I Choose To Go Deeper: Choose Your Own Adventure Videos

I used to love choose your own adventure books as a kid.  I would read them over and over to get the most favorable ending, often skipping ahead to see which way I really wanted to go.  Some might have called it cheating, but really I was curious and couldn’t resist finding out what ‘might have been’ (plus there is some research that suggests spoilers increase enjoyment!).  I imagine many of our students are the same way, and a bit of mystery might be a good thing to get them to delve deeper into an issue.  Choose your own adventure books are actually pretty tough to create and it’s easy to get lost, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to harness videos and the web to make interactive choose your own adventure videos instead?  Well, YouTube makes this possible with a little linking and annotating.

I’ve found a great tutorial from Greg Kulowiec (via Richard Byrne’s FreeTechnology4Teachers.com) on how to make a Choose Your Own Adventure Video using YouTube.  There also is a nice flowchart on Greg’s blog that you should check out.

For me the beauty is that you can create a single shell video to embed into your class page, which will then serve as a portal to a series of other videos, either student, teacher, or 3rd party created.  Student inquiry and presentation can thus become an avenue for other students’ inquiry.  Challenge your students to help others choose to go deeper.

Suggested Uses:

  • have your students create and share choose your own adventure reports
  • link student videos together into one single embeddable video
  • create a video with links to various other YouTube videos for students to explore
  • create a single video entry point for your Flipped Classroom videos.  This way ‘distractions’ will be meaningful tangents to learn from.
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TED Talks

TED’s tagline is: Ideas Worth Spreading.  Sounds like education to me!  Some of TED’s talks are great at motivating teachers to teach better; some are great for motivating students to want to learn; others are great specific examples of ideas and topics you may be teaching.

Be careful when you head over to TED.com or you might find yourself chewing up 20 hours of time!  It is an addictive place to get motivated.

If you’re interested in using TED Talks on your own website, you can easily click the SHARE button just below the video.

After you have selected SHARE, then you will see various options for embedding.  If you are a WORDPRESS user make sure to grab the specific code so that it will show up appropriately in your blog.  Otherwise, grab the embed code and insert into your own page.

Here are a few of my favorite examples!


Frontline Videos

Who’s Afraid of Ai Weiwei?

Frontline is great program produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.  There are a variety of current events relating to the sciences and humanities.  Best of all, they have tons of FULL EPISODES available to EMBED right into your class page!  The videos can even be watched chapter by chapter.



Go to the Frontline page and find the video you would like to put into your page.  

After you choose the video and start to watch, you can select EMBED on the right hand side.  This will give you a quick pop up window.  Choose the size you want the video to be on your site, and then copy the code.  Use an EMBED gadget to put the video into your class site!
The videos even come with additional links for media resources.  For instance this video I use for my Science class has links (on the Frontline page) to an accompanying article in the Washington Post.