It has been awhile since I’ve done any video editing or enhancing with YouTube so when I popped the hood to tweak a couple of personal videos earlier this week I noticed that the production tools within YouTube have grown and matured since I last edited a video.
One (new to me) enhancement that educators might be interested in is the slow motion enhancement. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about what I thought was a good piece of instructional video that relied on slow motion that really enabled learners to see the phenomena the instructor was talking about, in this case an octopus camouflaging itself. The change from recognizable octopus to unrecognizable piece of sea rock & coral happens really quickly – too quick for the human eye to really understand what is going on. So, the instructor slowed the video down. This gives students time to see all the processes unfold & also gives the instructor time to explain what was happening. In YouTube, adding slow motion to your video is a snap.
Add an Audio Soundtrack
They have also beefed up the audio soundtrack since I last played around with the tool. You can add background music to your video, with a number of YouTube suggested (and legal to use) background soundtracks from the (150,000 piece strong) YouTube music library. The difference between the last time I used the editor and now is that you can now mix the music with the original background of the video, and you can set a start point for when you want the music to begin on your video. The last time I used it, you could only replace the audio track with the music track. The mix feature is pretty rudimentary compared to a more advanced video editing system, allowing you to choose whether you want the audio to favour the original audio or favour the music soundtrack. But as an easy to use tool you can’t beat it to spice up your video with a bit of bg music.
Finally, for an educator, annotations can really enhance the video by adding additional information as a text overlay to the video. Going back to the octopus video from a few weeks ago, the original video had a number of bullet points appear on the screen as the instructor spoke about the points. In YouTube, you can do this in the Annotations tab which allows you to place text blocks at certain points of a video. You could use these text blocks to point out specific areas of the screen you want students to pay attention to in the video or, like the octopus video example, add bullet points to help explain what the student is seeing.
These are just a couple of tools within YouTube that let you enhance, edit or remix videos. If you want to experiment with video as a pedagogical tool, you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or expensive software to enhance your videos. For most educators, your smartphone & a little time time invested in learning to use the YouTube platform as a production tool will do the trick.