Saturday, August 20, 2016

EDPuzzle and MovieTalk

The following is taken from my presentation "Technology in the Comprehensible Input Classroom," which I gave this summer at both the ACL Summer Institute and IFLT conference.

I love doing MovieTalk in my classes, and quite honestly, I do not know why it took me so long to implement this CI strategy (actually I do - read my recent blog post about Movie Talks). This past summer at IFLT, I got the chance to observe both Annabelle Allen facilitate a Movie Talk in Spanish, and Katya Paukova demonstrate one in Russian. As I know neither languages well, the Movie Talks kept me engaged in the language acquisition process. 

However, whenever I have done a Movie Talk, although I was able to use the movie itself as a pre-reading activity to teach vocabulary and language structures, I never really did anything with the movie afterwards or implemented any type of formative assessment with students to determine the Movie Talk's efficacy.  

During my graduate courses in Instructional Technology, I learned about EDPuzzle, an online tool which allows students to interact with videos as they view them (N.B. Zaption is no longer around but if you have already created lessons with Zaption, you can import them into EDPuzzle. Click here to find out how). While EDPuzzle is promoted as way to implement a flipped classroom, when I saw this tool, immediately I thought, "I could use this after a Movie Talk! I can actually pause the movie in the same exact places where I had paused during the Movie Talk and now see what students acquired (if anything) as a result."

Below is an example of an EdPuzzle formative assessment which I created for a Movie Talk demo this summer at the ACL Summer Institute and IFLT. Because it was a demo, this Movie Talk only used a 24-second clip, but the target Latin vocabulary words were avis (bird), currit (runs), and cibus (food). As stated earlier, the EDPuzzle video pauses in the same exact place where I had paused the movie during Movie Talk.

  1. In the beginning, it can take awhile to create your first EdPuzzle video, because there are lots of tools which you can implement - cropping of videos, add both written and audio questions, etc. Like any tool, though, the more one uses it, the easier and quicker it becomes to create an EDPuzzle activity. 
  2. Students like being asked a formative question in an EDPuzzle video at the very same place where you asked a circling question during Movie Talk, because it seems familiar for them. 
  3. BUT there is no need to pause and to ask EVERY single question from a Movie Talk in an EdPuzzle video. Just pick the highlights.
  4. You can either use EDPuzzle as an in-class activity or as a self-paced activity for students to do on their own. 
  5. If your school is a 1:1 school, then EDPuzzle is a great tool. As I teach at a BYOD school, when using EDPuzzle as an in-class activity, I will reserve a class set of laptops for students to use. Although students can do this activity on their smartphones or tablets, as we know, a disparity of technological capabilities exists among devices. I would prefer that all students have the same access for this activity, hence, in my opinion, the need for uniformity among devices. 
  6. Because it is a formative assessment, I am only interested in what students acquired/did not acquire from the Movie Talk, i.e. what words/structures do I still need to target more and to get in more meaningful repetitions? 
  7. In order to preserve the novelty, I do not implement EDPuzzle after every Movie Talk which I do, because I do not want students to resent a Movie Talk if they feel like they have to do some type of assessment afterwards.


  1. Keith have you posted anywhere an example of a movie you use with a script? I have found it helpful when you have done that with a story and accompanying activities that having seen how to do it I can then go do it myself more easily.

    1. Here's one which I did last week:

      Bob Patrick demonstrated this at NTPRS, so he and I used it for our Latin 1 classes last week.

  2. Can you share the link for the movie with the birds? It looks great.

    1. The link is - it is the trailer for Piper (so only 25 seconds). Piper was the Pixar short which was shown before Finding Dory this summer, so the full short will be released soon.