Zaption Makes History Come Alive with Open Interactive Video Lessons

Share Article

Mission-driven startup helps students achieve deeper learning through engaging, high quality educational video lessons

The interactive video lessons give students the opportunity to reflect, make connections, and focus on key concepts while allowing teachers to measure engagement and progress towards learning goals.

Zaption, Inc. ( continues to revolutionize learning with online video by working with top social studies teachers from around the country and curriculum partners like Facing History and Ourselves to provide free, high quality interactive video lessons. “Social studies teachers have always used video to bring history alive in the classroom. We just brought that process online to make educational videos more engaging and track how students actively learn with video,” says CEO Chris Walsh.

Zaption’s intuitive web app allows teachers to quickly create interactive experiences called “learning tours” by adding text, images, quiz questions, and discussions to their own “flipped classroom” videos or existing videos on YouTube and Vimeo. The interactive video lessons give students the opportunity to reflect, make connections, and focus on key concepts while allowing teachers to measure engagement and progress towards learning goals.

While the new social studies curriculum features U.S. History and U.S. Government video lessons, the startup plans to roll out content in other subjects in the coming months. The goal is to provide all teachers with high quality, interactive learning resources that they can instantly customize and use with their own students.

“We are passionate about nurturing global citizens who understand the past and present so they can shape the future,” says CEO Walsh, who also happens to be an award-winning former social studies teacher. Trevor Gardner, an 11th grade history teacher at Envision Schools, agrees with this philosophy and encourages his students to “read the word and the world.” Many of his students struggle with literacy skills, so Gardner uses a variety of Zaption-enhanced video lessons to expand student learning in the classroom. “My students are so engaged with the interactive videos that it allows me to shift away from classroom management and work with students individually or in small groups. I can also post assignments to my blog, which lets students watch missed lessons or review before an exam.”

Along with the new content, Zaption has launched a dynamic new curriculum gallery that allows educators to easily find free standards-based and Common Core-aligned interactive learning tours created by partners and classroom teachers. The new gallery represents Zaption’s commitment to Open Educational Resources (OER), making deeper learning video experiences accessible to all.

Educational partners like Facing History and Ourselves are lending their expertise to the effort. "Facing History is excited about the opportunities Zaption presents to make challenging content more accessible for students, and to help us support teachers who are seeking innovative ways to engage their students, both face-to-face and through flipped classrooms,” says Marc Skvirsky, Chief Program Officer at Facing History and Ourselves.

About Zaption
Zaption’s free interactive video platform is used by educators and trainers across the world, with optional upgrades for individuals and education organizations that want advanced features. The San Francisco-based startup was founded by Jim and Charlie Stigler, a father-son team. Zaption is based on Jim Stigler’s research as a UCLA professor on the effectiveness of video learning. His last video education company, LessonLab, was acquired by Pearson in 2003. Charlie Stigler, one of Peter Thiel’s “20 under 20” Fellows, left Columbia University’s computer science program to start Zaption. Zaption is funded by the New Schools Venture Fund and Dr. Michael J. Burry. The company recently won a highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop a native mobile app that allows students to access Zaption’s interactive video lessons from anywhere.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Renee Bruner
since: 11/2012
Follow >

Visit website