Remote learning looks different based on your school and your students’ needs- you might be providing self-paced activities, hosting live sessions, mailing paper packets or a combination of all of these. Something I received a lot of positive feedback on from parents was posting videos on my Google Classroom. Videos are a great resource for families and provide more flexibility for families who may not be able to get on to a live session. I have made very few videos of myself teaching, so I was looking for simple way to make instructional videos for students. While there are a lot of different options for creating instructional videos, I found making them through Google Meet was an easy way to get the layout that I wanted. Here is how I use Google Meet to create instructional videos for my students…
1. Plan Your Video
Like everything we do as teachers, planning is essential. When I first made a video, I wanted to do something that was familiar to my students and myself, so I did the Class Code (our version of a short morning meeting). I would recommend doing something that is routine and familiar at first and then moving on to more academic content. You could also do a social story, which I will be showing in this post. I use Google Meet to record myself in presentation mode, so I like to have a visual component that students can see easily, while hearing me and seeing me. I use Google Slides to create my visuals. For my Class Code, which was rules and expectations, I just made one per slide and put the pictures I used in the classroom from LessonPix. For the social story, I just took screen shots and enlarged them on slides, creating a slide show.
2. Start a Meeting
After you have your plan and your visuals or materials, it’s time to start a Google Meet. If you are signed on to a Google account, go to the “waffle” (the nine gray dots in a square in the upper right hand corner) and go to “Meet” or just search for “Google Meet”. When you get to the Google Meet page, click “+ Join or start a meeting”.
You will be prompted to give it a name. I just called mine “Social Story Video”- I don’t think the name matters too much. Your camera will turn on and you will see yourself on the screen. Click on the button “Join now”. You will be in a “meeting” and see yourself on the full screen.
Your camera will turn on and you will see yourself on the screen. Click on the button “Join now”. You will be in a “meeting” and see yourself on the full screen.
3. Set Up & Rehearse
After you go to “Join now” and see yourself on the larger screen, make sure the lighting and the angle of the camera is just right. I use books to heighten or lower my computer to get the right angle. Also, try the lighting that works best for you. I like to use natural light, but you may have to move around your apartment or living space in order to find the right lighting. You want to do this before you present, because the one negative about using Google Meet to make videos is that you will not be able to see yourself when you present.
After you have figured out lighting and camera (computer) placement, pull up the slides or material you are going to use and practice. This is helpful for me because I can practice with the slides and make sure I have all the visuals that I want.
When you are ready to record, go to the lower right hand corner of your screen and click on “Present now”. Then a window will pop up and then select “Your entire screen”, and click on the small version of your entire screen.
After your presentation is set up, find the three dots lower right hand corner and click on them. Choose “Record now”. A window will pop up, as a consent to record reminder. After you approve, a red rectangle will appear in the upper left hand corner and say “REC”. This means you are recording. It’s okay if you are not entirely ready or mess up-you can always edit or re-do your recording.
If you have a visual or Google Slides, go to “Present”. You will not be able to see yourself, but you already set up your camera and lighting, so you are ready to start. I do a finger countdown, so I have a visual when I am editing my video. Then, I just begin. This felt a little scary the first couple of times I did it, but just be natural and know the more times you do it, the better you will get at creating videos and being on camera.
5. Edit & Post
The your recording will be saved to Google Drive. The recording will also appear in your email about 10-15 minutes after you record, so it is a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to create a video before you post it. You can download it and open it up in the photo/video app you have on your computer. The one I have allows me to cut off the beginning (when I’m setting up the slide show) and the end. When you are done, save your changes. It will prompt you to name your video. I give it a detailed, clear title because that title will appear when I post it to Google Classroom. Save the video to your Drive or computer and post it to your Google Classroom or whichever learning platform you are using. Now, in addition to being a teacher, you are a director, producer, actor and video editor!
I hope you are inspired to create instructional videos for your students using Google Meet. Share your ideas below about how you create instructional videos for your class. I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe!