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Tips on making your own educational videos

While educational videos are incredibly valuable to learners and teachers, creating one can appear overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to show you that making an educational video is actually very easy, and to help guide you in making your own.

Watch the videos above to see what ordinary teachers like you have accomplished with simple tools, and read below for tips on how to make your educational video and share it on the ePortal.

We need teachers to get involved — to make a video and make a difference in the lives of learners across the Western Cape. Are you ready to jump in?

Choose a lesson. 
Decide what you want to teach in your video. The best educational videos are no longer than 6 minutes long, so choose a very specific lesson that you think will benefit from being in a video. Maybe it’s one that students often struggle with, or maybe you think fun visuals could help get the lesson across. Just make sure to pick a subject you are very comfortable with and like teaching. Fun visuals could help get the lesson across. Just make sure to pick a subject you are very comfortable with and like teaching.
Pick your style.
There are many different kinds of educational videos, like speaking directly to the camera , or recording as you work out sums on a surface , or even animated slideshows or videos . Watch educational videos on the ePortal to find a style that you like and that will work for your lesson.
Writing a script.
Even if you have taught your lesson hundreds of times, an educational video needs to be brief and succinct. So make sure to write a script of what you are going to say before recording your video — this will help keep the video short and your lesson to-the-point. This script doesn’t have to be in any special format, just get the words down on paper beforehand, and maybe practice a couple times.
Collect your resources.
Depending on the style of video you want to make, you may need specific technology. But you can use any of the following to make a good video: smartphones, video cameras, computers, tablets, overhead projectors, smart boards, digital audio recorders, microphones, or visual aids like maps or graphs. Figure out what you have available and what you might like to use for your video. At the end of the day, even if all you have is a video-recording smartphone you can make a great educational video!
Recording video.
Recording video on a smartphone is easy — you just need to open your Camera app and select the ‘Video’ function. When filming make sure your phone is stable. Try leaning it against something on a flat surface. This is better than making someone hold it (it will shake too much). It’s okay if you record video clips that are too long — you can edit the video later (see next tip). When the recording is finished, you can easily send the video to your computer via email or by connecting to your computer with a USB cable
Editing your video.
Video editing may look difficult, but it’s actually very easy. If you are using a Windows computer you should already have Windows Movie Maker on it, or if you are using a Mac you should have iMovie. Many tutorials for these programs can be found on YouTube. If you want a more powerful editing program you can download Lightworks for free here and find tutorials on their website.
Recording your voice.
If you need to have someone speaking over your video (called ‘voice-over’) you can easily record your voice with your smartphone using the Voice Memos app on iPhone or the Google Keep app on Android. You can then send the recording to your computer by email or USB. You could also record your voice directly onto your computer by plugging in a microphone — you might already have one on a pair of headphones — and then use Windows Voice Recorder or Quicktime to record. You can then import the recording into your video editing program and add it to the video.
On-screen writing.
You can make educational videos that include on-screen writing, like the videos from Khan Academy, very easily. The simplest way is to use an old overhead projector — just put your smartphone on the overhead arm with the camera facing the glass below, and record! If you don’t have an overhead projector you can use a clear piece of glass or plastic sitting on a stack of books. Then put your phone face-down on the glass and record as your write on paper underneath the glass. Or, if you have a smart board connected to a computer, you can write on the smart board while recording the computer screen with an app like Active Presenter on Windows or Quicktime on Mac. Once recorded you can bring the video into your video editing program to edit and add voice-over.
Animation.
Animated educational videos are some of the most engaging and exciting videos to watch, but they can be challenging to make. Fortunately, there are many online services available to help you create animation without the need for professional animation software or experience. Moovly and Biteable [biteable.com] are two of the best free options, but there are many more out there. You may need to watch tutorials on the platform’s website to learn how to use it, but the results are sure to be worth it. Another option is to make an animated video from a PowerPoint presentation, which you can learn more about here.
Uploading your video.
Once your video is complete you need to upload it to YouTube. You can do this automatically from editing programs like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, or learn how to do it directly here. Once your video is on YouTube, copy the video page’s URL and go the ePortal site. Click on the ‘Add an eResource’ button, and paste your video’s URL into the ‘Resource URL’ field. Easy, right? Note that you have to create an account on YouTube and the ePortal to add content (both are free and quick to register).
Extra credit.
If you are serious about creating great educational videos, there are many resources online to help you make A-grade work. There are articles that include tips or research on video techniques, and even entire websites dedicated to the subject. So look around online, and maybe you’ll even find an educational video on how to make a great educational video!