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Becoming a Teacher-Author Entrepreneur Step 20: The VIDEO PREVIEW

Wow! Step 20! Really? Who knew? Perhaps it's time for a sequel to the Guide! Perhaps, but first...


Scary thing to consider doing, I know! Just did our first one today, and created a YouTube Channel, ELA in Middle School by Matthew and Suzanne Forman, and even posted said first video onto said channel! It may not be the BEST of quality, but it actually isn't the worst I've seen! And, Deb Mendoza, Lily Pad Queen of Froggy About Teaching, viewed it and said that I had to warn people, er, inform people, about how to do these! So, with as little prompting as I require having been met, here goes!

The first thing you need to know is that your video preview can be as easy or as detailed as you want to make it. Michael De Main of The Wheel Edu creates how to videos all the time for his Teacher-Author partners to help us become more successful entrepreneurs! These can be found on his YouTube Channel,  [re]Building Teachers and Teacher Authors. Michael is one of those Aussies who CLAIMS he has been teaching for 15 years, but doesn't look old enough to be out of University yet... Anyway, some of Michael's videos are very detailed for people like myself who need their hands held more, while others are short and sweet and to the point! Thank you, Michael!

You do NOT need a YouTube channel for your videos, but Suzanne and I decided to go this route because I am paranoid about access to my Google Drive. And, we can use the channel for more than just product previews! I have a second channel for giving oral administrations of assessments in school, for example. The option to get a channel or not is entirely yours.

The first real decision you need to make is what video program you want to use - there are at least as many of these as there are email sites, it seems! I chose Screencastify. This is a simple Chrome extension, and has a free version as well as different paid subscription versions. At the moment we are using the FREE version (ran out of money before month this time...), and the downside to this is you are limited to 5 minute videos. Next week we will be getting the educator package, which allows for unlimited time and unlimited videos for $29 a year!

Now, with your selected recording app or device open, check your microphone options as well as your video options. Let's talk about this video I did today. Keep in mind, it is my first one, and the 5 minute timer gets stressful!

Click to watch the video
Try not to cry from pity...

Because I am previewing the Novel Study Guide here, I want the physical product shown, so I opted to use a Document Camera for the video option, and the laptop's mic for audio. Screencastify is pretty much tech-idiot proof, which is why I like it. You hit record, and it counts down for you and starts recording! When the recording is over (and 5 minutes is both surprisingly quick and dragging at the same time!), it automatically saves to your Google Drive, and you then have the option of sharing it with your various media platforms, including embedding it into your YouTube channel, and from there embedding it into your resource descriptions! Cortney Gayney of The TeacherSorce create a lot of digital resources, so she uses a screen capture recording option for hers, but still allows for her "live" audio commentary. 

With restarts and deletes due to running out of time, I probably spent 30 minutes on this 5 minute video. I know I will improve, and I may well remove this one later, but for now, it works! Try it for yourself, and see if it doesn't help you stand out from the other sellers out there!


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