How to Make a Class Video

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Making a video of your class lectures and assignments can be an effective way to reach students who are absent or need to review. Class videos can also be used for archiving, portfolios, or to create an educational video library.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Depends

Here's How:

  1. Class Video Recording Equipment

    First, you'll need a video camera to record your class. A professional video camera is always best, because it gives you the most control. A consumer camcorder should work fine, though, in most situations.

    A tripod is also necessary for recording a class video. It'll keep the camera steady, and allow the operator to smoothly zoom in and out. You can even get away with setting the camera up on the tripod, pressing record and walking away. As long as you have a wide shot or a presenter who doesn't move around a lot, you should be OK.

  1. Class Video Audio

    Recording good audio is crucial for a class video. After all, the teacher's information is the most important thing to communicate. Therefore, if you can, give the teacher a microphone. A handheld mic, like newscasters use, would work, but a wireless lavaliere mic would be best.

    If you don't have a microphone for the teacher, get your camera as close as possible. You definitely don't want to be filming from the back of the room, where everything would sound distant and unclear.

    If it's important to hear what the students say, you'll want to give them microphones as well. Handheld mics work well, because they can be passed around. Or, you can use a shotgun mic on your camera, as long as you have it facing the students who are talking.

  2. Lighting Your Class Video

    Generally with a class video, you'll have to deal with available lighting. If the classroom is well lit, you should be all set.

    The biggest problem will come if the presenter is using a projector and wants to turn down the lights. You won't be able to expose properly for the presenter and the slides, so you have to choose one or the other. Usually I'll focus on the person, and then get digital copies of the slides afterward to add in during editing.

  1. Editing Your Class Video

    Class videos are usually pretty easy to edit, because they don't require any cutting and rearranging. You just need to trim the start and end, add titles and you're set.

    If you're using audio from the students, be sure to adjust it so that it matches the audio from the teacher. And you can also add slides and other digital files during editing either using a picture-in-picture effect or swapping the visuals entirely.

    Even a simple program like iMovie will let you do any of this.

  1. Sharing Your Class Video

    Unless it was a short class, you're video is probable pretty long.

    You can easily share a long video on DVD, but it's more difficult to do over the web. Most YouTube accounts don't have length limits, but uploading really large files can still be problematic. For best results, compress your video before uploading so it's a small, but still high-quality file.

    If you're still having trouble, try breaking your video into separate, shorter chapters that will be easier to deal with.

    You can share your finished class video on your school vlog, or on a site like TeacherTube.

What You Need:

  • Video camera
  • Tripod
  • Microphone
  • Video editing computer and software

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