A guest post by Matt Taylor
Interested in flipping your classroom? Or how about just providing some at-home help for struggling students? One way to encourage students to learn at home is to post lectures on YouTube. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a tech whiz to make it work. I just created my first YouTube lecture, which I describe in detail at the bottom of this post. It only took me two hours to record, edit, upload, and add closed captions. (Of course, creating the PowerPoint presentation took additional time, but you may already have one ready.)
Do you want to post a lecture on YouTube? You’ll need only a few things:
- A PowerPoint presentation (or Google presentation) to use.
- A screen-grabbing software. I just bought Camtasia and highly recommend it. The $100 software (educational pricing for students and educators) allowed me to easily record and edit the presentation. I could also have included a webcam recording of myself throughout the lecture (for an example, see any Bozeman Science video). But I didn’t want to get too ambitious for my first YouTube lecture attempt, and having my webcam on would have required me to sound and look natural. Maybe next time. I’ve also heard that Screencast-O-Matic is a great, free way to record a PowerPoint lecture for YouTube, but I haven’t tried it.
- An idea of what you want to say. How much you script depends on how formal/stiff you want it to sound versus how informal/loose you want to be. It also might depend on how comfortable you are with being recorded.
- Optional: Microphone or headset, for best sound quality. I have a cheap Insignia headset. I’d recommend getting something in the $30 range.
- A YouTube subscription and a channel of your own.
Let your students know what your YouTube name is and encourage them to subscribe. They will then be able to quickly navigate to the course materials that you post on YouTube.
I developed my first YouTube lecture, linked below, to support the Preserving Biodiversity graphics and lesson plans that I created over the summer.
If you need any help posting lectures to YouTube, please ask. Or if you have advice for creating great presentations for students to view at home, we’d love to hear. Please write in the comments section below.