Archive for the ‘TechToolThursday’ Category

So far in the series, Putting the YOU in YouTube, we’ve discussed personalizing your channel, uploading your videos, and trimming out the parts of your videos that you don’t want.  In this post, we’re going to look at using the tools within the YouTube Editor that will help you put your mark on your movies.

I’m not sure why YouTube has made it so hard to find the Editor, but they have.  You can find a link to the Editor under the Enhancements option in Video Manager, OR you can simply type in in your address bar after you’re logged in.  Once at the editor, this is what you’ll see:

Video Editor - YouTube 2013-10-02 13-48-11


In the Editor, you can bring videos together to make one longer video, you can apply filters to your video clips, add music, titles, and transitions, as well as insert still photos into your video.  The image below shows what each of the icons in your “Options Menu” represent.

editor tools


The Video Editor is very easy to use because it is a simple “Drag & Drop”.  You’ll start by dragging all of your video clips you want to include in your movie onto the row of the workspace for the videos.  To add additional video clips, drag the clips down to the workspace and “drop” it beside the clip you’ve already placed.  You can click the Creative Commons icon to access video clips that have been licensed under the Creative Commons that you’re free to use in your own videos.  If you have still images you’d like to incorporate into your video, you can click the camera icon.  You’ll then be prompted to either upload images from your computer, or you can import pictures from your Google+ account.  Once they’re displayed beside the preview pane, again, just drag and drop them where you want them to go in your video.

When you drag a video clip (or any of the other options) onto the workspace, you’ll be able to edit those clips or elements further.  Below is a screenshot of what your screen will look like when you drag a video clip onto the workspace.  Notice that you’ll have the ability to make some quick fixes which include zooming in and out, change the brightness, stabilize, rotate, etc. You can also add text to your video clips.  Be careful with this, however, because if you add text here, it will display the entire time your video clip is playing.  If you’d rather just add a title text or a “slide” of text between videos, you use the text icon from the original Editor menu.  Keep reading to learn more.  To get back to the original Editor menu, simply click in the gray area of the workspace, or click the x in the upper right-hand corner of the clip editor.

video clip options in editor

The music icon will allow you add Creative Commons music clips to your videos.  Although there is a volume bar where you can tell YouTube to favor either the sound from the original video clip or the music, the music always seems to be louder than the sound from the video.  add music in editorSo just be careful and consider which is more important, music or sound from your video.  At this point, there isn’t a way to assign music to only certain portions of your video either.  You’ll drag the music clip onto the workspace under the videos and images.  Also, there is currently no way to upload your own music files…more than likely copyright issues.

To add titles and/or transitions to your movie, you click and drag the type of title or transition you’d like onto the workspace where you want them to go.  When you drag the element down to the workspace, you’ll see a blue line appear to show you where the element will be added.  You’ll need to be careful with the titles because if the blue line highlights the entire video clip, that means that title will play the entire length of the clip.  If you only want it to show before or after the video clip or image, you’ll want the skinny blue line.  To get back to the original Editor menu, you’l usually click the x in the upper right corner.  However, for some reason, that “x” isn’t present on the transitions menu.  To get back to the Editor menu, you can click in the gray area of the workspace.

If you decide that you don’t want an element in your video after all, or any element for that matter, you can hover your mouse over that element.  A small x will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the gray bar.  Simply click the x and that element will be removed from your workspace.  You can also reorder an of the elements in your video by clicking and dragging it to where you want it to go.

Once you’re video is like you want it:  all of your video clips are in the correct order, you’ve added any desired still images, you have transitions between the elements to make it flow smoothly, and you have inserted all the necessary title slides, it’s time to publish.  Directly above the preview pane, you can rename your video, then on the right-hand side of the screen is a blue “Publish” button.  Depending on how long your video is, how many transitions you’ve included, and if you decided to include music clips, it may take your video a little while to publish.  The beauty of the Editor is that until you publish, all of your work is automatically saved.  So if you don’t have time to finish your video in one sitting, you can log out of YouTube, come back to it later, go to the editor, and all of your work is still there.  When you publish, you’ll then have a blank workspace again.

