Favorite Online Tools: Video Editing in YouTube

Video is a great tool, which is true for many things, but especially true in education. When I went to college to study television production, creating a video was unique. It required a video camera and editing equipment that not many people had access to.

Today, the story is completely different. Your phone is a video camera and now you don’t even need a computer to edit, you simply need internet access.

I recently held training sessions showing teachers how to use YouTube to create videos. I think some of them came into the session hopeful, but apprehensive. They left somewhat surprised at how easy it was.

If you haven’t tried out YouTube’s free video editor, give it a whirl. It’s simple to upload video straight from your phone or tablet (or even from your computer). My advice is to make the video private if you plan to edit it, then publish the final product.

The video editor (accessible under Video Manager, then using the Video Editor tab) is easy to use. Simply click and drag your video(s) into the Video Channel. Trim the clips (you can use the same video several times, so if you have one long video that you want several cuts from it’s not problem), then add effects, text, and transitions. There’s a broad selection of free (also copyright and royalty free) music to select from – just click and drag into the music channel. The music will automatically adjust to the length of the video.

When you’re done, give it a name and publish it. Once it’s been published, you can go to the Video Manager, click on the arrow to the right of the video and download the finished product as an MP4 file.

It’s not fancy. There’s very limited text capabilities and you can’t upload your own music (that I’ve found), but for most needs it is a great tool. I like that it requires no additional software and can be accessed from work, home, or anywhere with internet. I haven’t tried it on my iPad yet, and I think that would be hard to do, but I’m going to try it soon.

I’m hopeful more of our teachers will explore creating videos in the classroom. A few have given their students assignments to make videos in class. My favorite is the biology class that made stop-animation videos to explain how RNA becomes DNA. The teacher saw her students struggling with the concept, so she had them make videos to explain it. I love that, and it’s a perfect example of how using a different media can get kids to understand a complicated concept.

If you have any YouTube editing tips, please share them. I think this is a great tool that has some awesome possibilities.

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