It’s been a looong time since I’ve wrote a blog here, and for those of you frequent readers, I’m sorry. I wrote 365 posts in 365 days; I should not be going over 6 months without a blog post. I’m very happy to be back with a new Sunday’s For Teachers post!
As a teacher in quarantine, I’ve been wanting to create video content for my students and teacher visitors to this website. And I have created a YouTube channel that is currently waiting for me to upload my first video.
About 10 years ago, I used to create YouTube content quite a bit. But it’s been a while, and and we know, in 10 years, tech has changed a ton! And I’m a Mac user now…I wasn’t back in the day. I reached out a few of my teacher friends that create video lessons on the regular, and I asked them for some advice. The following is what I will be starting with as I begin to create my own content.
Disclaimer: I’m new to a lot of this, and I have yet to post a video, so please learn and experiment with me! Comment with tips, tricks, and thoughts.
First thing to get out of the way, multiple people have advised to keep the camera high to create a low-angle, less double-chin pic. The way I see it, people see me all the time, if I think I look bad on camera, that’s more of a me thing than a you thing, but I get it. We all get self-conscious.
In the pics below, the left has my camera on the table, in a normal position. The pic on the right is what my camera looks like pointing down at me. It is a better angle. And the way I did it? I just put the laptop on an empty cardboard box. Find the height that’s right for you. There are tons of ways to raise your camera from professional riggings to cardboard boxes.
Lighting and sound are important too, but only when you are ready for them to be. You want to light your face and information/samples that you are using that you want your audience to see. Use directional desk or standing lamps for lighting if you need, and toss up some sheets on the walls to keep your sound from being too echoey…I’m still working on the sound dampening, but I for sure have a room in my house with a bunch of strangely placed lamps.
It looks like non-frightening haunted house.
Next is hardware, what do you need? The answer to that varies so much, that you could fall into a YouTube/internet search that cripples your excitement and makes you want to turn back.
Don’t let it!
Use what you have. There will always be better equipment and more expensive ways of doing things. Start slow. I’m recording video on my iPhone, and I have a fairly cheap Blue Snowball iCE microphone for audio. One of the teachers in the art department at my school, Ailysh, records her instructional videos on her phone, does not worry about the sound, uploads them from Google Photos into iMovie, edits them, and adds a voiceover with mic on her Mac. She does drawing demos, and has made a rack (similar to a baking cooling rack) to hold her phone while she draws. #getcreative
Our choir director, Mark, records all of his classroom videos directly from QuickTime on his Mac and uploads from there. Easy peasy!
One of our music teachers, Bob, is somewhat of a pro; I started with getting his advice, and while a little overwhelmed, understanding where he was coming from made it much easier to adapt what people a few steps under him were doing. However, his advice on upgrading equipment and sound/lighting tips (a few that you read above) have me excited to keep going and get better! By the way, shout out to The Shed (music website created by our music guys at Oak Lawn Community)! Please click the link to check out great music lessons AND for help in Distance Learning with music.
My buddy Jason teaches social studies at my old school; he reached out with a YouTube video that he made to help me get stated; instead of explaining it, I’ll link it here.
I know that’s a lot right now. Play, explore, let me know how it goes! Let’s get to it!
A big thank you to my Art and Music peeps and Jason for helping me with this and for answering ALL of the questions that I will have over the next 124 months (I should have it figured out by then).