How to make teaching videos for distance learning- tips and tools for making professional looking teaching videos

Take a sneak peek inside my studio and get all the tips and tricks I’ve learned about recording professional looking teaching videos easily and quickly!

Connecting with your students….

As teachers we all want to connect with our students- whether we get to see them in person or not. Creating short teaching videos is the perfect way to connect when we just can’t be together.

Making your own videos doesn’t have to be time consuming or even expensive.  Take a tour through my own studio and see what I use to create professional looking videos on a shoestring budget.

Camera Options for Creating Teaching Videos….

I use a variety of camera for making videos.  It’s always possible to make videos with the tech you already have.

I have three different video cameras that I own and use for different reasons! You most likely won’t need all three but you’l be able to see the pros and cons of each!

Recording distance learning videos with a smart phone….

I’ve been making videos through three different generations of iPhones, starting with my 5C. Smart phone video capability has grown by leaps and bounds since then- cell phone video quality is legit these days.  If a cell phone is what you have available I recommend starting there.

If you record using a smart phone you need to buy cell phone mount.  This flexible tripod type mount that screws to the side of the table allows your phone to hover over your work surface serving as a document camera.  This thing is supremely flexible- I use mine on the daily!

Another advantage of recording with a cell phone is the amazing capabilities of the all the apps out there.  I use the app Hyperlapse to record in super fast forward.  This is a great way to give kids an overview of a project without stretching the video out time-wise. I use the app ColorStory as an easy way to apply filters, effects, and crop both videos and still photos. And, of course, there’s the iMovie app that will allow you to do some basic movie editing right on your phone.

Recording teaching videos with a DSLR….

I own a Canon EOS Rebel SL3 DSLR camera that I use for both recording videos and taking still pictures. While I do still use my phone for somethings I tend to grab this camera for longer, more involved teaching videos.  I love that I can store videos on an SD card so I’m not always running out of space.

I have a lightweight aluminum tripod that allows me to record in either a vertical or horizontal way. I love this- it’s like a document camera set up at a fraction of the price.  You cannot recreate the steadiness and adjustability of a tripod like this.  Trust me- I’ve tried.

Recording educational videos with a webcam….

I use a Logitech C922x Webcam for all occasions when I need to record my laptop screen, myself, or any combination of those two!  This inexpensive little camera perches on top of my laptop and uses the microphone from my laptop. The quality is pretty darn good for the price point.

When I need to record my screen I use a screen recorder called Screencast-O-Matic.  There’s a free version and it’s super easy to launch a recorder and record yourself, your screen, or both at the same time.

Accessories That Make Filming Teaching Videos Easy…

Investing in a few accessories have made it so much easier to make videos when I have time!

Investing in video lights….

This set of two soft box lights makes it possible for me to film video and take pictures whenever I want. This means I can recreate the perfect lighting when I have time- even if it’s dark out! The ability to control the lighting is probably the single biggest improvement in my videos- even bigger than changing up my camera.

Box lights are a bit bulky. I’m not going to lie, they’re time consuming to take up and down.  But, if you have the space for them- they’ll be nothing short of an amazing boost to your teaching videos.

If you’re recording yourself speaking, as opposed to your work surface, a smaller ring light will light you up and have a much smaller footprint.

Blocking out the clutter…

If you’re filming teaching videos in your own house it can be half the battle just to clear a spot to film. Make it easy on yourself and set up a little filming area that hides the mess. I use a backdrop stand and a simple white brick photo backdrop. It provides a totally neutral, simple backdrop that allows the focus to stay on my project, not what’s looming in the background. You could absolutely rig a stand to hold a backdrop.  I just like this one because it’s super adjustable and fold up. It’s ease for the win in this case.

I’ve had a variety of colors and textures of these photo backdrops.  I even use them on tabletops as a backdrop for videos I’m filming vertically.  They’re inexpensive and a colorful way to mix up the look of your teaching videos!

How to make teaching videos for distance learning- tips and tools for making professional looking teaching videos

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