Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

30 Second Videos for Your Students

30 Second Videos for Your Students

30 second videos

Personally, I cringe when I hear a teacher mention they are making videos for their students. I absolutely advocate for teachers to create videos. However, regardless of the medium, student engagement matters. Too often I see 10-20 minute videos for students to watch. Ugh.

Ten Seconds

Research shows that people decide in the first 10 seconds if they are going to watch a video, so make those first 10 seconds EXCITING!

One Minute

Looking at Facebook analytics, videos that are over one minute long receive far fewer views of the video. One minute is really your UPPER limit for a video length.

30 Seconds…. OR LESS

There are many great reasons to keep your videos to 30 seconds, or less. I create a collection of short videos into a playlist for students. Say one piece of information and stop the video. In and out. Sometimes my videos are only 8 seconds!!

  • It is a lot easier to maintain enthusiasm and be interesting when it is only 30 seconds.
  • You say “um” and pause a lot less often since you are in and out.
  • It is easier to be comfortable on video for only 30 seconds.
  • Do not talk slow on a video. Students can replay if they need the information again. This helps you keep video short.
  • Do not repeat yourself on a video. Students can replay.
  • Title the video very specifically. With a short video the title says what the video says.
  • It is very hard to skim a video to find information. Short videos with specific titles make this possible.
  • Oftentimes we are just missing that “one” thing. Having to watch or try to scrub through even a 3 minute video can be hard.
  • It is really interesting to see the video analytics on a playlist of short videos. Some videos are watched a LOT and others, almost none at all.
  • If you need to update information or you make a mistake, you only have to replace a 30 second segment.
  • When a video corrupts, it is not that big of a deal to film it again.
  • Kids are willing to watch a 30 second video. They may not watch longer ones.
  • Makes it easier for students to learn on the go. They can watch a couple of quick video clips and pick up the rest later quite easily.

Playlist Sample

I am not claiming I make awesome videos, these videos were made on the fly on my porch. But… at least they are short. I am sharing a sample playlist with you so you can see how short some of the videos are.

Notice my videos range from 5 seconds to 23 seconds. Since the videos are so short I can put almost the entire message into the video title.

playlist of video sample

One Video

If you use YouTube to create your video playlist, the “Play All” features plays the series of videos as if it was one continuous video.

20 Minutes to 7 Minutes

One time I created a video for my students, it was 20 minutes long. Somehow the video got corrupted and I had to start over. Since this was frustrating I instead did the video in 30ish second takes instead. I gave the same information but the cumulative run time on the video list was only 7 minutes! That is 13 minutes of instruction I was able to buy back! How much can i do in class with an extra 13 minutes of instruction?!!!

Google Drive

If your school is Google Apps for Education (GAfE) you have unlimited storage in your Google Drive. This means you can load it up with videos. If you can not use YouTube to create your video playlists, use Google Drive.

Create a folder in Google Drive and place your short videos in the folder. Number each video #001, #002 and a very specific title.
Number videos

Sharing the Google Drive folder with students or attaching the videos into Google Classroom allows you to distribute the collection of videos. Starting each video with #001, #002, etc… allows students to sort the videos in Google Drive by name and quickly get them into the correct order.

4 thoughts on “30 Second Videos for Your Students

  1. Yes.. but not easy to do… ““It depends. If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.” ~ Woodrow Wilson
    I remember the struggles I had getting my Google Certified Teacher video down to ONE minute and how much clearer the message was because of that constraint.

  2. I agree with your analysis regarding video length for students in general. However, if the content is fast paced and high energy enough they will watch longer videos. Just watch kids as they view some very long YT videos of gamers like Captain Sparkles and Nerd 3D. These folks are screencasting themselves playing games for long sessions. But, they are crazy, talk like kids, and say quite silly things.

  3. Oh yeah….although they have become very popular to use for PD, I have noticed that I get very frustrated watching the repetitive animated GIFs. I’m not sure why. But, they just seem to fast paced for me. Maybe I’m getting old! 🙂 As always, thanks for the great post.

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