This isn’t a post about how to get kids to make great videos. This post will convince you, a teacher, that you can and should create your own video.
If you have access to devices and you don’t currently make videos with your students you are leaving money on the table and neglecting a key skill your students need.
There are many opportunities in any lesson where a short 1-2 minute video could support learning and engage your kids. I most often make “lesson hooks,” a brief video that gets the kids focused on what we are doing and gets their imaginations running.
Flipping Cars and Watching Movies!
Using Videos To Teach STEM
Using Videos for Design Thinking
This year I have been using Design Thinking as a lens for our class experiences and the most remarkable part of that process is the focus on understanding the needs of the end user. The Design Thinking process connects empathy and making and guides students to create meaningful solutions to real challenges faced by actual people they have spoken to.
The focus on end user is exciting, but it can be challenging to bring casts of users into the classroom for a 90 minute class, but a video can help me get close. About four years ago I started working with video and I quickly decided I didn’t want my face in most of the videos, so I learned to make puppets. Now I use puppets to stand in as users. We are designing cars in second grade and I created a video with 4 really brief user intros, and the kids were hooked.
These are just 2 examples of how I use video I create as part of the “mini-lesson.” You can do this to!. You don’t have to use puppets, but if you want to I am here to help.
What Do You Need To Start Making Videos?
If you have a smart phone, you have almost everything you need to create great and complex video. Almost all of of the videos I create for class as well as my YouTube followers (SUBSCRIBE LINK) is built with my phone and a video editor.
I use Camtasia to edit the videos and I love it. The visual sound wave is accurate enough I can use it to sync up my puppet track and my voice over track on the first try. Camtasia also has a powerful screen cast suite built in. If you are new to video creation, screen casts can be a great way to start, and if you are explaining how to use a program on a tablet or a computer they are the best tool around.
Give yourself permission to try new things as you learn. Make a dedication to create 30 or 40 videos before you decide if this is worth your time to learn.
Start with what you already do the teach. Do you make slide? create a video before class of you talking through the slides. When I do the I find it saves time because when I lecture live I pause more and allow more interruption than the video does. Recording this also makes it easy to get a late comer up to speed, she can watch the video.
Short videos are better.
If you make short useful videos, you can get some attention on YouTube.
Keep it sharable and usable by other teachers. If you can, avoid your school name and your own name in the video. I do this about half of the time. Sometimes I will use my name and I do that because I want my kids to know this video was a custom job. I also try to make sure that many of the videos are unbranded and can be easily used by other teachers.
When you start creating videos don’t worry about other users of the video. Focus on you and your kids and the job the video needs to do to help them learn. As you get more comfortable with video creation you can try different things.
My favorite part about making videos is that there is always something to learn and new things to try. When I keep myself in that cycle of learning is it easier for me to help my students when they hit a snag. Once I started creating video with my students, I never looked back. The ability to record image and sound in the classroom creates so many chances for us to share our understanding and develop our stories.
Share Your Videos With TeacherCast!
Do you have an amazing Video Channel? We would love to showcase it on TeacherCast. Please send us the link in the comments below and add a brief description about your channel and how you teach with it. If you leave your Twitter, we just may feature it in an upcoming post or podcast!