As educators, we all know that YouTube is a wonderful resource for supplementing our lessons. From the myriad videos on TEDTalks and Khan Academy to the many posts of teachers such as Derek Muller of Veritasium and those on the popular Crash Course series, YouTube has proven itself to be invaluable as an online depository of knowledge.
We have all shared and consumed clips but have you ever considered creating your own videos?
I have dabbled in screencasting (creating instructional videos of my computer screen output) before and this term I am turning my attentions once again to screencasting and YouTube. The aim is to have a class submit their next assignment using the same tools.
It has never been easier to start your own YouTube channel and upload your own videos. In doing so, you can gain greater control of content, collaborate with colleagues and model the presentation skills we aim to develop in our students.
Chances are that your laptop already has the QuickTime media player installed. I use a Mac and once I open the QuickTime application I simply right click and start a new screen recording. It is relatively easy to select the whole screen or only part of it as well as the audio source before recording.
It took me some time (and money) exploring various screencasting software solutions before I realised that the Keynote (Mac) presentation I wanted to record already has this function built into it. Once satisfied with your presentation simply select the ‘Play’ option from the menu at the top of your screen. From there you can then record the presentation and your voiceover. The beauty with recording directly from Keynote is that you can customise the menu allowing you to see which slides remain, the timings and your presenter notes/script. Once you are satisfied with your end product, you can select ‘File’ and export it as a QuickTime video.
I often use the Screencastify extension from the Google Chrome store for recording my desktop or tab. This is an extension that works on Google Chrome (perfect if you are reliant on Chromebooks) and is available in a free Lite version and a Premium version (with extra functionality). For a small, one time payment of €20 you can record longer videos without a watermark which you can upload directly to YouTube. It also has a function whereby you can embed a webcam recording of yourself in the bottom corner of the screen. For the simplicity and professional end product, I think it’s worth the fee, but it is not essential as there are, as we have seen, workarounds.
Having created your video screencast, you are now ready to upload it onto YouTube. Log into YouTube or create an account. The instructions for creating your own channel are straightforward enough. Once you have completed the process, you can create playlists for subjects or topics you are likely to post on. Here you can alter the default setting to make your videos public or private. YouTube videos can be uploaded in a variety of formats including .MP4, .MOV so your QuickTime video can be uploaded without need for conversion.
It takes some time to get comfortable with hearing your own voice (and possibly watching yourself) in videos but in my experience, your efforts will be appreciated and it is healthy to review your presentation skills in this way.
So what are you waiting for? Why not try your hand at becoming a creator as well as consumer of YouTube videos and set yourself on the path to becoming a YouTube sensation!