We already had a look on facebook and twitter for teaching purposes and learned how to use a self hosted website/blog for that matter. Now it is time to get some more interaction into the whole education thing with videos! Videos are a great way of interact with students and make students learn without actually noticing that they are learning. That’s wy today we will focus on youtube. Obviously there are other video hosting websites as well (vimeo, myvideo, etc.) but youtube is the best known website and offers you an easy & hands on editing possibility. You can create some nice videos without knowing to much about video editing. So let’s just get started.
Before going to deep into the matter, lets just remember what we learned in my ‘brief guide to jump start your social media efforts‘ about youtube:
Using videos for your classes can be of great help. It is not only entertaining and lets students repeat your stuff over and over again on their own pace, it also urges students to interact and be creative. After setting up your own channel you can divide videos into different lists (see screenshots), promote further sites of yours and – one thing I like very much – you can edit videos quite nicely. For editing you don’t need much video editing knowledge since it is quite easy to follow the steps youtube suggests. With these editing possibilities your videos can get even more engaging and interactive (e.g. if you use annotations and links). Moreover, if you are afraid to show yourself or your teaching material online to the world, you can adjust your video settings the way that only you and the people you invite (or the ones that have the link) can see your videos. All power stays with you. So why don’t you just give it a try? Another nice thing by the way: Videos can be embedded into other social networks quite easily. So youtube is a nice add on to all the other networks mentioned here.
Now that we remember that, let’s get more hands on with real world examples and practices. First some useful adjustments and then some basic examples from my English classes over the past months and years.
Show your web presence
As you can see in the screenshot on the left, your profile allows you to link to other social media profiles like facebook and twitter. Furthermore you can add links to your websites or teaching material as well. Spreading the word while providing videos. Nice!
Besides that you can also show links to your websites and profiles from within your videos (called annotations). You can add text via the youtube video editor (more to come later) to every video – most video providers use this to show links to their twitter or facebook pages or to announce soon to come events.
Furthermore you can theme / style your own ‘channel’ so that it fits the looks and feels of your homepage or your other profiles. An appropriate avatar does the rest…but that’s just basic profile set up.
Group your videos
A cool, very own youtube feature, in terms of styling however is the fact, that you can group your videos into different ‘playlists’ and display them on your startsite. This makes sense since it enables users to find interesting content more easily. You could, for example, create playlists like ‘my lessons’ or ‘English Communication Lessons’ or ‘Assignments’ and so on. You can also choose to display the videos you favorite on your stream – however, selecting this feature should be really thought through. Since you might also favorite videos that you like for yourself but that don’t provide any use for your channel subscribers.
Theme your videos
Theming videos makes them easy to recognize and also helps to brand your channel and different ‘series’ of your content. If you, for example, create videos about paper planes and videos about Vexillology you might want to theme those differently but all videos within the Vexillology topic should be themed the same way. Recognition is an important thing. Just think about your favorite tv series theme.
For those of you who are not to much of a video editor, there is quite an easy way to theme and edit videos. Simply head over to youtube.com/create and check some of the online tools there. Most of them are pretty simple and straight forward.