Overheard in my district:
“If I make a video for my students, then my classroom becomes 25 classrooms and they don’t talk about anything til they’re back in my classroom. What’s the point?”
I get that. It’s one of the things that holds me back from embracing a fully flipped classroom model, myself. I know there are excellent educators who’ve developed a set of procedures for their students that take this into consideration and have created truly engaging learning experiences for their students. We can all learn from them, and should…probably in a flipped environment.
But today I read about the very recently released iOS app called UpTime.
UpTime allows people to watch youtube videos with friends in real time, while commenting and reacting with emojis. The makers of UpTime, developers out of Google’s internal incubator, Area 120, were interested in creating this environment to remove the Watch a video, Copy the link, Send the Link, Friend Watches a video, Texts back feelings, process we’ve all become accustomed to. Now, instead, you just open the UpTime app, add the Youtube link or search within the app and any of your “friends” in Uptime can see the video.
The best part of this, is that UpTime is a Login Only app, requiring a login with a Google account.
Why does this matter?
If you’re a school that uses Google and has logins for teachers and students, and also happen to either have iOS users or an iPad 1:1 program, then you can now create asynchronous video watching of specific videos for your students, in a login only environment, which creates a history of the emojis and comments for both teacher and student, which ultimately changes the nature of the Flipped Environment from 25 separate video rooms and an in-school conversation space, to one constant conversation space.
That’s a game changer.
I’m pretty sure the developers weren’t sitting in Area 120 considering school districts when they built the app, as it seems mostly social media friendly, but we teachers have a knack for hacking cool tech ideas for use in our classrooms. Here are a few ways I’ve considered using UpTime:
- The obvious, sharing instructional videos with students for view, comment, reaction at home.
- Sharing youtube videos that I’ve added questions, pauses, links, and popups to in order to prompt student response.
- Student to student video view and comment for collaborative assignments
- School to school video sharing in real time for classroom to classroom interactions and comments.
- Using the comments feature for students to ask questions about instructional videos to be answered by either other students or the teacher.
I’ve asked Uptime if they’re planning on a rollout for Android so that it’s not just limited to iOS users. If that’s coming down the pike, then chrome schools will have this at their fingertips too.
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