It’s no secret that video is already a huge part of students' lives but also their parents’ and educators’ lives as well. Many schools already have some form of media education or video production program in place, but (what is the next step in utilizing student compelling content?) How can schools and districts make these programs even more advantageous to their students? The answer lies with shareability and utilizing the internet is the perfect solution for it. Creating a YouTube channel, or using a video hosting site like SchoolTube is, not only an easy and free solution for showcasing student-created videos, but it can also be a great way to tell your school’s story, dissimilate important information, and provide new ways to involve your local community.
Whether you’re creating a weekly school news broadcast or utilizing video for a specific classroom assignment, it takes a lot of work to produce a decent video and those projects should be shared. Students will undoubtedly want to show off what they have created and featuring projects on an easily shareable platform is key. Having the option to publish videos online will also help motivate them to create the highest quality work possible as mentioned by EdTech Coordinator JR Renna in his interview with Padcaster. Not only will they be able to send these projects to their peers and families but the world at large has a chance to see them.
“When you give [students] the opportunity to share their work on the internet, the quality of their work goes through the roof. Dr. Howard Pitler said, ‘If students are sharing their work with their teacher, they want it to be good enough. If they are sharing it with the world they want it to be GREAT.’ We find that to be true as well." JR Renna (Padcaster’s interview with JR Renna)
Beyond school projects, sharing your school’s culture of your school and telling its story is instrumental. Posting a video of a school event or live streaming an important game only helps to increase school spirit and shows potential students what it’s like to be a member of your student body. Promoting your story helps boost attendance at fundraisers or even grow your campus’s notoriety in the local community. By creating a strong and distinct personality for your school you can also control its narrative, always putting its best foot forward to parents and the community. Having a YouTube channel or a playlist on SchoolTube will make these important video representations of your school’s story easily shareable and accessible to all.
Creating videos and taking advantage of these online resources is also a fun and engaging way to circulate information to both students and their parents. Teachers, administrators or students can create video content outlining rules, updates or advertising school events and then upload them online for distribution. From there, the videos can be easily posted on social media, embedded into e-newsletters, featured on a school’s web page or sent out via email.
If your school is looking to increase engagement with your local community through video, making them easily accessible is the perfect solution. A great example of a school using video and the internet to connect with their community is the students of East Pennsboro Area School District and their student production team EP Media. The team of student filmmakers worked together with their adviser Erick Hanson to create a short commercial for a local business. Since YouTube is so user-friendly and universally used, both the students and the business were able to share the video with ease and promote themselves. Knowing their project would be accessed by not just their teacher, but the client and also the community, gave the students a real-world peek into what it’s like to work in digital marketing and advertising.
If you are looking for a more school focused video platform, SchoolTube offers K-12 focused free, video hosting supported by school-safe ads and sponsors. SchoolTube’s proprietary process relies on teachers to act as moderators to review and approve student video uploads. This moderation process enables SchoolTube to be “whitelisted” on school networks. School media departments, teachers and student producers can create shareable channels and playlists to share their videos. SchoolTube will also offer live streaming and ad-free packages beginning in 2020. For more information, read the Guide to Getting Started with SchoolTube.
Sharing your school and student videos online, through YouTube or a platform like SchoolTube is a crucial step in further educating students in video production by giving them the chance to publicly share their work. Sharing videos online is surprisingly easy, typically free, and provides schools and educators with a new and powerful platform to engage families and their community.
By Marin Morales