Video School Episode 2: Lewisville ISD Lauren Gilchrist by Lauren Gilchrist Lauren Gilchrist On the Set Read time: In the world of education, videos could win a golden apple. They can be excellent, patient teachers, allowing viewers to learn visually, review when necessary, and go at their own pace. Lewisville Independent School District, located in the Dallas metropolitan area, has found success using videos to share important information with students, parents, and staff. Our video team visited the district to learn how LISD creates their videos and why they believe they’re so important. Check out our Video School episode below. Watch the video! Why should you create videos? We understand – you’re no Alfred Hitchcock. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give videos a try. There are many reasons why you and your school should consider creating and distributing them. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what two Lewisville administrators had to say about deciding to create videos: “There was no formalized training... no resource that people could go to. We look at video as a way that we can package the message, the training, the knowledge that we want to share, and make sure we are sharing exactly what we need.” -David Koonce, director of tech informational services “Schools are changing a lot, and mostly that’s good. The world is changing. So the idea that [information is available] only at specific times does not work for a lot of families. It’s our responsibility to find ways to make sure that quality information and learning are available all the time.” -Jim Baker, Delay Middle School principal What are some of the benefits of using videos? Even the simplest of videos can be beneficial. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why: Quick answers, easy access: People are busy; that’s a fact we all know is true. A to-the-point video posted on the Internet will give your viewers the answers they need wherever they are. “This is a very, very busy world in this day and age. People’s time is at a premium. I see a lot of value in a very short video clip that doesn’t take long. I see that as a very good learning tool.” -Dr. Robin Macke, Wellington Elementary School principal A go-to source: If you house all of your videos in one location, such as a webpage or YouTube channel, your audience will know exactly where they should go first for helpful information. You might be surprised how much time you’ll save when you don’t have to answer the same questions multiple times a day. “The videos are so engaging. It’s a story that everyone can relate to. The first time I used the videos was when my daughter who was a senior [and I] were in a meeting with college coaches. They asked to know what her grades were. I was able to go and click on the video, then go out to Skyward and provide them with the grades that they asked for.” -Karla Stastny, parent Communication with multilingual populations: Are some of your students or their families non-native English speakers? Find someone in the district or community who can translate your videos and help you caption them. Visuals and step-by-step demonstrations in the videos can improve comprehension and empower viewers. “We have a Spanish-speaking population and we have a translator with the district… I’ll just send it to her and she’ll translate it.” -Bruce Latimer, systems analyst “Any time we’re dealing with multilingual or diverse populations, the more visuals you can have to support the language that’s coming out of your mouth, the better off you are.” -Dr. Macke Help for visual learners: People learn in different ways. For some, there’s really no substitute for concrete examples and someone saying, “This is exactly how you do it. Let me demonstrate.” “We all learn in different ways. For me, video is an important way for us to reach an audience.” -Dr. Kevin Rogers, superintendent A new channel: No matter how friendly you are and how much you strive to make yourself available, some coworkers, students, and parents will simply never come to you with a question. Videos are a great way to provide these people with another channel for accessing important information. ↪ Check out the "60-Second Power-Ups" we put together for Family Access users! What steps should you take to get started? “The first thing we came up with was telling a story... Come up with a solid story and what you are trying to tell. I think the rest falls into place better when you know that.” -Bruce Latimer The steps of your video-making process will depend on the scope of your project. Regardless, follow in Lewisville’s footsteps – start out by brainstorming and creating a big-picture plan. Consider questions such as: Who will your audience be? What type of information are you hoping to distribute? What will your viewers be looking for in a video? Where would they be likely to look for this information? How can you brand these videos? ↪ Looking for inspiration? We branded our latest tutorial series as “Quick Hits.” In terms of video duration, be succinct. Only make your video as long as it takes to clearly and fully communicate your message. Consider including students throughout the process – they’re not only good with technology, but many are also eager to gain skills in project management and videography. (If you feature any students on screen, remember to get signed release forms first.) It doesn’t take a big budget or production-savvy team to create simple, go-to videos that will help you distribute information within your school. Think big, but while you’re still learning the ropes, remember it’s okay to start small. Now is your chance to be creative and have some fun. Who knows? Maybe you have some Spielberg-like talent in you after all. How does your school use video? Do you use video for community news updates? Do your teachers practice flipped teaching? Whatever your innovative video-related idea, we’d love to hear about it. Contact us or leave a note in the comments; we may send our crew to feature you on an episode of Video School! Lauren Gilchrist On the Set Share this story: Want tips, tricks, and feature updates delivered to your inbox once a month? Sign up here!