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Review by Kirstin Sobotka, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2015

Project Ed

Aspiring filmmakers converge to create video content for the classroom

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts
  • Science

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • 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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Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)
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Pros: Creating contest-specific videos boosts authentic learning and forges bonds between students and teachers.

Cons: Blogs and forums are mostly monitored only by the site’s online community.

Bottom Line: The site provides the most authentic learning opportunities when students and teachers go beyond watching videos to become creators.

Start by using the videos as inspiration for class openers or real-world recaps of yesterday's lessons. Get students familiar with the site by letting them experience the videos as viewers. Gradually pull a few lessons from the site to integrate into your instruction by letting students learn how to use the videos to further understand or apply skills or topics. Next, let the students browse the galleries of videos to find a video that really impressed them. Students can use that video as inspiration to write a script for their own project, either individually or in small groups. From there, select some scripts to be acted out for the class. Finally, after students have been trained as writers, producers, and actors, assign some contests to help them showcase their talent and knowledge on camera. It can be a great way to integrate balanced literacy across content areas!

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Finally -- a free forum for class innovation through provocative, incentive-filled contests! Teacher-student filmmaker groups can use the site's clever, crafty content prompts to showcase their talent, knowledge, and real-world problem-solving skills. Content areas range from middle school science to grammar and vocabulary, and all prompts focus on making ordinary skills relevant. Students can earn badges for their achievements in creating, viewing, and sharing videos within the site's online community. The site provides easy access to current contest prompts, winning contest videos, Word of the Day videos, and educator resources like Common Core-aligned lesson plans. The site can also be used as a database for extended learning videos, both in and outside the classroom.

Project Ed lends itself to the creation of profound and fun educational videos for and by tweens. Authentic learning is at its peak when classrooms use the site as a platform for content creation, not just consumption. Think of the relationships and learning established when students and teachers use these kinds of tools as a vehicle and host for original educational videos. Don't worry if your classes are a little camera shy; the site provides Common Core-aligned lessons and projects that utilize pre-published videos that can help move lessons forward. Of course, at the very least, teachers can incorporate these pre-made videos into their instruction to help solidify students' skills. The platform is still growing in terms of the variety of content available. Some of the smaller content galleries have multiple videos for the same topic; nevertheless, these can be a good starting point for quick, basic reading and writing instruction, or for science material related to genetics and physical science.

Overall Rating

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

A dream for student filmmakers! This site allows creative, innovative students (and teachers!) to design and produce engaging educational video shorts that will be entered in neat contests for monetary prizes and national recognition.

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

Teachers and students can collaborate and create their own videos for contests. The site's clever pre-made videos are a boon to traditional and flipped classrooms.

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

Students will need to rely on teachers for filming guidelines, but the site offers an extensive FAQ page that will guide teachers and students in the right direction for filming and viewing. Videos support a range of topics and learners.

Common Sense Reviewer
Kirstin Sobotka Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

Featured review by
Cathie G. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Dorseyville Middle School
Pittsburgh, United States
Future Filmmakers Have Found A Home
ProjectEd is perfect for enrichment and extension applications. It truly has potential to compete with 'TedEd' informational style videos. It's easy to register and explore contests. It's nice to see a tech project challenge students to be creators of technology instead of consumers. The website itself contains a blog and involves contests for filmmakers of all ages. I would proceed with caution in using this (or any product) without previewing what you are showing. I did not notice anything alarm ...
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