Video is a powerful tool for learning – whether it’s video made by students, or teacher created presentation or flipped classroom videos. When we make videos, all we want perfection.  Is that too much to ask? Yet when we look at what we make it doesn’t always match what we imagined in our heads.  Today we take a look at some common mistakes and share some tips and tricks you can use to make edu-awesome videos.

Lessons Learned

Dennis – Check your cables.

Chris Carter – I need a finger-ring or hand-strap when using my iPad.

Fun Facts

Fun Fact: In all likelihood there are whales, bowhead whales at least, alive today who are older than Herman Melville’s great work, Moby Dick, first published in 1851. “… scientists have used amino acids in the eyes of whales and harpoon fragments lodged in their carcasses to determine the age of these enormous animals — and they found at least three bowhead whales who were living prior to 1850.”

Fun Fact 2: Be careful when you say someone is older than sliced bread. They just might actually be! From wikipedia, “Sliced bread is a loaf of bread that has been sliced with a machine and packaged for convenience. It was first sold in 1928, advertised as “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped”. This led to the popular phrase “greatest thing since sliced bread”.”

This means that Betty White is, literally, older than sliced bread. Keep rockin’ it, Betty!

Notes & Links

Common Mistakes

  • Pet Peeve – Vertical Video!  PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!
  • Common misconception – “I can just make a quick video.”
    • Rule of thumb – Take how much time you think it should take you to make a video and multiply that by 4
  • What you hear is what the microphone records.
    • Microphone records everything.  Be aware of the ambient noise.
  • “We can fix it when we edit.”
  • Low-res images


Tips that everyone can (and SHOULD) do make better videos.

  • Have a Plan.  So often students think they can just grab a camera & start shooting.
  • Think about audio.  
    • If you’re recording a narration or voiceover pick a quiet place (indoors) with no ambient noise or echo.
    • Listen to the noise around you.  Is this the best location to film?
    • If you can, use a microphone. Don’t rely on the built in one on your camera.
    • Consistent audio levels.  You don’t want your video to go from really quiet to REALLY LOUD and back to quiet again.
  • Allow enough time
  • HOLD THE CAMERA HORIZONTALLY – Think of the shape of your TV.
  • Consider your lighting – don’t shoot into the sun and expect your subject to be more than just a silhouette.
  • If you don’t have a lot of time, use still images and voiceover.  It goes together MUCH faster.
  • Every element counts. Use the medium to your advantage.
  • Nothing haphazard!!! Sounds, layered images, transitions … do not include anything that does not have a specific purpose.
  • Know your color wheel.
  • Think: infographic. Less text, more image.
  • No longer the 5-7 min