Next Steps:

Making your videos interactive (Coming soon!)

Publishing your videos on YouTube (Coming soon!)

Did you miss the first three post in the series Putting the YOU in YouTube?  Check them out!

Putting the YOU in YouTube

Uploading videos to YouTube

Trimming your videos


This will be the third post in the series, Putting the YOU in YouTube.  The first post focused on setting up your channel and making it reflect you and your purposes.  Last week’s post described the process for uploading your videos from your computer or mobile device.  I’ve actually had some trouble uploading this past week from my computer, so I’m hoping you all have been able to get at least a few videos online.

This week we’re going to look at trimming out unwanted parts of our videos.  Beginning next year in North Carolina, elective teachers, like PE, Art, Music, etc. will have to submit videos as artifacts for their evaluations.  In fact, this is one artifact I recommend ALL teachers using for their evaluations.  I have yet to find a more powerful way to reflect on and improve your teaching than being able to watch yourself.  For these reasons, I’ve been training all of the Media Coordinators and Instructional Coaches in my district on how to help their teachers trim and edit videos using YouTube.   Most teachers will find when watching their videos that they can either trim out the beginning or ending few seconds/minutes of a video, or that they need to trim out part of the middle when Little Johnny or Suzie decided to flip out.  Let’s take a quick look at how to do this.

All videos that you upload to YouTube are stored in your Video Manager.  You can access your Video Manager by clicking the drop down arrow beside the Upload button, or my clicking on your username in the upper, right-hand corner.  Once you’re in your Video Manager, you’ll see all the videos that you’ve ever uploaded, with the latest videos listed first.  Below is a picture of your Video Manager in list view.  You can also change it to thumb nail view by clicking on the 3 x 3 grid to the top, right of the list view


To begin trimming your video, find the Edit button beside the video you’d like to trim.  Using the drop down arrow beside the Edit button, find and click Enhancements.  This will take you to the Enhancements tools.  I’m not going to go over any of the tools here because they have included all of them in the Video Editor, which we’ll look at next week.  On the menu, in the bottom, left, locate the Trim button.  When you click the Trim button, you’ll get a new window underneath the preview pane.yt_trimming_brackets

You only get one trim at a time, so if you only need to trim out the beginning or ending of a video, you’re good.  You’ll just need to watch the video through and make a note of the times that you want to begin and end with.  Simply drag the blue trimming brackets to your desired start and end time, then click the Save drop down arrow in the top, right-hand corner.  Choose “Save As”.  This will create a whole new video in your Video Manager, and it will automatically named “Copy of <NameofVideo>”.  You can rename it using that same Edit drop down menu and choosing .Info and Settings”.

The issue comes in when you need to edit out a chunk in the middle.  As I said earlier, you only get one trim at a time.  What you’ll have to do is watch your video, make note of the time(s) in the middle that you want to trim out.  You’ll drag the trimming bracket to your first start time and end time, then “Save As”.  From your Video Manager, you’ll have to back to your original video, the drag the trimming brackets to your second start and end time, then “Save As”.  Hopefully, you’ll only have one chunk of time to edit out (fingers crossed).  You’ll now how two “Copy of <NameofVideo>s in your Video Manager.  No worries, next week I’ll show you how to combine those two clips to make one movie!

I hope this made sense and wasn’t too confusing.  If you need more help, please don’t hesistate to email me at  I’ll be happy to walk you through the process.  I hope to “see” you back next Thursday when I’ll show you all the cool tools contained in the YouTube Editor!

Next Steps:

Video Editor

Making your videos interactive (Coming Soon!)

Publishing your video on YouTube (Coming Soon!)

