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Website review by Amanda Finkelberg, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2014
Knowmia

Knowmia

Robust tool helps teachers find, create, and maximize video content

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1–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.

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Pros: Database of more than 30,000 online educational videos also includes useful resources to help teachers find and use that digital content.

Cons: The sheer number of options may be overwhelming at first, so teachers new to Knowmia should head to the training area to get started.

Bottom Line: A great addition to the classroom toolbox, Knowmia is a one-stop location for digital classroom content.

Teachers can get organized with a tool like Knowmia. Use it to find new lesson videos and to curate the ones you already have. Pull everything together into mini-courses that combine lessons or assignments, and then add assessments so all your material is in one easy-to-use location. It may be helpful to think of Knowmia as a free learning management system (LMS) like Moodle or Canvas. Although it doesn’t have the elaborate peer grouping or discussion functionality, its ability to pull in videos from many other sites or to upload your own content makes this a great alternative to a more costly system. Knowmia is committed to growing its publicly available teacher-produced content, so teachers should also flesh out their profiles to lend personality to their lessons, and think about the possible broader audience they may reach when sharing lessons online.

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Knowmia is a robust platform that helps teachers find and use educational video content. This one-stop shop has everything a teacher might need. It simplifies the often arduous task of aggregating and using video content in the classroom. Start by making a teacher profile to personalize your lectures. After you’re set up, your myKnowmia page acts as home base, allowing you to manage the content you’ve already created or to quickly create content with the Create a New Lesson section. Upload or link to videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Prezi, or Ted. You can also use a free companion iPad app, Knowmia Teach, to make and present lessons, mini-courses, and assignments.

Knowmia lessons are built around a video. Teachers can easily add multiple-choice, short, or numerical answers -- or even questions -- from a textbook in the Assignment area. Unlike Zaption or EduCanon, which can timecode questions, these will default to the end of the video segment, but multiple segments can be created around questions, if necessary.

The problem of finding high-quality vetted information on the Internet is a challenge for today’s teachers. Knowmia’s growing database of 30,000+ videos aggregate vetted content with user-produced course materials, and has a lot of good-to-excellent videos to pick from. What’s best are the search features that include recommendations based on your interests and previous searches and selections.

Teachers may find a lot of valuable information on Knowmia.com. The Tools for Teachers section breaks down the site’s features, and also includes “The Video Revolution Project,” a series on how teachers use video in their teaching -- a great resource in its own right.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Video in the classroom is only as engaging as the curation allows, so be mindful of the research, keep the video segments short, and include thoughtful assessments.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Knowmia’s curation-tool mini-courses combined with the large database of vetted videos make for effective lesson planning.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

The teacher-facing help section is well-developed with video tutorials, an FAQ section, and a help blog. It’s also important to note that Knowmia lessons have multilingual potential.


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