With the advent of inexpensive digital video cameras and webcams, "free" video editing software like Apple iMovie and Microsoft Windows Movie Maker, digital video is gaining popularity in schools. Because the video files can take up a large amount of space, storage has quickly become a problem. Showing videos on the net can take up large amounts of bandwith -- a few simultaneous viewers can eat up an entire T-1 if precautions aren't taken.

This page includes instructional ideas and links to technical resources. For purchasing advice and thoughts on models of digital video cameras, please see the Purchasing Digital Video Cameras page.

Instruction & TutorialsEdit

Online resource for learning how to shoot and edit video:

See Best Free Software wiki page for more free software links for digital video editing.

Educational Examples/Integration ProjectEdit

Software for Digital Video Editing (Movie Making)Edit

  • MovieMaker and Photo Story 3
  • iMovie
  • Pinnacle Studio
  • Adobe Premiere Elements
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Final Cut Pro

Digital Video Systems for InstructionEdit

Warren Township implemented a district-wide dv solution which included digitizing its library of instructional videos, and providing video-on-demand, video streaming of announcements, and more. They use a VBrick system.

Website Video HostsEdit

To host video on the web, consider one of the following sites:

  • Google Video - If you own the necessary rights (including copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, and any other relevant rights for your content), you can submit your video by signing up for the Google Video Upload program. The fastest way to get your videos included is to submit each file in the preferred format (see technical requirements page). You can even sell your videos online, again be careful of copyright first. There is direct upload software available for Mac and Windows. disclaimer: videos placed on Google Video can be viewed by anyone on the Internet
  • YouTube - If you own the necessary rights (including copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, and any other relevant rights for your content), you can submit your video to this popular online service. Beware, this site is not appropriate for general school use as it has such a wide range of videos.
  • Vimeo - Another site like YouTube and Google Video. Requires simple registration. Elegant site design.
  • - LLC is a worldwide communications company delivering streaming media hosting and management services for both live and on-demand. We offer our customers a full range of hosting solutions including Pay-Per-View Options, Encoding Services, Website Hosting, an advanced Customer Management Interface, an aggressive Reseller/Partner program, and a Technical Support Team with unprecedented knowledge of streaming media deployment and management."
  • Channel Storm - "Live Channel is the world's first live television studio in software, enabling anyone to produce a professional live broadcast on a Mac, without special hardware. With Live Channel you can deliver your live message to local and distant viewers, in real-time, without technical expertise, special equipment or high costs. Now, Live Channel 2.0 boasts even more production power, and delivers both live streaming and real-time video output, using a single product, on a single computer. With Live Channel 2.0 you can stream live to Internet viewers, and simultaneously broadcast to video projectors or monitors, local TV networks and video tape."
  • OurMedia - "We provide free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. Forever. No catches." Upload through the website, or use the OurMedia Publisher available for Mac and Windows. A powerful feature of OurMedia is they create RSS feeds for your uploads, so you can easily set up an audio or video podcast. disclaimer: media placed on OurMedia can be accessed by anyone on the Internet
  • Webcast in a Box - "The Webcast in a Box appliance is simple to configure and use, and provides a turnkey solution for educators with no technical background. At the same time, Webcast in a Box provides a fully customizable interface which allows complete management via a web browser by technical administrators. We provide full source code for the entire solution which permits a complete audit of all software and protects you against future exploits and enables immediate fixes. Whether the broadcast subject is a classroom or special speaker event, Webcast in a Box is simple to operate and flexible enough for any situation." personal experience: I went to webcasting workshop at NECC 2005 where one of the presenters was from Webcast in a Box. The demonstration of the product was excellent. You can use it for live streaming to Real format or use it to dump video feeds from cameras or DVD's for streaming of recorded videos. The major problem is if you use it as a streaming server, then take it off site for a live feed, the transportation time makes you have no video server running. I have not used it in my school, but did get to use it during the demo. -user:arvind
  • PutFile - A free hosting service for images, video, or audio files. Up to 25 Mb per file.

