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Video Production Tips for Teachers

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 12/30/2010

Here are some tips for how video production can be employed by teachers.

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    Video Production Classroom

    The new student classroom is one that is constantly integrating new technology as the world of today and the job market that they will eventually be entering into requires knowledge of all types of communication and media forms. Video production is a great tool that can be used to teach the film tools, understanding of media, and different methods for implementing modes of communication. In this way, video production for teachers can be a very important field that is now just being hinted at. If you are a teacher and are trying to figure out how to bring video production as a practical unit, or consistent set of tools, into their classroom, you have to know how to use it in curriculum and how to select equipment. Here are a few tips for teachers using video production for their different classroom needs.

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    Video Production Equipment

    The first thing that you have to remember when selecting video production tools for teachers is that the type of video production equipment that you will need does not need to be up to broadcast quality. Many teachers would like to bring high end HD cameras along with associated sound and lighting equipment, but for students that are new to this type of equipment they are not going to get the benefits of it over more inexpensive equipment. Instead, it is more important for students to have cameras that will teach them the principles of working with digital video and that you can use to teach them the principles of video imagery. On top of this, you will find that getting more inexpensive cameras over a few high quality ones is of priority so that students will have more hands on production time. The same is going to be true of portable light kits, and you can find some very inexpensive ones that will give them what they need and outline the process for setting up and striking a set. Student projects at the pre-collegiate level are not going to usually be directed toward film festival submission and public broadcast, so the actual image quality should be lower on your list of priorities.

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    Project Orientation

    Video production for teachers is often a tool to learn the basics of this media form, which is based on the creation of whole projects. Often times classroom situations are too closely built on fragmented assignments without taking a video project to completion. Students will need to learn things like sequencing, image construction, and the rest of the principles of live production, but it will be important to couple it with pre-production and post-production as well. Try to integrate complete assignments into the curriculum by focusing on short projects rather than a lot of very fragmented educational pieces. For example, each principle of the filming process can be coupled into a project that you can use principles of planning and editing to complete. Have students outline the process for preparing a shoot location, shoot a correct sequence with film coverage, and then finish editing it to reinforce the video sequence process that they are learning.

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    Integrate Projects

    Film projects are usually intending to serve a purpose, whether that purpose is a conventional narrative film or a corporate video. Once the tools are learned, the video production process is a great way to begin integrating other topics and issues. Students can learn how to do practical communication by focusing in on video projects that deal with persuasion, information, or practical research. Issues in the media can be analyzed by producing news oriented pieces, and they can begin working in web development by bringing in multimedia content. All of these elements will serve to make the video production process something that feels useful and intuitive to the student rather than just an isolated skill that they may reject.

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    Equipment Responsibility

    Video production equipmentt is consistently expensive even when you are trying to employ consumer focused digital video equipment. This can end up being a great cost to the school, and some times video production for teachers can be a hard sell to the school board. To combat the possibility of lost or stolen equipment and check out process can be employed where the equipment is checked upon return and the students are subject to an agreement outlining their financial responsibility for the equipment.