Did you miss the first two posts in the Putting the YOU in YouTube series?  Check them out:

Putting the YOU in YouTube

Uploading videos to YouTube


Yes, I know that today is Friday, not Thursday, but life is CRAZY right now.  My apologies! 🙂  Last Thursday I introduced you to the series Putting the YOU in  YouTube.  I discussed setting up your YouTube channel and personalizing to let your students and parents know more about you and the purpose of your channel.  In this post, I’ll walk you through uploading your videos to YouTube.  Join me next week as I discuss trimming out unwanted portions of your videos.

Uploading Your Videos

From Your Computer:

Uploading videos from your computer to YouTube is very easy.  If you’ve ever attached a file to an email, or used your My Documents to open a file, you’re good to go.  The Upload button on YouTube is present on every page.  It’s in the top center of the page.  To upload a video, click that Upload button, and it’ll take you to this page:


For right now, we’ll ignore what’s on the right hand side of the page, and just focus on the white space in the middle.  If you click on the gray arrow, a dialog box will open up, where you’ll locate the folder/file where you video is saved.  If the video file is already open, you can just drag and drop the file onto the white space.  Either of those will begin the upload process.  The drop-down menu right below the upload area that says, “Public” is where you’ll set your viewing options.  You can always go back into the settings of the video once it is uploaded and change this, but it’s easies to just go ahead and set it now.  You options are Public (everyone can see it and people can find it through a search), Private (only people you designate can view it, and they have to be logged in to their account), or Unlisted (people have to have the link to view your video, but do not have to be signed in).

From Your Phone or Device:

After recording a video with your device, it should be saved in your Photos app (sorry if I use iOS terminology, but it’s what I’m familiar with).  Choose the video that you wish to upload.  From there, click the “Share” button.  On iOS devices, it is a rectangle with an arrow coming out of the top.  This should bring up several ways that you can share your video, including email, Twitter, and YouTube.  Choose YouTube.  If you are not signed in to your account, you will first be prompted to sign in.  Once you are signed in, you will be asked to give your video a title, write a brief description, set the viewing options (Public, Private, Unlisted), and choose a category.  Once you have input all of this information, click “Publish”, and your video will be uploaded to YouTube.

Once your video has been uploaded, either from your computer or from your device, it will take a few minutes to process.  Depending on the length of your video, processing could take a few seconds to a few minutes.  If you feel that it’s taking a really long time, cancel the upload and try again.  My challenge to you over the next week is to take a few videos and get them uploaded to YouTube.  Next week, we’ll look at trimming down your video and taking out parts that you don’t need.  I hope to “see” you back next week!

Next Steps:

Trimming videos

Video Editor

Making your videos interactive (Coming Soon!)

Publishing your videos on YouTube (Coming Soon!)

Did you miss the first post on personalizing your YouTube channel?  Check it out HERE!

you_in_youtubeWith the proliferation of phones and other mobile devices capable of taking video, students and teachers have the opportunity to quickly and easily become video producers.  Many people who take these videos are using YouTube as a host for their movies.  However, most people are unaware of all of the great, free editing and publicity tools available through YouTube.  The next several TechToolThursday posts will focus on these great tools, and by the end of the month, you’ll be a YouTube expert!

If you have a Gmail account, you have a YouTube account.  The first time you log on to YouTube with your Gmail account, you’re going to want to set up your channel.  There are many ways that people can find you on YouTube, and one of the best ways is via your channel.  To access your channel, click your username in the top-right hand corner.  “My Channel” should be your first option.

 YT menu

Before setting up your channel, though, you’ll have a decision to make: connect your YouTube account to your Google+ account.  I’m not 100% sure I understand the inner workings of it, but what I’ve been able to gather is if you connect your Google+ account, the only way you have control over what to name your channel is if you first set up a Google+ page (not profile) and link those.  If you just link your Google+ profile, your channel name will automatically be your name.  I like the freedom to name my channel what I want, so I chose to set up a Google+ page and connect those.  On my school account and channel, I decided not to link at all.