Recording MediaEdit

Use of DVD vs tape or hard drive
Most people commented that tape is definitely preferable to dvd or mini-dvd recording media for cameras. However, cameras that record directly to on-board hard drives have even greater benefit as outlined here: Hard drive camcorders that do High Definition video are out now, and fairly reasonably priced. I bought one of the better JVC hard drive camcorders last year, and have been fairly impressed with it. Shooting in SD mode, I can record well over 30 hours of video on the 30Gb hard drive, without stopping or changing tapes. I bought an Energizer extended battery that gives me up to 14 hours on a single charge. With the standard battery, which lasts about an hour, the camera is extremely light and small. Most of what I shoot I dump to the web. I can quickly move the videos from the camera to computer via USB2. I then run them through AutoGordianKnot and turn them into extremely small high quality XviDs. I can then upload these to GooTube very easily. I'm currently using them to shoot all day meetings. We put the agenda on a wiki, and at breaks I pull the videos down from the camera, encode them, and upload them so that by the end of the day the meeting is already indexed and online. While I'm doing that work, I can keep recording. I would never go back to my tapes. (I also have a digital 8) If for no other reason, I have to wait until the end of the meeting to then start importing the video. It takes only minutes to move more than an hour of video from the camera to the laptop with the hard drive system. My only fear is not clearing the drive off fast enough, and ending up having to erase something - but with that 30Gb drive, I haven't had much or a problem. That said, the Sony seems better than the JVC. I'm disappointed with low light/indoor shots. Outside it works great, but my digital 8 did a much better job in low light - this one is grainy. (Plus the Sony had infrared, which the JVC doesn't have.) My old Sony also had a mic input this JVC doesn't have. I agree it should be REQUIRED on these cameras. It isn't too often I need it, but when I do and you don't have it... Fortunately, I kept my Sony. ;) I also don't like that the JVC must have the LCD screen open and on. There is no viewfinder either. This was an issue when I wanted to mount the camera on a Lionel train to run through a layout, but since the LCD has to stay open... Circuit City seems to have them on sale fairly often for around $500 quite often. At that price - WELL worth the cost.

Video Over IPEdit

We've had a setup doing this for a couple of years now (no multicast though).

Two Windows boxes (one XP, one Server 2003). The XP box has a couple of Odyssey video input cards to handle the input from our cable TV connection (through a couple of VCRs) and one to handle input from our Polycom videoconference system. It has the FREE Windows Media Encoder software installed that does the encoding to create the streams and it pushes these to the Windows Server box.

The Windows Server 2003 box is running the FREE (with your Windows Server license) Windows Media Server 9 software. It does the work of re-broadcasting the streams from the encoder so that people can tune in to the two TV stations with Windows Media Player. It also handles on-demand connections for our ever-growing collection of video clips (encoded using Windows Media Encoder) from school-owned DVDs and VHS tapes. These on-demand videos are only available to domain-member internal computers on our LAN. Our Mac clients can also tune in (we have the Flip4Mac software installed on our Macs which enables QuickTime Player to play Windows Media streams). Some of our users use the free VLC player instead of QuickTime or Windows Media Player and that works fine too.

We have also plugged in a firewire capable video camera into a firewire capable laptop with WME software and pushed live video through our streaming server so that viewers can tune in from various locations on campus. We've even done video-broadcast morning announcements (all our classrooms have mounted projectors connected to classroom workstations) by setting up a stream and giving teachers a link to tune in.

The whole setup can also be done with Quicktime Broadcaster and Quicktime Streaming Server on Apple hardware...

In either case, not very hard to setup, and not very expensive to implement.

By the way, our LAN is gigabit fiber between buildings and 100Mbit to the desktop.

Hope this helps, Christopher Butler ISED 11/13/07

Streaming VideoEdit

Q. What are people using to encode and stream video clips from your public web sites? My communications department is encountering problems with large video files, and our web hosts recommendation was to encode these videos in a lower quality format using Quicktime Pro. I'm thinking something a little more slick, like a Flash video player similar to YouTube. I've seen programs that do this, but for the life of me can't remember what they are. Anyone have any suggestions they would like to share?

