Standing on the shoulders of giants

Much of my ‘free’ (ha!) time is currently being spent researching different approaches to using technology in the classroom.

It’s certainly encouraging to see how many equally technological challenged teachers are experimenting with many of the same techniques.

Now, the latest cool thing that I’ve come across is something mentioned on the blog of +Timonious Downing (a must read if you’re, like me, trying to leave your Luddite roots behind).

He is certainly no technophobe, as even the most casual of glances of his site will reveal! It’s pretty intimidating to look at some of the things being achieved in his lessons with technology, but one of the things he’s using struck me as something I could try …

Making an ed.ted video.

I’ve been sending links to youtube videos etc to classes for a bit – but I’m a little worried about how passive an activity that can be. So far, my process has been:

1) Here’s a link to a video.
2) Please watch it at home.
3) I’ll have follow up questions to a) check you bothered b) push the learning further.

This isn’t really inspiring me (or my classes!)

So, having read what was going on in Mr Downing’s classroom, I thought I’d sign up at

Once you do this, it takes you to a screen where you can create videos around Youtube videos.

I typed in the author of the text I was teaching at the moment – Evelyn Waugh’s ‘A Handful of Dust’

 And then reviewed the videos that came up that were currently on Youtube – there were quite a few!

 Now, this was where, for me, it became quite cool.

I had recently put together a revision video on the death of one of the characters in the novel where I explained all the various issues and highlighted some key quotations.

So, I uploaded that video to Youtube and made use of that one for my ‘flipped’ lesson.

Once you select the video, you are then given lots of things that you can do with it.

You can ask multiple choice question on the video, you can ask more open ended questions, and you can provide materials that the pupils need to consider for the next lesson.

For me, this is a far more interactive way to use a video – below is the link for my ‘A Handful of Dust’ lesson

Let me know what you think!


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