Note Taking For Flipped Classroom

The classroom setting is always evolving and teachers are continually looking for new ways to engage student learning. One of the methods that has started to gain some recognition is the concept of the flipped classroom. ¬†With this concept along with other teaching strategies, one thing is clear, teachers are starting to use videos to help supplement their teaching. With the vast array of video sites that can help students learn on the web, it is understandable as to why teachers are starting to utilize these resources. As you know, sometimes watching a video and trying to glean information from it can be somewhat cumbersome, being that you need to always stop and restart videos or go back because you missed a concept. Maybe you open up a Word document so you can take notes or you are writing on a tablet while watching the video on your computer. Well, is a web application that was made to hopefully solve this issue for students. Let’s take a further look at it.

How Works

The general concept of the application is that it lets you combine the ability to watch a video and take notes all within the same web browser screen. No longer do you have to have one tab open for a video and a Word document open next to it to take notes. First off, you need to have a Google account in order to use it, and you will see why that is important in a bit. Then from there it is very easy to get started with taking notes on a video.

All you have to do is copy and paste the video url that you want to watch and take notes on. It can be from YouTube, Vimeo, Khan Academy, or just about any other site that has a video that you want to watch. Once you get it into, it will automatically show up within the app for you to play.

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On the right hand side you will see a blank area and this is where you can take notes on the video that you are watching. This is where the tie in with Google Drive will come in very handy. Once you are taking notes, they get automatically saved into your Google Drive so you don’t need to worry about them getting lost at any point. You can also open up other files from Google Drive with as well so that you can add notes there if you want. The application also gives you the option to save your notes to Evernote. Lastly, you can also share your note to Facebook, Twitter, or email a link to it as well. Since it is in Google Drive, you can share the document to others who are using it, and you can collaborate within Google Drive, which could come in handy.

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How Can This Be Used In The Classroom?

Well, the most obvious use case would be if you are utilizing the flipped classroom technique and you are creating your own video lessons, then your students could most definitely use this app. The nice part is that since it is connected to Google Drive, you can show them a video and they can either be taking notes on it, or you can have them write a reflection on the lesson and then share it with a peer or their teacher for feedback. Although I talk about using the notes section of for actually taking notes, it can really be used for anything. So maybe teachers have students write a reflection on what they watched, or they have some other assignment they have to write. Also teachers can have a bank of questions that they made in Google Drive that is shared to their students. Students can then open up the document within and then start watching the video and answering the questions. Whatever it may be, they can easily share it with their teacher so that it can be graded. The nice part about this is that students are now working in just one web page and not having to open up a few different things and they can easily share with you their work.

Final Thoughts

I definitely think that can come in very handy for classroom use, especially since educators are starting to supplement their teaching with other mediums that are out there. The web can be a great resource for teachers to continually reinforce learning with students, (that’s a whole other blog post) and is a great app to help them. I like that they are connected with Google Drive and Evernote as that gives both student and teacher the ability to only have to work in one environment and not have to have several different apps open.

As of right now, the application has only been out for a little while now, so it is free to use. I am not sure if they are going to start charging a fee at some point to use the app. If you are a teacher who is utilizing videos to help supplement your teaching, then I would highly recommend you check this app out for you and your students. (Web App)

  • Jim Caton

    Having read about this flipping ‘model’ and many comments by teachers and students who favor it, I have to say I now find a glimmer of hope that one day we may after all become a nation of illiterate TV viewers.

  • Jim Caton

    To be more–or less–than snide, I am watching as my school rapidly succumbs to the strong-arm of technology marketing. This consumption-based approach to education may or may not, on balance, benefit students, but it certainly presents private interests with a lucrative industry. For district and school administrators, it offers a means of escape from a contradiction that has become insupportable: that between the minimal standards of literacy of a few decades ago and the current reality of a culture that has been seduced into embracing the swift absconding of its ability to read, write and think.

    While well-meaning teachers who are fond of playing with toys will no doubt entertain and even educate students with video non-homework and non-teaching, they will but provide the legitimation for this fundamental dismantling of the American mind. For as the method of educating moves from reading and writing to watching TV and tweeting, so will testing–standardized and otherwise–evolve to reflect the new expectations of post-literate students. This evolution and its legitimation must take place because it is no longer possible to produce a literate population (literate in any but the most elementary, instrumental sense) by means of an education system. Whereas schools of the past (and their despicable sages on stages) served to assign, guide, suggest and respond to the reading students did away from school, now English and History teachers either abandon hope of nurturing in students the ability, not only to read, but to critique texts of any length and complexity, opting instead for lively discussions about videos in which the standard menu of idees recues joust in earnest, or these teachers grow year by year more incomprehensible and less ‘relevant’ as they assign actual book reading for homework and the next day in class minister to those few students who attempted the reading by walking them through the dark forest of a compound-complex sentence and insisting that, no, the author did not just make up the word ‘harbinger.’

    Given this undeniable historical slide into illiteracy, we are justified in asking whether its cause might not be found in something more purposive than the blind mechanism of the market’s sniffing out our species’ innate laziness and predilection for shiny screens. Might someone benefit not only from the sale of Smart Boards, software and YouTube ads? Might someone actually benefit from the illiteracy itself?

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