YouTube Quick Capture and a Lesson Learned

Some years back, a number of our faculty began using the “quick capture” feature in YouTube. They loved it because it was so simple to use. Only a few clicks and you had your weekly welcome to class or a short review of muddy points or upcoming assignments. Usually done in the office, the backgrounds to the videos were bookshelves or posters. Sometimes they were done at home in a living room or office. Most were done on laptops or desktops.

However they were created and it was a great leap for us in adding faculty video to courses. It helped adding presence in some way. Especially that informal and quick “announcement” type of video. The only choice for them before that was to use Camtasia which involve more clicks and certainly a more difficult looking interface. When Jing came along we had some great screencaptures happening, but no smiles and batting eyelashes. Youtube quick capture was great for talking heads. And there is a use for that in online classes.

Two weeks ago YouTube discontinued quick capture and I have been looking for good alternatives. I’ll describe one still in YouTube here, but in a conversation a couple of days ago with a faculty I realized that the demise of quick capture could be a good thing. I’ll address that first.

“I can’t find quick capture, “ she said. I told her it had been discontinued and she had some options. She could use Camtasia and upload the videos to YouTube. She could use her phone and upload the videos to YouTube. She could use the built in video tool in Canvas. Or she could use the “Events” in YouTube as described below. Those were my best guesses as creating the talking head videos she had been using for a variety of purposes in her online classes.

A couple of days ago she came to my office pretty excited and told me how easy it was to use her phone to make the videos. That led into a great discussion about the benefits of using a phone over a laptop or desktop computer. We talked about making videos on hikes or in locations pertinent to class content. We talked about the ability to switch the camera from front and rear facing in narrating an experience and not creating a talking head video. The faculty I was speaking with teaches biology courses and does great work. Here is one of our agriculture faculty talking about compost. How much better is this than the same story begin told from an office?

We started talking about how we use backgrounds intentionally as part of the story we are telling. In our department we use a green screen to make backgrounds reflect part of the story being told. Newscasters have images behind them. What is behind the speaker can tell part of the story too. It adds context. She left excited to intentionally create videos in places that added information or context to her words and expressions.

I see a lot of videos that are narrated powerpoints using Camtasia or Articulate with no video of the instructor. There are places for that type of content. There are those who might say that the background of a video is a distraction to “the content” being delivered. And then there is the whole technology story of being knowledgeable enough to make a video with a phone. Or even having a phone that will do it.

But I learned that we live in a time where we can create meaningful videos out there. Outside of our office. Out in the community. Talking with a professional in the field we are teaching. At a locations related to the content we are teaching. I think that helps promote the notion that learning can take place outside the classroom. Outside of an office. And I think we have kinda ignored that lately in education.

So here is the description of how to use YouTube events to create a talking head video. Once created, all the normal settings for a YouTube video apply and can be changed to meet your needs.

  1. Once logged in to YouTube, select “My Channel” on the far left.
  2. In the top center. select “Video Manager.”
  3. In the menu on the left, expand “LIve Streaming” and select “Events.”
  4. On far right, select “New Live Event.”
  5. Give video a name. By default it is set to start “now.”
  6. Click “Go Live Now” in upper right.
  7. It will open the Hangout window and take a moment to load the controls.
  8. Once loaded, click “Start Broadcast.”
  9. Start talking.

The recorded video will show up in your videos and you can edit the settings as with any video.
There must be another way to make videos quickly, but thus far, this is how I have done it.

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