Over a year ago, I wrote about The Flipped Classroom here on the TESOL blog, and I would like to revisit the topic since the flipped classroom has really continued to gain popularity in the past several years. It is really a hot topic and something that many educators are interested in learning more about and even trying out.
One of the most daunting tasks is figuring out how to deliver the content of your course to students at home, and the easiest solution to this is YouTube. YouTube is a great option for sharing content with students because it is free and comes with some really great features.
Firstly, you will need an account to keep everything organized, but it is completely free and, if you have Gmail, it makes things easier because you can use the same log-in. Now you have probably been using YouTube for years, all the while ignoring the “Upload” button right next to the search box. If you click it, you will have the option of uploading video. I always change “Public” to “Private” so that I have better control over who accesses my videos. If you do not have any videos recorded, the menu along the right side actually has options for capturing video via webcam, creating a photo slideshow, and even editing video. For a free resource, YouTube really does a great job of making things clear and simple.
Once you have a video, you can apply all sorts of enhancements; add annotations over the top of the video, pictures, or slides you uploaded; and even add subtitles to accompany your content. After you have what you want, you need to publish the video. If it is public, anyone can find it on YouTube, but if you would rather keep it private, you can just send the link to your students or post it on your LMS. This is also the way to go if you are referencing copyrighted material such as a textbook which, as I understand it, can be included in something your students (who own the textbook) can access, such as an in-class PowerPoint or at-home private video, but cannot be displayed for all the world to see, like a public video would be.
YouTube is a great place to start creating materials because you can do everything with just this one website and do not even have to worry about purchasing any expensive software to get flipping. After a while, you might decide you are missing some features and start looking for a more advanced video editing program, but YouTube is still a great place to post your videos because the site is one that is likely familiar to your students.
Try it out and let us know what you think!