos and “How To” videos? That right there should be a flashing beacon of why we should be using it…….our students already are! Our students have had video on since their birth. It is completely natural to have a screen going at all times. Plus, video is how we want to learn.
Our brains are hard-wired for video because movement grabs our attention while voices convey richer information than text alone. Now, don’t think I’m an anti-book girl because we all know that’s not true. I absolutely love to read but even I learn new tasks better if I can “see” it. Plus, video allows us to see faces which convey emotions that we want to share with others even if they are small and we don’t realize we’re picking up on them. How many times is an email misinterpreted because there isn’t tone or facial expressions to “read” as well as what’s spoken? Too many for this beacon of sarcasm and nonsense to count. Man, this post just got ironic.
Video is also a faster way to learn. 1 minute of video = 1.8 million words. What?! That blows my mind. Of course, it makes sense because that 1.8 million words aren’t actually words; they are the small, unspoken movements and expressions mentioned above.
Finally, with video, the learn is in control. Whether it is faster/slower, rewind, skip, review, listening/watching, the learner is in the driver’s seat and, really, isn’t that what we want?
Zaption brings in that interactive piece. Of course, it isn’t the only tool for doing something like this……but it’s the one we are going to talk about.
So, how do you get Zaption? Well, you can sign up here and get 60 days of the pro features for free. Don’t worry, after the 60 days, your account will go to a free account and you don’t have to do anything unless you want to pay for the continued prop account. No strings attached, I promise. The free features are pretty great (the pro features are obviously more involved) so you can get by with a free account and still do awesome things with it.
First, click on New Tour on your account home page.
Next, you have to find a video (or videos with a pro account) to create a tour with.
Zaption allows you to search from within the site to various video hosting websites including Youtube, Vimeo, and PBS.
After you’ve chosen a video to use, you can add interactive elements. With a free account, you can add up to six interactive elements per tour. With a pro account, it is unlimited.
The elements left to right are: text slide, image slide, drawing (teacher created), open response, number response, multiple choice, check boxes, drawn response (student draws instead of teacher), discussion, replay, and jump. Below, I’ll go through and show you each element.
This is where you can add extra details or reminders to your tour.
This is where you can add an image if the video references something you want to remind the students of. Obviously, the one below is just a place-holder.
This is where you can add a drawing for your students to see. For them to add their own drawing, see drawn response below.
I really like the open response questions because it allows the student to put the answer in their own words which can tell me so much more than answering a multiple choice question (though those have their place as well)
If you are doing a math flipped lesson (or anything where you need the children to be able to have numerical response), this is the place. It is a pro feature. All of the ones before this are free features.
Multiple Choice Questions
I don’t have to explain multiple choice. We all know what that means.
This is really handy in music because you can have the children draw notation or symbols. It is a pro feature.
This is super cool but I would only use it with older students. It timestamps the discussion so you can back and forth to see when students commented in the video. Plus, it adds a whole other layer to the interactivity features.
These last two are pro features.
The replay element allows you to choose a point in the video for the student to rewatch.
The Jump Element allows you to choose a point in the video to jump to any location within you tour.
All elements have their own settings menu but, generally, there are certain things that look similar. For each element you can set it’s position on the side or on top of the video. You can choose whether you want the video to pause at the element (like if the answer is going to come right after the question) OR to continue playing the video while the element is active. Finally, in the event that you choose to continue the video during the element, you can choose it’s duration.
For the individual tour, you can set an introductory text for the viewer to see before the tour starts. You can also choose whether or not to allow the viewer to skip forwards and backwards (full control), backwards only, or not at all. I would allow at least backwards so students can go back and hear something again. You can also choose whether or not students have to answer all questions or be allowed to skip.
After you’re done with your tour, you can PUBLISH it so others can see it. You can also add it to the Gallery so it is searchable by other Zaption users.
To share your tour with students, you have several options. To see those options, click the button that says Share.
You can share via the link (or create a QR code). You can share by entering names from a group you’ve created. Finally, you can embed the code for the tour onto any webpage that you have editing rights to. If you do the embed option, you can save yourself some hassle of having students typing in a random URL (because that in and of itself can take FOREVER).
Finally, one last feature of Zaption. The analytics!
Zaption allows you to see exactly what is going on with your viewers. Not only can you see data such as viewing time and skipping forward/backward. You can also see specific answers so, if students were to draw something, you have a record of that image. All multiple choice questions, open response, discussion, etc; everything is recorded so that you have that data on your students. You can also see specific viewers. If students have an account, they can sign in with their own unique username and password. If not, students can create a name to go by on the tour. If, for privacy reasons, students can not use names, you can use numbers, initials, or anything as long as you can interpret it (unless, of course, you want the data to be anonymous.)
Teaching is a goal-directed activity and a Zaption tour should be no different.
What do I want students to learn from this tour?
What is the objective of this tour.
Picking the right videos is crucial in creating an effective tour. Yes, it takes time but the effort will be worth it.
Use elements wisely so that the elements enhance the video without being distracting.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my presentation. If you made it this far, congrats on your stamina.