A. A wonderful little program for doing video conversions is VisualHub ( (No longer available - the code has been released for others to develop - look for it at SourceForge: It is Mac only, and for those familiar with Macs, it is kind of a video equivalent of Graphic Convertor. VisualHub will create Flash video files, so you then just need to find the video player piece. BTW, VisualHub makes use of all 4 cores on our Mac Pro tower so it's really fast doing compressions. For those of you starting to play around with HD video, VisualHub is a great tool to compress file sizes down to reasonable sizes while maintaining that great HD quality.

A. We use Sorenson Squeeze to take all the different video file formats and turn them in to flash videos. It is very easy to use and does a great job of compressing videos while keeping good quality.

A. Try Super. It's a bit buggy, but it's free and I've had good success converting just about anything over to Flash.

If you are looking for ways to enable students to upload and stream video, please see the Video Server page.

Video ConferencingEdit

See Video-Conferencing page for this topic.

Sharing the bandwidth load across several hostsEdit

and not just relying on school servers ... some options:

Multimedia Hosting There is a growing number of web companies offering to host video for free .. some of which are already being well used by students outside of school. (many are free) See a list at

Video Blogs See list at

Commercial Online Video Suppliers (who may host 3rd party material) See list at

Web 2.0 A number of new Web 2.0 websites are making it easier to store and share files (of different formats inc. video) online .... see more info about Web 2.0 at which lists some of these companies.

Learning//Collaboration hosts

Capturing Video from DVD, Video Games, or from Online StreamsEdit

The tool "Frap" will capture video (and audio) being played from a source like a DVD or computer video game (or any other source being played on your computer.

Squared5 was also recommended as a way to capture from DVD.

Camtasia from SnagIt will capture video and audio being played on your computer. It will output to a variety of file formats including Flash.

For capturing online streams like Windows Media Player, Quicktime, etc. check out the tools at: All-Streaming-Media.

FLV Converter will convert a YouTube video to a downloadable file

Check out VideoHelp for info on this topic, it's a great resource for learning how to do all sorts of stuff with video.

Converting Video File FormatsEdit

  • SUPER is a free conversion program
  • The free VLC Media player converts between avi and quicktime, and is good at playback when Windows Media Player sometimes stutters on large file sizes.

Chroma-Key Green Screen EffectEdit

We use Pinnacle Studio 9.3, which as another wizard mentioned, is very reasonably priced. They also have a software package that steps you through the green screen technology, Pinnacle Studio Academic Toolkit, which is also reasonably priced and is used as an add on with Pinnacle 9. I also found a couple of good videos on Utube that explain the concept of 'green screen', with helpful tips for beginners. Here are the links to these videos: and The creator of these videos mentions Vegas as another software that you can use to create movies with this effect.

Classroom use of video & production hintsEdit

The name of the game is bang for the buck. For video to be in the mix, there are a few things to keep in mind which help, especially with the time factor: 1) Projects should be designed to maximize student pre-design, and minimize camera and editing time. Kids (and teachers for that matter) generally want to shoot first, make movies later, and that's where that 10 hours often comes from. 2) Don't be afraid to have students create projects that are edited in-camera! Used to be, that's all we did. It's surprising what can be done that way, and it REALLY cuts down production time and equipment requirements. 3) Simple projects work! I've gotten an entire class of kids to finish still picture videos with voice-overs and music in two or three 1.5-hour high school class periods, if the digital images are already available, and the narrative/story already written...and that's with wildly varying skills and previous experiences. Younger kids need only slightly more, but they'll also get a lot more out of it. The results can be quite powerful, and will handily support many instructional goals. 4) For somewhat more ambitious projects, emphasize the content, and don't worry about the quality of the finished videos. In my workshops I play a social studies class-produced example video in which you can clearly hear the cameraman giving instructions to the actors in the scenes. The kid was appalled to find out we couldn't edit that out! However, the video accomplished all the instructional goals of the lesson, and the kids had the time of their lives. I include it in my examples to help workshop attendees lose this idea that their students all have to be George Lukas. I have gone to workshop after workshop where the instructor showed off only the best and the brightest - or even worse, allowed only the best and brightest to produce the videos in the first place. That completely misses the mark! Life, and teaching, is messy!

