Review by Melissa Powers, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2018

Check123

Free online video library keeps it short and sweet

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Arts
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
6–12
Common Sense says (See details)
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Pros: Pulls videos from all over the world into a safe, filtered, made-for-education environment.

Cons: Some ads; no helpful video details like publication date, detailed content description, grade level, or standards alignment.

Bottom Line: Quickly search quality videos and create video quizzes to engage students and enhance learning.

Teachers can use Check123 to introduce content. The short videos are great for lesson hooks or defining a new term during a lesson. The lesson feature, though, is what makes Check123 really useful. This feature is tailor-made for the flipped classroom. Teachers can create a video lesson in less than 10 minutes. First, select one or a few videos on a particular topic; the Smart Search feature allows teachers to search for videos based on a URL or pasted text. Then insert a couple of questions into the videos to check for understanding. Quiz questions help teachers know if students were paying attention, and students will know they didn't miss the key concepts. Share the URL with students and require them to watch before coming to class. With very little prep work, students are ready for discussion and teachers can maximize class time. 

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Check123 is a curated online video library. All videos are approximately one, two, or three minutes in length. Most of the videos are created by well-known content publishers like National Geographic or popular informational YouTube channels like AsapSCIENCE. All videos are reviewed by experts, rated for quality, and tagged for easy topic/subject searching. Anyone can search and watch the videos without an account, and teachers can create free accounts to make video lessons with built-in quizzes. Simply share the lesson URL with students to assign the video lesson. Students don't create accounts, but by providing a name when they start watching the lesson, teachers can see which students have watched the videos and how they performed on the quizzes. It is a mostly ad-free environment; pop-up ads sometimes appear during playback, and many YouTube-created videos will include channel promos at the end of the video.

Check123 also has a Chrome extension called Vid Your Text. This extension scans the text of a webpage for topics that have corresponding videos in the Check123 database.

Check123 has over 20,000 videos on a wide variety of topics, so chances are you'll find something useful. At 3.5 minutes or less, the videos are designed to give small amounts of information. Most of the videos are just topic overviews, so in-depth and detailed information will need to be delivered in another way. Some of the videos attempt to deliver a lot of information rapidly, so students may need to watch a video several times to absorb all of its content. Pausing this type of video every 30 seconds or so to check for understanding may help with knowledge retention.

Take advantage of the quiz questions when creating video lessons. By pausing to answer questions, students will think more carefully about what they've seen and heard. Also, consider enabling related videos to spark students' curiosity. Much like we teach students how to extract information from text, we have to teach them how to learn with videos too.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

These videos aren't just short, they're chosen for their humor and fast-paced delivery. Plus, the layout is designed to minimize distractions and keep you on topic.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Teacher-created quiz questions during video playback help students listen with purpose and check understanding.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Useful how-to tutorial helps teachers get started, but overall support is limited. All videos play via YouTube with CC/subtitle options.


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