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Remote teaching tips: how to leverage YouTube for your classroom

Quizlet in Education & Teachers ·
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As many schools prepare to meet the start of the 2020-21 school year remotely, teachers’ ability to adapt, innovate and successfully create an online classroom is increasingly essential. At Quizlet, we know how difficult this can be. We are here to help you every step of the way.

To compensate for limited in-person time with students, many teachers have begun creating YouTube videos to teach and share class content asynchronously. These videos will differ greatly among subject and grade level, but their creation process is the same and fairly straightforward.

Below is step-by-step guidance on how to easily create a YouTube account/channel, film and edit educational videos, upload them to YouTube, and share them with your students. Before long, we trust you will be a pro at teaching and sharing important class content with your students remotely.

Why make YouTube videos?

Due to screen burnout, scheduling constraints, and countless other factors, teachers have far less face time with students during remote learning. Enter asynchronous learning.

In asynchronous learning, students absorb a bulk of class content on their own time via teacher-provided resources. This pedagogy correlates strongly with flipped classrooms.

When teachers flip the classroom, their students introduce themselves to new course material at home, before learning about it in the classroom. The teacher may assign reading, a video, or a preparatory exercise. Then students come to class prepared with some knowledge, where they further explore the content through in-class inquiry and application of the new concepts.

According to UC Berkley’s Center for Teaching and Learning, this approach has many benefits, including giving students more time to seek help during class, more opportunities to practice the material, and the ability to review material that would ordinarily be given in a classroom lecture, before even coming to class. By sharing a bulk of class content through YouTube videos or readings. outside of class, teachers can use their instructional time to engage and collaborate with others.

Though it may seem daunting to facilitate collaborative learning opportunities during remote learning, it is absolutely possible. These days, it is more important than ever! During remote learning, students are lacking arguably the most important parts of school: engaging with others, social-emotional support, collaboration and communication.

Students can easily feel isolated and disconnected. Freeing up class time for discussion and connection and will better support students’ socio-emotional and holistic learning paths.
Not convinced yet? These claims are supported by highly-regarded peer-reviewed articles. The European Journal of Open, Distance, and E-Learning found that student emotional well-being was linked to quality communication between students and tutors and students and their peers.

A study published in Computers & Education suggests that “social presence and teacher-student interaction have a positive influence on students' active learning, both directly and indirectly, through emotional engagement.”

UC Berkley’s Center for Teaching and Learning has helpful suggestions for collaborative live classes during remote learning:

“In the context of remote instruction, all aspects of our courses are online. In this case, the ‘flipped’ portion may be a synchronous, or live, class session held via Zoom. It could also include time allotted for students to engage in remote collaboration through other platforms. Consider trying: Zoom breakout rooms, Zoom polling, peer instruction, group projects/collaboration via Google Docs, sheets, slides, forms, etc.”

Are you ready to make the transition to teaching on YouTube yet?

Step 1: Create a YouTube channel

To upload videos to YouTube, you will first need to create a YouTube account linked to a Google account. With a Google account, creating a YouTube channel is straightforward.

Don’t know what a YouTube channel is? It’s simply a single location where users can find all your videos, and any other links and information that you would like to add.

To create a YouTube channel, follow the detailed directions on this web page.

Need more help? Here is another YouTube video walking you through the basics of how to set up a YouTube channel.

Here’s another extremely simplified video just for teachers!

Ready to amp it up one level? Here’s a YouTube video on creating a YouTube channel specifically for your classroom and student playlists.

Step 2: How to film your video.

Now that you have your YouTube channel set up, it’s time to film your video. There are a plethora of videos and articles on YouTube that will advise you on how to best film a video for YouTube.

Our advice? Start with the basics. The lighting, audio quality, heck, even your hair, doesn’t need to be perfect for your YouTube video! What matters is your video’s content.

For a basic YouTube video, simply prepare your lesson, prop up your recording device (smartphone, computer with webcam, camera, etc.), and hit record. This video will walk you through how to record educational video content and discuss what tech devices you may need to successfully create YouTube videos.

Keep in mind: less is more! In the words of this peppy YouTuber, start with what you have. If you don’t need to purchase things to record YouTube videos, don’t!

That being said, it can be very helpful to record digital whiteboard videos. We found the following videos very helpful for deciding which recording program to use, and how to use the programs. We find Screencastify to be the easiest program.

Screencastify tutorial for teachers

Easy Screen Recording with Screencastify

We also found this video, Online Teaching on YouTube, particularly helpful. This video will show how you can use screen recording not only for virtual whiteboards, but also for PowerPoints, Quizlets and other teaching tools!

Step 3: Edit your video (optional!)

If you are new to YouTube, we suggest limiting your editing process. Many teachers do no editing on their videos; they simply record their classes and upload them as they are, minor mistakes and all! Unless you enjoy the editing process, we recommend this lassez-faire strategy. Your students should care about what you have to say and the class content, not how smooth your video transitions are.

If you want to edit your teaching videos, there are limitless video editing options.

If you have iMovie, you can use it to edit your YouTube videos. This video walks you through the basics.

Step 4: Upload a Video to YouTube.

Now that you have your YouTube channel and video, it’s time for you to upload it. Here is a step-by-step instructional video on how to upload a video to YouTube.

Worried about privacy? Here is a step-by-step instructional video on how to upload a video to YouTube in private.

Your video is up! What’s next?

Now that your video is successfully uploaded to your channel, simply share the video with your students by copying the video’s URL and sending it to them.

Next, we recommend creating a new Quizlet study set that correlates with your YouTube video. Unsure how to do this? Check out this study set, that will walk you through the process. Read the description in the picture below for ideas on how to integrate Quizlet with your new YouTube channel.

With these step-by-step directions on how to set up your YouTube channel, we trust your students will enjoy learning from you at their own pace and engaging with your class in live time. For more tips, check out this advice from nine teachers on remote and distance learning.

Now is the time for learning new skills, innovating and reimagining what school can be. If anyone can tackle this tremendous challenge, it’s teachers. We wish you all the best in remote learning. We’re all in this together!

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