Review by Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2016


Simple design makes it easy to jump into interactive video

Subjects & skills

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking
Grades 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: Integrates with a wide variety of learning management systems.

Cons: Comparable free tools may have more features available.

Bottom Line: With features that are both basic and useful, it's an easy tool to learn; adding interactivity to video is a snap.

As you're creating a "bulb" (the term PlayPosit uses for a finished interactive video), it's important to make sure that your assessment items aren't a verbatim repetition of what's in the video. Use the same type of thought-provoking questions you would pose to your students in the classroom or on a quiz. Adding pauses at regular intervals is a great way to break up a long session of narration or talking. It can also help keep kids from zoning out, encouraging them to watch and listen more actively. If you're creating your own videos or screencasts, it's also a good idea to plan around these pauses so that audio breaks fall at natural conclusions, rather than in the middle of a sentence or concept.

Even basic, multiple-choice questions can help remind students to watch more carefully -- they can always rewind to find the answer they need. Creative assessments can encourage them to apply the information to something personally relevant. While multiple-choice questions are the easiest to add, even newer users can follow instructions to help them add "source code" to embed other web content such as maps and articles. With over 200,000 premade bulbs, teachers can likely find something already made.

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PlayPosit (formerly known as EduCanon) is a web and Chrome-based interactive video and assessment tool that lets teachers add interactive elements -- such as questions and pauses -- to streaming video content from popular sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, among a number of others. If your school blocks these more popular sites, PlayPosit can also work with sites such as TeacherTube, Shmoop, and even Google Drive videos -- an especially helpful feature if YouTube is blocked at your school. The interface is inviting, limited to three buttons that crop length, build questions (multiple-choice or free-response questions), or finish the "bulb." 

Throughout any video lesson, students can rewind to hear any part of the video again. However, they can't fast-forward to skip ahead of what they've already watched. Through a dashboard, teachers can get data about students' use and performance within the embedded assessment items. Users who join the PlayPosit school edition have access to PlayPosit's integrations with Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas, Haiku, Powerschool, Clever, and other systems.

PlayPosit offers teachers an easy way to enhance video lessons and content with interactive assessments. While other similar tools, like Zaption, may offer more features, PlayPosit's stripped-down interface provides an inroad to those who are less experienced with digital media. At the same time, advanced options (such as the ability to add source code) will please techies at the other end of the spectrum who may want to embed rich interactive content. Any new user could add assessments to a short video in about 10 to 15 minutes. Overall, the simple interface makes PlayPosit a good choice for all digital skill levels, and the Google Classroom integration makes it all the more easy to implement once you're embedded in that ecosystem.

Many teachers have great success using a flipped-class model but might still struggle with knowing whether students have actually watched the videos before class. This tool can help capture that information, and it can help teachers take stock of how well students internalize essential information from a video. A tool like PlayPosit could be a stellar resource for the flipped classroom. 

Overall Rating

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

Embedded assessments encourage more active participation from students. Overall, engagement will depend on the depth and quality of both the videos and the assessments used. Some students could be put off by too many breaks in a video.

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

Ultimately, the quality of students' learning will depend on how the tool is used. But, for some types of lessons, the ability to seamlessly embed well-placed assessments in engaging videos can help make learning feel almost effortless.

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

The site offers pretty comprehensive help both for the tech-challenged and tech-savvy. Help is available via a chat feature on the site, but users may need to dig through the knowledge base for their answers.

Common Sense Reviewer
Stephanie Trautman Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 8 reviews) (8 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jennifer C. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Carson High School
Carson City, United States
Transform passive video viewing into active learning!
The tool integrates smoothly with Edmodo. Careful selection of and previewing of video takes a significant amount of teacher time, but the raised level of student engagement is worth it. Educanon provides teacher analytics on each question and student. The quality of the pedagogy depends upon the teacher. Another consideration is access to broadband. Streaming video for each students on 1:1 devices requires reliable broadband at school.
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users and/or students.
Personal information is displayed publicly.
User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Unclear whether data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
Unclear whether this product displays behavioral or targeted advertising.
Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.