Student Video Production

I have yet to see educators settle on one way of having students produce and share video, especially for online courses. There is such a staggering amount of devices, tools, services and apps to produce and share video that I think most of us are as baffled as the tyranny of choices we confront in the supermarket aisles.

I was looking again this summer at some services I had not used before to see if there was a new FREE tool for students to produce video that could incorporate live action but also screen captures, images and maybe even desktop interactions. I wanted this for producing short "lectures" or presentations and for assignments, proposals, evaluations and portfolios.

In the past, I have used any commercial service that the school had purchased and I could offer my students. These products like WebEx, Echo260, Camtasia Relay etc. are not only costly but often too much of a tech hurdle for faculty and for students to use with any regularity.

Many people suggest that students use things like Voice Thread in online or F2F courses. Instructors can start a topic and students can all add comments, either voice or text, around it. Students can collaborate on a thread about a course topics. Images and videos made using other tools can be included too.

Animoto is free for 30 second video (which might be useful for icebreaker introductions or other small assignments) but has costs otherwise. offers a maximum recording time of 15 minutes, no max free hosting for up to 15 minutes per upload and a variety of file and publishing options.

Similarly, I have had students use Jing which is free from to create images and videos of what is on their computer screen, then share them instantly. The videos must be short, but I find it works well for proposals and elevator pitches for research topics.  It can also be a good icebreaker exercise to have them introduce themselves in a n online course. I have used it to give students my thoughts on their work in online courses. It's not difficult to use but it also can signal to me those students that are going to have issues with using technology.

I hear about more teachers using Google Hangouts in the classroom. Besides the video aspect, it offers commenting, messaging, and chat features so that students can ask questions while you lead the course, and they can interact with you and each other.



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