Obviously, you have to have the technology, but if you're doing project-based lessons, aiming low in terms of complexity, or offering video production as one of many media for projects, you can get away with supprisingly little. But, regardless, if the right marriage of available technology, teacher comfort level, and appropriate content can't be found, as you point out, forcing video production into the mix is simply not a good idea. Of course, that can be said of any technology.

As always, a technological capability is a tool, and it should only be selected when it is useful and appropriate to the lesson. But I do think it important, in this day and age when a full half of their waking hours are buried in video CONSUMPTION, that students get a crack at production. The problem with technology tools like this one is that teachers are just intimidated enough by it that they never overcome the at-rest inertia, and the tools never get used, even when they're appropriate.

These are excellent points. I just completed teaching a short unit on digital video production for my graduate students in Educational Technology. I also just finished creating a brief video as an example. The example was great. My 2nd grade daughter and I spent an entire day creating a one-minute advertisement for a book she is reading. Although production quality was not high, the final product was wonderful.

However, the project took us the whole day, and it was only that short of a time because I was working with her one-on-one. I told my students (who are almost all teachers) that the only way that this could work is if it were a joint venture between the classroom teacher and the computer teacher. The classroom teacher could do things like: get the students to pick and read a book in groups and write the script for the video. The computer teacher could then spend many hours working with the students to create the video. This could work because this kind of a project would not take extra time from the regular classroom, and the production of videos (I picture groups of students doing it) would meet many objectives in the computer class.

For teacher-created video, you will find a couple of things. You don't need great production quality to make a decent video. The fact that it is something that meets the classroom needs exactly and is made by the teacher wll make up for any lapses in quality. You will also find that teachers who do it often will get more efficient at it. A 3-minute video can easily take 12 hours, but the third three-minute video (especially if the teacher is not a perfectionist) wil take much less time than that.

You will also find that only a few teachers wil want to do it. Equity is not likely to be a huge issue because most teachers will never get started, knowing the time commitment.

As far as training, much of your training can focus on when this is appropriate. Have the teachers figure out things that have been hard to teach without that visual appeal. Then, be sure that those things wouldn't be equally well served by few photographs in a PowerPoint presentation.

I work in a school with extensive Apple computing resources as well as a lot of professional grade video production equipment. I have used video production projects in several regular academic classes as well as in video production classes.

I have found that the combination of cheap DV cameras and iMovie to be very effective. Most kids are more intimately familiar with the language of TV and Movies than adults. They take quickly to the basic video editing that iMovie does well quite well. The speed at which DV can be turned into something presentable pushes the kids to the limit of their content quickly. I have found that some students start to think critically of the content of their work very quick and in a more nuanced way that in a prose assignment (this does not, however, speak well of their ability and comfort with prose, which is quite disappointing).

The combined cost of a sufficient DV editing set up is less than $2000 ($400 for a simple DV Cam, $1500 for an iBook with a DVD burner, $100 for DV tape and blank DVDs). I have found that a lot of kids feel more comfortable working in groups of two or three on DV projects. The notion of producing a movie alone is quite intimidating. So you may not need to dedicate one DV set up for each student. Using laptops saves space, provides a lot of physical flexibility, and allows you to deploy your investment more broadly.

DV production requires a lot of time and risk taking. It also results in a lot of excess material, usually many times the length of the final product. The unavoidable waste and excess, and the ease and low cost of DV, encourages (although not at first) this risk taking by reducing the "preciousness" of the individual parts of the video. Many of my students have a real eye opening experience when they first realize that they can just trash anything that isn't working, and easily try again. I think that in a hyper-competitive academic environment many students are not accustomed to giving themselves this kind of license to take risks.

I do think that DV is ready for prime time. However, it is essential that the assignments or projects be carefully designed to leverage the strengths of DV and to avoid the pitfall of amateur production.

It is essential that:

  • Students must be given ample supervised time with the editing set up
  • The subject matter must physically be easily accessible to encourage re-shooting
  • The project must focus on intellectual content
  • The project must not focus on TV and movie-like production values
  • Students need to be able to view and critique each others work while in the production stage

What an interesting way to get people interested in reading! Book trailers are like movie trailers, but for books! You can find them all over the internet now, but here is a site that's featuring them on YouTube.

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