How to Make Your Own “EdTech Blitz” Video Tutorial Series
Over the last year, I have created numerous video tutorials for teachers covering various topics related to integrating technology in their classrooms. It all started when I told my teachers to simply ask me if they weren't sure how to incorporate technology. One teacher responded, "Steve... I would love to integrate technology, but I'm not sure WHAT questions to ask.”
This got me thinking ... "Alright, let me make short videos to engage and inform the staff!"
And that is how the EdTech Blitz was formed.
Not Just Another Video Tutorial
I started creating videos that were just long enough to get my teachers interested enough to ask for more information. It wasn't until Schoology NEXT 2017 that I realized how helpful these videos were for the general public.
See, I would email these videos out to my colleagues, but I would also tweet them out. While at NEXT, people I had never met thanked me for creating these helpful videos that they used for their staff and themselves. Most of these videos are related to general practices—as well as tips and tricks—of Schoology.
Schoology support has many great resources to get teachers started. However, when an actual Schoology user creates a video, it makes it personal and more relatable. It shows other users, “Wow! Look how easily I can do that with Schoology.”
Making these videos became a passion of mine and now I would love to share how to create your very own screencast tutorial videos. The following missions will walk you through the process of creating video tutorials. At the end of this article, you will find … well … an EdTech Blitz on how to make an EdTech Blitz.
Mission 1: Decide What to Make a Video About
What do you want to make a video about? My advice is to think about what teachers need. Before deciding on a topic, think of the principles that Malcolm Knowles applied to adult learning (andragogy). It is important to understand that teachers are looking for ideas that they can instantly use in their classroom. If it is beneficial and provides them with a solution, they will be all in!
Are teachers looking for a way to create a digital notebook? Is it the beginning of the school year and your teachers are due for a Schoology refresher course?
Use the video to provide a gateway for the teachers to ask you for more information and one-on-one time in the event the video is not detailed enough for them. This is just one of many benefits of creating video tutorials.
Mission 2: Create a Screencast
There are many tools out there to create a screencast—like Camtasia, for example. Or Screencast-O-Matic, a free option. While your screen recording will have a watermark that shows Screencast-O-Matic, you can easily remove it by purchasing the paid version for a low price.
My screencast software of choice is Quicktime. This application, included on all Apple computers, allows you to record your screen. In September 2017, the new iOS 11.0 will allow users to screen record their iPhone or iPad!
Whichever application you decide to use, make sure you have a plan on what you are going to say. There have been times when I had to record the same video up to ten times.
Videos should be as perfect as possible, with clear, engaging speech to enhance the viewer’s experience. Laptops normally have a microphone built into the computer that will pick up your voice. Though, opting for a USB headset with microphone can increase the clarity of your voice in the video.
After you record the video, watch it all the way through to make sure you are happy with the outcome. When you’re satisfied, don’t forget to save it!
Mission 3: Create Your Slides and Begin Your iMovie
Create a few slides that will break up your video using a slideshow application such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, or Google Slides. I created my EdTech Blitz slide, a title slide of the video, and an outro slide with my information on it. The reason I create an introduction slide is to provide the viewer time to adjust their speakers before I deliver the content.
Save the slides you create so that you can use them again for every video. All you’ll have to do in the future is change the title slides.
After creating your slides, download or export the slides into a picture format. Doing this allows you to drag them into iMovie for your video.
Adjust the timing of the slides. Play each slide for four seconds each, so the viewer has time to read each one. To help them adjust their volume, import a simple tune from the iMovie library to play at the beginning. This tune allows the viewer to find the optimal listening volume. I also use this technique when I create video tutorials in class for my students.
Once you have your slides and music in, you can bring in your screencast. After importing the video, you’re finished! Eh … but we want to make a REALLY awesome and effective video tutorial. If you want to take your basic slideshow to those levels of awesomeness, read on to missions 4 through 6!
Mission 4: Adding Tips and Tricks
In the beginning, we discussed that these videos are created to give a brief tutorial or provide teachers a way to strike up a conversation to dive deeper into the information your video tutorial covered.
As your viewer watches the video, we want them to watch it until the end. However, due to the length, this does not always happen. Wistia has a great article about viewer engagement for videos.
Videos longer than two minutes are not always watched completely through. Short videos are phenomenal, but it may not be feasible for the point you are trying to achieve.
I like to add tips to reinforce important concepts and break up the video. If I am instructing the staff on how to sync their Schoology gradebook with PowerTeacher, I may put up a tip that says, “Make sure to hit the sync button to send grades to PowerTeacher.”
I create these tips in the Mac application Pixelmator. To make the video entertaining, I add a Bitmoji avatar of myself saying the tip. Then save this image with a blank background as a PNG (portable network graphic).
The PNG file prevents you from having a white background on your image. It makes your video so much better! To insert it into iMovie, insert the image over the video and choose the picture-in-picture layout so it appears over the tutorial.
Mission 5: Saving Your Video and Uploading to YouTube
After you finish editing and adding the magic to the your tutorial, it is time to save your video. This can take up to twenty minutes depending on the file size of your video.
After the video is exported as a file, you can upload it to YouTube. With a YouTube account, you can upload as public, unlisted, private, or scheduled. The public videos can be seen by anyone or you may choose unlisted so only those with the link may watch the video. Private videos are for your account only and scheduled videos allow you to do just that—schedule a time for your videos to be published at a later date.
Mission 6: Share The Video and Follow Up
If you want to have an impact with your videos, make sure you share the videos wherever you can. I email the videos and post them on my Twitter account. This allows the entire education technology community to experience my tutorials. I use the word experience because I don’t want these to be just another video tutorial, but one that will provide them with a solution or spark the creativity to positively impact their students.
The more teachers I coach, the more students have an opportunity to succeed.
Making the videos and sharing them is great. However, make sure you follow through and set up a personal time to coach teachers who want to dive deeper into the resources you share. On Twitter, have conversations with your PLN to continue the conversation. YouTube allows you to create a collection of videos—or playlist—to keep them all in one place.
I look forward to seeing the videos you create. As you tweet about your video, please tag me (@sterao8) so I can be a part of your experience! Need additional advice? Watch the video below—EdTech Blitz: How To Create an EdTech Blitz!