Technology Tips For Teachers  

April 12, 2013

Coursebook is a personal video textbook. Coursebook features videos from Ted, Khan Academy, Stanford eCorner, Yale, Railscasts and other educational sources. You can also connect your Facebook and Linkedin accounts to see what your friends are studying with Coursebook.

Why I like it:
Coursebook is a simple idea, but designed so well that it is easy to get lost in learning. The idea is to build your own learning path by selecting videos to watch. Coursebook then keeps track of what you have watched, which ones you have tagged to watch later, and even which videos you have started to watch. The app then gives you recommendations based off your course work. You can share your videos through Facebook and Linkedin; also you can share with the Coursebook community.

You can access your course work on their website, too.

Use in the classroom:
This app is perfect for flipping your classroom or enhancing your curriculum. At the moment Coursebook is just over two years old and you can’t just type in any keyword and get video results. But I see great potential in what they are developing, and it can release the ownership of the learning to the student.

For example let’s use the study of cells in a high school class. How can Coursebook be used in this situation?
First, I did a keyword search with “cells” and Coursebook provided 11 results. The top three videos are “Using nature to grow batteries,” “Transplant cells, not organs,” and “Printing a human kidney.” What an interesting way to enhance information about the importance of cells in our life! What if there was a day or a project in the science class that allowed the students to connect the classroom lesson with a video of their choice?

OK, now let’s expand that science class to the whole year. The student can build a coursebook with videos of their choice for the whole year. If there were videos you wanted to use in your class, you make sure all students add it to their playlist. This is the power of the flipped classroom idea. It’s not about just watching a video, but about watching something that sparks the students’ imagination and you, the teacher, providing them the freedom and time to work with their ideas and questions. With Coursebook the videos can be watched anytime and anywhere, the classroom is where you can spark their interest in learning.

Share your ideas with me via Twitter (jdog90).