How to create video tutorials (simple, quick, and easy)

I’ve recently been convinced that simple, video tutorials are a tool that any teacher, even the not-so-tech-savy, can use to increase student learning. Yet the number of teachers actually using this method is low. There are hundreds of tools and methods teachers can use to create tutorials for their students. In this post I will show you the quickest and easiest way that I know to make and publish videos for your students. Here is the step-by-step guide.

1. Gather your tools. For this method of making a quick tutorial, you will need:

  • An ipad or ipad mini
  • Doodlecast Pro or another screencasting app (I’ve heard good things about “Explain Everything,” “Educreations,” and “Screenchomp.”
  • A stylus (optional (or make your own))

2. Plan what you are going to teach.

Writing a script might be an option for beginners, but after making a few tutorials, I think you will be able to narrate without writing anything down. The key is not needing it to be perfect.

3. Take pictures of anything you plan to show in the tutorial.

If you’re planning to do everything from scratch, you can skip this, but it cuts down on time if you can snap a photo of information that already exists. For example, for homework tutorials, I take pictures of individual problems on their homework sheets. If you’re reviewing something already taught in class, a photo of the whiteboard or chart paper might be helpful.

4. Make the video.

Most screen-casting apps are simple to use. Here is my quick, visual guide to Doodlecast Pro:


As you can see, you may need to sacrifice good handwriting when using the iPad. To create the videos, you will do a combination of 3 things:

  • writing/drawing
  • talking
  • writing/drawing while talking

The key, as Kim mentioned in our Coetail class, is to keep it less than 10 minutes (and even shorter for younger learners).

5. Share with students.

My preferred method of publishing is youtube, with a link on edmodo. If you’re unfamiliar with publishing to youtube, it takes less than 5 minutes to learn.

And that’s it. The most important thing is to give it a try. Once you’ve gained some experience, it’s possible to make and share a quick tutorial in 10-15 minutes. At the end of the day, if I haven’t had time to cover a concept thoroughly, I’ll often ask my students to check edmodo before starting their homework. Then, when the classroom is clear, I’ll sit down, create a quick homework helper video, and publish and post it by the time my students get home.

If you’ve tried something similar, or are inspired to give this a try, let us know in the comments. Thanks!

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2 Responses to How to create video tutorials (simple, quick, and easy)

  1. Clint Hamada says:

    Thanks for letting people know what your workflow is and just how easy it is to create these types of screencasts. I think many people are scared off by the idea because they think it must be difficult and time consuming. I think you are helping to show that that is a false assumption!

  2. Jeff, thanks for the introduction to Doodlecast pro. I am working on increasing the number of video tutorials in my Home Ec classes, but I haven’t used any of the programs you suggest yet. I have just narrated a skill on video while a student demonstrates and then used iMovie to publish to YouTube. Time is such a factor in the reason why not many are done (Yet once they are done, you can use it continually). I am wondering if I could have my high school students next semester be responsible for making a tutorial that a middle schooler could use, and have them demonstrate their understanding of basic skills using the tutorial.
    I like how your tutorial explained what the students need to do on their Home Link. With your video, they can go back and look at it again if they still have questions.

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