When I started to flip my classroom, the most time consuming component was creating the videos. I feel very strongly that teachers should create their own videos. There are great videos on the web, but I feel that students need to learn from their own teachers. You can always provide a link to other videos as a supplement. Some students might even prefer those videos, but what is important is that students learn from their own teacher. Listening to me outside of the classroom is one of the ways that improves my rapport with my students. As one student commented, "Mme. B, it's kinda cool to hear you in my living room."
Just as creating the videos, at first, can be time consuming, it can also be intimidating. It doesn't have to be. It is not necessary for a teacher to have an extensive background with technology in order to create video lessons. Students' learning is improved because they have the ability to pause and rewind the video lessons, as needed. There are several of options for creating those videos:
This is the simplest method of creating a video lesson. The teacher sets up a video camera on a tripod, then stands at the whiteboard, chalkboard or interactive whiteboard and presents the lesson. Here is an example recorded with a Flip Cam.
Called "vod-casting" by some teachers, a screen-cast is a recording of the computer screen, as well as the audio of the teacher presenting the lesson. The teacher could be talking through a PowerPoint presentation, a Prezi or simply writing on the screen using a stylus, such as a Wacom Bamboo Tablet. There is a variety of software for PCs and IPads, in all price-points, available to screen-cast a lesson. Check out an example of a lesson with my Bamboo Tablet.
|Software||Price||Time-Limit||Video Download||My Thoughts|
|Smart Notebook Video Recording||Included with Smart Notebook Software/ $599 per license||None||Yes (.wmv or .avi)||If SmartNotebook software is available, this is an easy way to record your screen. It doesn't offer many extras, which makes it simple to use, but the quality isn't great and it requires the extra step of converting videos in order to have a video in .mp4 format.|
|Screencast-O-Matic||Free (Pro Version-$15/year)||15 minutes||Yes (.mp4,.avi,.flv)||I love this program! It produces high-quality videos for a free program, and is easy to use. I like that it offers a count-down before the recording actually begins.|
|Camtasia Studio||$179.00 for educators||None||Yes. Choose any format in a variety of resolutions||TechSmith describes their software as "world-class", and I agree. The options are endless with this easy to use software which allows as many editing features, if not more, than IMovie. If you are serious about creating professional videos, spend the money on this software!|
|Educreations (for PC, Mac or Ipad)||Free||None||No. Videos are stored online||Great for recording lessons with an IPad. Because it is simple to use, I have had students record their own flip lessons with the IPad app. It has a long way to go, however, because their are no editing features.|
|Explain Everything (IPad Only)||$2.99||None||Yes. Export movies in .mp4||There aren't a lot of bells and whistles, here, but I like that I can create a video quickly and with my stylus and my IPad, create a very personal video with annotations. Math and Science teachers love this program because they can work through problems and record every step of the way.|
|eLecta Live Screen Recording||Free||None||Yes. .avi||This is another great piece of basic software. Very simple and easy to use.|
|Ink2Go||$19.99 ($9.99 through Crazy for Education)||None||Yes. .wmv files||I like that this software offers annotation and Picture-in-Picture. It takes a while to get used to recording with it, but it offers nice features that other pricier software offers.|
Once the videos have been created, the students have to be able to view them. There are several options for posting your videos to the web. First, here are some things to consider:
|Website||File Size||File Formats||My Thoughts|
|YouTube||up to 2GB||.wmv, .avi, .mov, .3gp, .mpeg, .mp4, .flv, .swf, .webm, .mkv(h.264)||At first, I was cautious about my educational videos being among all of the "yuck" on YouTube, however due to the YouTube app and access on gaming devices, I realized that this is the EASIEST way for students to view my videos. They subscribe to my channel and easily access my videos.|
|School Tube||1.5GB||.3gp, .asf, .avi, .bik, .divx, .f4v, .flv, .m2ts, .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .ogv, .rm, .webm, .wmv, .xvid||This is my preferred hosting site! It is safe and much more reliable than in the past. Teachers can create a channel on which students can follow them. Unlike YouTube, it is not blocked on most school campuses. It does include safe advertisements, but schools can buy an ad-free subscription.|
|Teacher Tube||300MB||mp4, .flv, .wmv||I find this site cumbersome. It takes a long time for videos to upload and is not always reliable. However, it is not blocked by most schools and it does offer a variety of videos that teachers could use to supplement their own.|
|Flipped Lessons||Nothing posted on their site.||Nothing posted on their site.||This is somewhat of a learning management tool, as well. Teachers can create pre- and post-video quizzes to go along with their videos. Students create an account, log in and they can see what video is due. Teachers can see who has logged in to watch the videos. This is great for younger students. I have found that it isn't always reliable, so a secondary posting is necessary.|
|Edmodo||None, but students must download the video to play it.||I ONLY post .mp4 for accessibility on mobile devices||This is my students' favorite place to view video lessons. Edmodo works like Facebook. I can create a calendar from which students can receive alerts on their phones. It has an intuitive app which makes viewing lessons easy on mobile devices. Plus, students can post questions and/or responses on our class page for clarification.|
|Crazy For Education||2GB||.asf,.avi,.flv,.m4v,.mov,.mp4,.m4a,.3gp,.3g2,.mj2,.wmv||This is not my primary site to post videos, however, they offer a unique opportunity for students to learn by watching pre-screened videos created by other teachers.|