I recently stumbled upon an amazing website for using videos in class – EdPuzzle. I’ve seen other similar sites, but none of them were as intuitive to use and easy to assign (especially if you use Google Classroom).
The basic idea of the website is you can take (almost) any video on the internet and embed within the video questions or comments. It also allows a teacher to select only a specific part of a video, which is very helpful if you have a 15 minute video in which only 3 minutes is relevant.
I have used it a few times and have found that the students are really engaged in the material and it is a great way to begin a topic.
The first time I used it, I found a video on the history of Thanksgiving to frame a discussion on whether or not Thanksgiving violated ובחוקתיהם לא תלכו (“Not the follow the laws of the non-Jews”). Here is that video:
The next time I used it in a less creative fashion, in order to have my students begin learning a Gemara on their own before we would discuss it in class. Here is that video:
Part of the greatness of the website, is how you can monitor student work. The teacher can make it impossible to skip part of the video. The teacher can see how many times a student watched each part of the video. The teacher sees the answers of each student to the questions and therefore knows if they understood the material.
I highly recommend teachers taking advantage of this tool!