Keep up with technology and provide your students with a great learning experience using online video tutorials. Learn the best tools to use and how to effectively distribute the videos to your students.
Screencasting is a fantastic way to teach without having to stand up in front of a group of students. Online video tutorials are often completely free to use. You simply record your computer screen and voice, and you may even want to include videos. In this article, we will endeavor to identify some of the best and easiest tools to use in the real estate classroom, show you some techniques that will make your tutorials engaging and effective, and explain how to distribute them to your students and an even wider web audience.
In order to make an online video tutorial using screencasting technology, you will need access to a computer. Either a PC or a Mac will work. For most initial efforts, a large amount of memory or power is not necessary. Next, an electronic pen tablet is helpful for drawing. Wacom makes several inexpensive ones. If you want to include videos (of yourself or others), a webcam is necessary. Most laptop computers come with webcams built in that will suffice.
There are a number of excellent screen capturing applications available. Most of them offer a free version or an upgrade for a nominal fee. Even the most expensive applications, with lots of extra features (that are probably unnecessary when you are first starting out), do not cost more than a few hundred dollars. Following are some we have found that are the best for initial efforts in online video tutorial making.
Offers free one-click screen recording capability that is extremely easy to use. It is our pick for the beginning screencaster. It includes a feature that enables you to create video clips using your webcam next to screen captures of PowerPoint slides. It’s extremely easy to use with a very short learning curve (you can be making professional-looking screencasts in as little as 10 minutes). For $15 per year, you can get an upgrade that enables you to do more. Once you’ve completed your screencast, you can upload to your hard drive or directly to YouTube. Go tohttp://www.screencast-o-matic.com for more information.
Provides high quality and flexible recording options. Some screencasting applications record a PowerPoint presentation, capture a video, or capture high-speed screen activity (e.g., video games). Movavi does all of the above. Movavi’s cost is commensurate with the capabilities it provides. For a personal version, the cost is $59.95. A business version is available for $99.95. In addition, Movavi has more than 100,000 copyright-free video clips and over 8,000 animations available for an additional $99.95. Go tohttp://www.movavi.com for more information.
Can do screen captures, including scrolling. With Snagit, instructors can record video lessons and how-to guides for students using the screen capture and annotation tools. In addition, there are built-in tools to add interactive tests and quizzes to your screen captures. In its promotional materials, Snagit emphasizes that it is used by NASA, the FBI, Yale University, General Motors, and AT&T. Now, the local instructor can create easy-to-follow visual educational aids for a cost of only $49.95. Academic pricing is available at $29.95. There is a free 30-day trial available. Go tohttp://www.softwarecasa.com/snagit.html for more information.
Allows you to click the record button and capture your computer screen, record your voice, and share a link on the web-based screen recorder. According to a clip from The New York Times, “Screenr stands out because of how incredibly easy it is to record a screencast and share it…” Pricing starts at $19 per month for private sharing and small-team collaboration; it goes to $289 per month for an enterprise version. Go tohttps://www.screenr.com for more information.
Made by the same company that makes Snagit. Camtasia is a powerful, yet easy-to-use tool that enables you to create professional quality videos without having to be a video pro. A feature that distinguishes this tool is the ability to not only easily record your on-screen activity or import video, but also the ability to customize and edit content and share the video on nearly any device. Commensurate pricing is $299 and $179 for academic pricing. Go to http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html for more information
The starting point for every tutorial presentation is the script. Keep in mind that the ideal online video tutorial should be approximately five minutes or less. The best pace for comprehension is approximately 150 words per minute (WPM), while a good pace for a slide presentation is closer to 100–125 WPM. Keep in mind that if students are going to be taking notes from a slide, the average person typically copies information at approximately 22 WPM. If your presentation is ideally going to be five minutes or less, it should consist of approximately one page of text.
The starting point in developing a script should be the outcome. What do you want the student to be able to do or understand at the end of the tutorial? You should be able to sum it up in one sentence or phrase. From that statement, work your way back to the beginning with the steps necessary to achieve it.
Once you have the script written out, practice reading it (out loud) in as conversational a manner as possible. A minimum of six read-throughs is typically necessary before it begins to flow in a conversational and fluid fashion. Make modifications as you read through it to make it flow easily and comfortably for you.
Once the script is fairly finalized, use word-processing software to include the text and any graphics or drawings that are going to be a part of the presentation. Now, go back through the presentation several more times and incorporate into the presentation all the graphics and drawings that are going to be a part of it until it all works smoothly.
Step 2: Record the Presentation
Typically, recording the presentation begins by clicking a record button. Different software will have different characteristics; however, it is common to resize a recording window to the size of the screen you want recorded. For example, if you are using a PowerPoint presentation, you would want to resize the window to fit the dimensions of the slide. If you are recording video with a webcam simultaneously with the screen capture, there may be a separate video record button you would click as well.
You can effectively create a teleprompter by using one computer monitor for the screen capture, and then have another computer and monitor that you can use to scroll your script as you read it. You will also need to use two mice. Again, you must adequately rehearse to avoid having awkward pauses in your presentation while you are figuring out the technology. Some screencasting software actually includes audio editing capability to eliminate any dead air.
Step 3: Distribute the Recording
Perhaps the easiest part of the process is actually getting the recording to your students and beyond. Most of the screencasting software programs include links to upload to YouTube and other social media websites. In addition, some software will allow you to save your tutorials on the software’s server. Others even make links available where your students can access the tutorial on their servers. In addition, tutorials can be saved to the hard drive on your computer or website so you can build your own tutorial library for your students.