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Creating Instructional Videos

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Creating Instructional Videos
Laurie Lykken
Share thoughts about and methods for creating instructional videos. How long is too long? Where do you store yours and how do students gain access?
Mar. 04, 2014 at 10:27 am
Gisela Cordero-Cinko
My understanding is that videos should not be more than 10 minutes.
Jun. 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm
S Brown
Great topic! I teach 8th grade pre-algebra and we have 30 iPads in the classroom shared by all students. I just started doing instruction videos at the end of this past school year. I used the iPad app "Explain Everything" (EE) with Air Play to display my iPad to the whole class via the LCD projector. You can download PDFs and annotate on them using EE. EE has a record feature with built-in buttons to export to YouTube, Google Drive, Camera Roll, etc. I started using the iPad camera to record a short video of myself beginning the lesson and used iMovie for the iPad to combine that video with the EE video and a little extra polish thanks to iMovie

The videos were anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes long. The problem was youtube was blocked on our internal network at the school, so I also had to upload them to GoogleDrive for the students to access them internally. When 20 iPads attempted to watch the GoogleDrive videos all at the same time, we would get a lot of freezes and lock-ups. Another issue with youtube and/or GoogleDrive is you cannot track which students actually watched the video. It sounds like may solve that problem, but I'll need to setup a classroom on it with student login accounts. Is that correct?
Jun. 10, 2014 at 11:43 am
carolyn fruin
The site uploads almost every format. Once you create the tutorial you'll see a skeleton of a lesson. In the middle of the page, you'll see "insert". Once you scroll over it you'll see a video option. Click this and you'll be directed to a page that wants a youtube url or a "choose file". This is the option and once you click you can grab your file and it uploads right in. This is great for schools that block youtube as you can use the actual file and no youtube necessary. Let me know if you need more info!
Jun. 26, 2014 at 9:54 pm
Gisela Cordero-Cinko
I do not believe this site will upload any videos. It has to be a certain format. I know I am new at this, but I have my videos done and none of them will upload.
Jun. 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm
carolyn fruin
Sophia will play any video file you upload to the site. It can play through to other sites, but this is where you may see blocking since it is still another sites video and not stored on Sophia's server. My solution is downloading all the video files and then uploading them through Sophia. If this is the case, as long as your students are logged in and in your group, you can see time metric. It is tricky, if you go to another site or link to watch the video and the Sophia tab is not the "active" one, the timing stops. In terms of freezing, once you have the videos in the tutorial, there can be millions watching and no freezing. The cloud is AMAZING! Email me if you have other questions or need more details.
Jun. 14, 2014 at 11:37 am
sonya rosenglick
I have downloaded YouTube Capture on my iPad. When I use my ipad to create videos, it is one or two clicks and it automatically connects to my YouTube account. Very easy. I then share the link with students. I feel videos shouldn't be much more than 5 minutes long, but I just discovered educanon and love it. It is FREE and you simply upload your video to educanon and you can add questions anywhere in the video to ensure that students are paying attention.
Apr. 01, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Step by step process to create a video with Screencast-o-matic.
This is a post from my new blog -

Mar. 27, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Nadeem Merchant
I've only uploaded one video so far, but I plan to do a completely flipped class next year. I use Debut Video Capture Software. It's a free software from NCH. I did upgrade it for $20-30 or so in order to export it into mp4 format. I also use a pen tablet that I got for about $79. I use the SMART Notebook software which is free. I don't have a SMART board though. I then import the video and audio into Pro Tools to make the voice track sound better and more consistent. I also add some theme music that I have created. Then I upload it here.

The instruction should be less than 20 minutes a video. if it is longer, break it up into multiple videos. For my first video, it went for 27 minutes... ugh... I need to work on making these shorter.
Mar. 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm
Nadeem Merchant
It's a Wacom tablet. I got it from best buy. You could even use an Airliner for a Smart Board if your school has one. It works the just the same. The video itself, I rarely do any real editing. I rehearse and do it in one shot and if I screw up, It's probably a good learning experience for the students. "Oh, so this is what he was thinking when he got it wrong, and this is how to resolve the problem". Some good teachable moments. The audio I do edit quite a bit but I'm an audio engineer so that comes easy to me. It's not necessary though. Good luck!
Mar. 28, 2014 at 2:07 am
carolyn fruin
I've never heard of this one before. Thanks!! What sort of tablet did you get? Also, is the editing hard? I like the easy click for a fix style. Still baby steps on my recordings. :-)
Mar. 26, 2014 at 8:53 am
Greg Prater
I am going to almost echo Brian. I use screencast-o-matic and post to my youtube channel

upgading to pro for a few bucks is worth it. The shorter the video length the better I follow a lot of Lodge McCammon's ideas with his FIZZ approach to flipping and he reccommends 5 minutes or less. Sadly quite a few of mine have gone oever 10 minutes. I often make 1 video per section of a unit. some are longer than others.

Students can access them through the above channel, but I started using Sophia in December and just link the videos to here. Since this site allows us to super easily post other types of content (particularly google forms) I find it the best so far.
Mar. 06, 2014 at 12:45 pm
logan lambert
yah it is
Jun. 02, 2014 at 3:29 pm
Greg Prater
Lodge now mentions scree recordings in his newest videos. He admits through this his PhD process that he learned far more about himself as a teacher through him flipping his class. If you watch all of his videos about flipping and education(which I HIGHLY encourage) there is great insight to self-reflection and so many other things. He has recently in the past few weeks uploaded 4-5 more. I was wondering if he would continue making now that the project has officially ended. I used the whiteboards for my very first unit. I love the idea but it was more practical for me to do screen casts.
Mar. 11, 2014 at 10:27 am
carolyn fruin
Just an FYI - within a Sophia tutorial, there is an option for a screen recording. This is a built in screencast-o-matic program. It doesn't have all the features of pro but it doesn't have the watermark, gives me some editing and goes 15 minutes which it totally long enough.

Benefit is that you record and upload directly to sophia so no need to save somewhere and then link back. If you want your video file, simply click edit and there it is highlighted in blue for you to right click and save on your desktop to push wherever you'd like.

Just an option. Fewer steps for me and the kids - all on one page with the form or quiz built right there. Love to hear what you think.

BTW - isn't FIZZ great just because it still uses whiteboard technology???
Mar. 07, 2014 at 2:18 pm
I began making my instructional videos using the SMART Recorder from my SMART Notebook software. I would take my lessons and section them out, add animations to fade in the steps of my lessons and I would record.

I then transitioned to Screenflow because it added additional editing features, like adding callouts etc… But this became really labor intensive.

I recently transitioned to Screencast O Matic. I like several features. First it is free. Second I like the adjustability of the recording screen for any presentation software. Third I like the countdown feature before recording when you pause the recording. I also like the time limit on the free download because it forces me to keep the videos short. Lastly, I like the ease of saving and uploading the videos in the mp4 format.

I post my videos on YouTube

I currently use Moodle as my LMS (learning management system) but we are transitioning to Blackboard so I am learning that interface.

I recently began using Sophia with my Honors Chemistry class by creating Tutorials and Playlists for the students to watch at home. Both my students and I are very pleased with the Sophia system and I will continue to use it with that class the remainder of the year. I hope to embed the Sophia playlists in Blackboard for next year in many of my classes.

I have tried to keep my videos between 6 to 12 minutes. I teach high school.
I have heard a guideline is 1 to 2 minutes per grade level. A fourth grade video should be between 4 and 8 minutes. I think it depends upon topic, message and target audience. You need to know your students.

I hope this is helpful.

Mar. 06, 2014 at 12:19 am
carolyn fruin
Laurie - there are tons of options out there and everyone has their favorites. Specifically within Sophia, there is a free screen recording tool that will upload right into the tutorial so no need for storage, it stays in the cloud for the site. For iPads, a free and easy app is Educreations. This is where I started due to the ease and slowly worked my way up to Doceri. Explain Everything is even more (but it does cost money).

Also, on a Mac, Quicktime does a screen record that saves as MP4. Very easy and obviously free.

In terms of best practice, they say one minute per grade. So anything longer than 8 minutes in middle school is too long. If you need the time, I would chunk them out and build in google forms to ask questions.

You should check out some of the playlist on screen recording or just search on Sophia - a lot of teachers have put together some good videos on how to use them with students. Also, check out the professional development options. The four that are available all speak to blending learning and managing students.

Feel free to contact me as well. I could share more resources once I have more specifics on your goals. In the meantime - good luck. I really found that making videos is sort of fun!
Mar. 05, 2014 at 9:45 am
logan lambert
is that bill
Jun. 02, 2014 at 3:30 pm
Maryann Hanley-Pereira
Carolyn, I would like to become more proficient with explain everything. Do you know of any good resources to learn this program? Thanks
Mar. 11, 2014 at 8:20 pm

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