Edtech Function Review: Glean, The Video Lesson Library that Tracks Viewership. Great for Flipped Classrooms!


Subjects: Math & Science
Subject Topics: Algebra, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry
What this Resource Includes: Video Lesson Library, Teacher Dashboard
Grade Level: 6-12
Resource Audience: Teachers & Learners
Platform: Web-based
Price: Free
Useful for these teaching practices: Flipped Classrooms, Blended Learning
Bonus Points: Very mobile friendly! Nice Progress Visualization

Today I will be reviewing Glean, a website with an online library of math and science video lessons. What interested me most about Glean was their Insight functionality which is able to track if students viewed a teacher-assigned video and show which parts were replayed. The site has a collection of math and science videos from various online sources (Khan Academy, YouTube, etc.). When users are watching a video they are given a list of recommended videos from other teachers on the site that cover the same topic. This gives them plenty of learning options.

What it does well:

Glean has a useful tagging system that easily identifies what learning concepts are covered in a video. They are also tagged with the Common Core standards the videos meet. Teachers can assign videos to their students by sharing a link. They are able to see if their students have viewed the video in real time through a live progress bar. The progress bar is filled in with blue to show how much of the video a student viewed once. Teachers can also see if a student has viewed parts of a video multiple times. The live progress bar visualizes this by filling in sections of the bar green where the video section was viewed more than once. This is a great way for teachers to view all their students’ progress easily.

What it can do better:

For now the lessons cover mostly math and science subjects. It would be great to see video lessons on subjects like social studies, grammar, and more. Also, it would be beneficial for teachers to be able to add questions to every video they assign and receive private feedback from students. This would make video lesson assignments more interactive and engaging.

What it comes down to:

Glean is ideal for math and science teachers to use, especially for those who blend or flip their classrooms. It’s also an ideal resource for students who may need extra help understanding math and science concepts. Glean is free to use and accessible from any device. It is a video lesson library that is definitely worth perusing.

What do you think about Glean? Would you use it in the classroom? Sound off in the comments below! If you would like to see more Flipped Classroom Edtech Resources then check out the Pinterest board below:

Until next time, keep learning everyone.

What Is The Edtech Function? An Introduction Post


Image from Morten Oddvik via Flickr 

The Edtech Function is a site I created to continue my edtech research. I used to work in an educational technology research and development team called Edlab, at Teachers College Columbia University. There I researched, tested, and reviewed many digital educational resources. I enjoyed playing with these educational apps, games, or web tools and thinking of new ways to incorporate them in a classroom. I also used what I’ve learned from reviewing these edtech resources to help create and support educational resources from the Edlab.

In my time as an edtech researcher I have had the chance to meet with many people who create edtech products. I also spoke with many teachers about how and why they should use these resources to support their teaching. I’ve learned a lot about what goes into creating Edtech tools and what teachers want in a resource. So it is with this perspective I will be writing my edtech reviews.

The mission of this website is to discover and review any edtech resource that teachers, parents or anybody else would be interested in using. New educational software and apps are created almost everyday so it may be a bit overwhelming to keep up with them all. The Edtech Function will  highlight and review the most interesting and innovative educational resources.

Why Review Edtech Resources?

I believe that teachers and parents who are looking for digital educational resources would want to know as much as they can about it before spending any time or money on it. As someone who has many teacher family members I understand how many teachers spend their own time and money looking for extra learning resources.

An edtech review can give teachers and parents a better idea of what the learning goal of a resource is and how it will help learners reach that goal. Teachers employ different teaching practices in their classroom that can benefit from some of these educational resources. Teaching practices such as blended learning, floored classrooms, or project based learning. The review will try to elaborate on how a resource can be used in these practices.

What Will These Reviews Look Like?

I plan on having the review broken up into two parts. The first is a chart that includes  some basic information on a resource like what learning topics the resource covers, school level, cost, platform, etc. This is meant to help teachers and parents decide if they want to learn more about it.

The second part is the more in-depth review covering the interesting aspects of the resources, what can be improved, and new ideas. Of course I will always look to make improvements to the review based on teacher’s or parent’s need so feedback is always appreciated.

In addition to the reviews this site will provide teachers, parents, and learners with collections of edtech resources. A collection could consist of math apps or coding learning resources for examples. I love organizing things (I also used to work in a library) and I believe these collections would be useful for many teachers.

I am excited to continue my edtech research and hope that you will join me. My first review will cover a video platform called Glean. Until then keep learning everyone.