Creating “How-To” videos are harder than they look

For weeks I’ve been struggling with creating videos to reinforce the information I had presented in several training sessions. I knew that teachers needed something they could re-watch when they had questions but finding the right program was more of a challenge than I expected. There are so many questions you have to ask yourself as you begin: What are you explaining? Who is your audience? What are the issues the audience might encounter? Will the program you use “play nice” with the computer the audience uses to watch your video? What program do you use to record? How do you learn to use the program you choose? Where is the video going to be stored for easy access? How will your audience know the video is somewhere for them to few? Can you find how-to videos already created? Are they good videos?

I’ve always been a huge iMovie fan but I’m not familiar with screen recording in the program and I was worried about the Quicktime movie file “playing nice” with other computers. So I decided to utilize a school purchased program called “Camtasia” because my partner was familiar with it and I could ask her questions as they arose.

Then I settled on recording short (2 min) videos of various programs teachers had informed me they needed more information on using in their classrooms (Mimio/Smartboard/School webpages/Google Drive/etc.) and I placed the videos (unlisted) on Youtube. I emailed the links to the videos out to the teachers that needed them and hoped for the best.

While recording, I found that I do not speak as eloquently as I try to pretend I do. It was also difficult to find quiet times to record in an office of 4 people. If I messed up, it was easier to record the whole thing over again than it was to cut and edit the messed up parts. Overall, I felt that I was doing a horrible job.

Then I realized that students feel the same way. They are given questions and asked to put information together to share with others in the best format that they can. If I don’t feel like I’ve mastered the skill then I need to re-assess my understanding and re-create.

So I sat down and created a video I had been putting off for a while. Is it the best video ever created? Debatable. ^_~

Did I learn something from my experience of creating it? Of course.

I have to put myself and the video out there to receive feedback (constructive!) and learn how to progress. I am new to this position and new to creating how-to videos.

We all have to start somewhere!

P.S: Here’s the video…


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