Last year, YouTube added a whole slew of options for your channel including channel art, featured links, featured channels, a channel trailer, and a few other “sections” that you can use or not.  Here’s a screenshot of my channel.  I haven’t gotten around to adding a channel trailer to iTeachTeachersTech, but I do have one on my school account, Going 1 to 1.  All of these features should be used to show viewers what your channel is about, as well as give them a little bit of insight into you as a teacher (or whatever your theme for your channel).

 YT menu channel_view

As a teacher, I would use my channel trailer as a way to introduce yourself to your students and parents.  Some parents may not be able to make it school, and having a YouTube channel and trailer will allow them to put a face and a voice with a name.  Don’t use images of your students in your channel art as that may break a district policy.  I used an image of a bunch of laptops plugged in at a staff development session because I’m usually plugged in to something.  Do you have a class website or blog?  Go through the steps of verifying an external link that you own and link to it from your featured links.  Use the social media buttons to connect to your class Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+ page.  Get creative!

Editing your channel is easy.  As you hover  your mouse over the different sections of your channel, a small pencil icon will appear in the upper, right-hand corner.  By clicking on that pencil icon, you are able to upload pictures and add links.  My challenge to you this week is to go ahead and set up your YouTube channel.  Upload a picture of yourself and set your channel art.  Use an iPad app like Tellagami or some other video recording tool like  your phone, to create a trailer for your channel.

When you’ve done that, post a link to your channel in the comments below.  Be sure to check out how upload videos to your channel and how to trim your videos using the Trimmer tool.  Other posts in this series will include using the Video Editor to combine video clips and add titles and music, adding annotations to your videos as a way of making them interactive, and I’ll finish up with a step-by-step guide to creating awesome, engaging, interactive videos for your students and parents.

Next Steps:

Uploading videos to YouTube

Trimming videos

Video Editor

Making your videos interactive (Coming Soon!)

Publishing your videos on YouTube (Coming Soon!)


tellagami Tellagami (free)

Everyone has a story to tell, and with this app, stories are called “gamis”.  That’s why the app is called Tellagami…you create an avatar, and then tell your gami.  Get it?! 🙂  I LOVE this app for its simplicity.  Users create an avatar by choosing the gender, skin color, eye color, hair color, clothes, and facial expressions.  There are default backgrounds, or you can upload your own.  Users can then place their avatar anywhere on the screen, then just hit record.  You can either type what you want the avatar to say, or you can record your voice.  Each gami can last up to 30 seconds, but if you want a longer story, you can use YouTube’s video editing tools to put them together into one video (check back next week on Thursday for a post about YouTube editing tools).  Here’s a gami I created advertising a local Tech Express session.

1_click_timer1-Click Timer

This Chrome Extension is super easy to use and perfect for the classroom.  When you click on the icon in your tool bar beside the omnibox (formerly known as the address bar), the timer will appear.  Simply click the time that you want it to begin counting down from, and it will starts automatically.  When you click outside the timer, it disappears, but you’ll still have a small countdown on your toolbar.  What I really like about this extension is that when time is up, you don’t get this annoying buzzer that scares the crap out of everyone.  A nice acoustic guitar riff plays alerting you and your students that time is up.



This Chrome app was formerly known as Edcanvas.  I’ve just discovered this one, and I’ve already begun sharing it with teachers in my district.  Blendspace allows you to organize all of your links and documents onto a “canvas” or “space” so that your students can have instant access to all lesson documents in one place.  This app really appeals to me because my district is a Google Apps for Education district, and you can also bring in documents from your Google Drive.  In fact, you can sign in automatically with your Google account.  I recently used this tool during a training on Rigor and Relevance by curating various news headlines.  Teachers were able to click on the headlines that appealed to them, as well as see all the resources available at a glance.  Here’s my Blendspace I used for that training:

Please let us know how you’re planning to use these tools, or your experiences with them in the comments section below.  If you have any tools you’d like to see featured on TechToolThursdays, feel free to suggest them below.

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