During a recent webinar I conducted for the Association of Michigan Independent Schools (AIMS), I spoke about our school’s YouTube channel and said that video is the future. I also mentioned that we were actually a little behind in using video for our school but I wanted to address that shortcoming. As a result, I’ve begun to post more video to our YouTube channel and Facebook Fan Page and I wanted to share 3 ways to create video for your school.
School Video Background
In my opinion, the days of long, highly-polished, staged, adult-centric admission videos are gone. I think your constituents view those videos with a mixture of skepticism and boredom. School videos are now becoming shorter, unpolished, and student-centered.
Because of these beliefs we now create our school videos with the following criteria:
- Short – We aim for :30 to 4:00 minutes depending on type of video.
- Student As The Audience – As a student becomes older they take more of a role in selecting the school they will attend. Our belief is that students and adults will both view a video created for a student while a video created for an adult will only appeal to an adult.
- Transitions – quick and often.
- Unpolished and unedited videos allow viewers to see “behind the scenes” and add an air of authenticity to your message.
3 Types of Video
We’ve begun to think of creating video for our school in three ways with different goals, different filming methods, and different qualities.
1. Smart Phone Videos
While I’m disappointed in the recent news about Cisco shutting down their Flip camera division, I guess I understand their thinking. The Flip camera is a single function device which will eventually fall by the wayside with the technological advances of smart phones. My own belief in the power of smart phone video was solidified with the release of an HD camera with the iPhone4. I always have my iPhone with me and started shooting short (:30 to 1:30), unpolished, unedited videos of events around school. Our hope is that these videos will allow people to see what happens day-to-day at school. Here’s an example from our Lower School Monday Morning Assembly celebrating Chinese New Year:
2. Student Produced Videos
The reason we have been slow to create, publish, and utilize video is because of limited resources – especially in terms of time and knowledge of video creation. As a result, we turned to the group at our school with the most amount of free time: our students. We were able to identify a number of students with video editing experience, time, and a desire to create video for school.
We think of these videos as more of a documentary/music video that are longer in length. A video begins with a need on the school’s part and then I talk with the students and give them some general guidelines. I’m not too descriptive or strict with the video requirements because I don’t want to stifle our students creativity. You do give up a bit of control but again, these are videos created by students, for students and we think that kids know what kids like.
The results are hard to argue against. Check out this example of a student created video highlighting the non-game moments from our 2009-2010 Field Hockey team:
3. Animoto – The Video Without Video
If you don’t have a smart phone that can shoot video or a group of students ready to make videos for your school, give Animoto a try. I have to admit that I haven’t created a video yet using Animoto but I’m very excited to use this tool. Animoto allows you to turn your photos, video clips, and music into stunning video. Check out a few Animoto Sample Videos.
YouTube is now the second most active search engine to Google and having a video presence for your school is quickly becoming a requirement. If you’ve never created a video for your school I hope you’ll try one of the methods above. If you’ve created a video for your school I hope you’ll try a method above that you haven’t tried before. Either way, please share some of your work in the comments section below.