Glean’s goal is to provide a space for students and teachers to discover the best educational video lessons on the web

video-personal-learningNeed help fixing your bike? Looking for a new makeup look or hairstyle? More and more, we’re looking to YouTube to help us learn new things. The same goes in education these days. Can’t figure out how to do your trigonometry homework or need an extra study boost going into a test? YouTube can probably help you out.

But as we all know, though the internet can be a wealth of information, it’s not necessarily all good information. That’s also the case with instructional content. It’s not always necessarily that it’s not “good” information.

Sometimes it is simply that the information is not presented in the best way for the student who is looking for help. Not to mention the fact that the student might have to skim through three or more videos searching for what they need. This is time consuming–and for a student who might be in crunch time studying for a test, not really their best use of time.

(Next page: How Glean can help the learning experience)

This is where the work of companies such as Glean gets me excited. Glean’s goal is to provide a space for students and teachers to discover the best educational video lessons on the web. Hundreds of amazing teachers post educational videos online every day; Glean has organized these videos by subject and topic, tagged them by educational standard, and wrapped them in interactive tools like Q&A.

They’ve also built adaptive learning technology to help pick the ideal video for a student based on his/her learning style and ability. Glean helps students wade through the wealth of information and is an incredible resource for teachers who are looking to flip their classroom or implement a blended learning model.

Personally, I’ve been using the flipped classroom model in my math classes for the past 4 years. In class, I’ll introduce a topic, have students go home and watch a video explaining the main ideas of the new lesson, and then in class we follow-up with discussion, group work, and problem solving in the classroom.

For me, the inspiration to flip my class was as a way to reduce student anxiety in math class. I didn’t want to leave students to do tough problems on their own at home, where they didn’t have a chance to collaborate with their peers or ask me questions. I also wanted more time for real discussion, as I wasn’t finding the questions asked during lecture to show real depth and insight, particularly in the AP Calculus classroom, where difficult information was being introduced to them at a quick pace.

Lecture just didn’t provide enough time for them to pause and think, reflect on their own, and synthesize the material. By offloading lecture, I really have been able to give students a louder voice in the classroom – allowing them to guide the direction of class for the day – and giving me the time to get to know students better as individuals, through one-on-one work and by hearing them work in groups.

Instead of having to take half the period lecturing, I have the time to listen in on student discussions and see them take ownership for their learning. They’re teaching one another instead of me having to do the majority of instruction.

I haven’t even touched on the differentiated and customized learning experience the flipped classroom provides. Tools such as Glean would allow me to further tailor this experience. As teachers, one of the most important things we can do is teach students the study skills most effective for them, as individuals.

My goal is to support my students in any way that I can and I strive to keep them excited about learning. Students learn differently – and it’s exciting to have more tools available to help our students learn in a way and at a pace that suits them best.

Stacey Roshan is an Upper School math teacher and technology coordinator at the Bullis School.