Since our teacher laptops do not have DVD drives, and Apple discontinued iDVD, it is time to explore some other ways of sharing videos and projects with students’ families and others. It still is possible to make a DVD using an external hard drive and applications such as MiDVD (which was recommended to a teacher from the Apple Store). However, there are plenty of other ways to share videos as well.
With our Google apps for Education, we have unlimited storage. This means you don’t have to worry about uploading too many files to Google Drive, which makes it a great option for sharing videos, even large ones. Simply upload your file by clicking on the red New button, and then choose File Upload. After it is uploaded (which could take a while), click the Share icon (the person with a plus sign). Make sure to select the option so anyone with the link can view. You can enter people’s email addresses from Drive, or copy the link and paste it into an email (or your website, or make a QR code, or whatever). Viewers do not need to have a Gmail account to view the video. They can view the video from within Google Drive, or download the file. Only people with the link will be able to view the video (it isn’t public on the web). If you don’t mind sharing it publicly, after the video is in your Drive, it is very easy to upload it onto your Google Sites website (under “Insert” > Drive > Video).
Sharing a video in Dropbox works very similarly to Google Drive. Dropbox Basic accounts start with 2 GB of free space. After uploading your video into Dropbox (using the icon with a paper and a plus sign), select the item you want to share and then click the Share button. Once you do, you can send the link to anyone over email right from Dropbox, or you can copy the link and send it in an email, create a QR code, etc. People who click the link will get a preview of the file or folder on the Dropbox website. They’ll also have the option to download a copy of the file.The recipient will be able to watch up to 15 minutes of it on the preview page on the Dropbox website. For a longer video, the recipient will need to download the file to see all of it.They do not need to have a Dropbox account to view the video, and only people with the link will be able to view the video.
The only situation I would see wanting to use Dropbox over Google Drive is if you want to share a folder with others that you will add more items to later. If you share many items with parents, you may consider using a Dropbox folder, and unlike Google Drive, viewers do not need to have a Dropbox or Gmail account to access the folder. After sharing the folder, everything you add to the folder will automatically be available for those you originally shared it with. This also works well for sharing items such as templates and images with students, especially younger ones who do not use Google Drive.
Uploading student projects to Youtube can be a a convenient way to share their work, especially from iPads, as many apps have a sharing option to Youtube. Check with your principal or MRC Director to see if your school already has a Youtube account before uploading to your own account; your school may consider keeping your projects on one account.
By default, you can upload videos that are up to 15 minutes long, and there are ways to upload longer videos as well. After uploading you can choose to leave your video “public” for anyone to view, or change it to “private” or “unlisted.” Private means only those you invite to view the video can view it (they must have their own Youtube accounts and the maximum number is 50 usernames). This is probably too restrictive for most sharing situations. Unlisted means your video will not come up in search results or on your channel either. Only those who know the link can view it, and you can share the link with anyone, even those who do not have a YouTube account/username.
Vimeo works very similarly to Youtube, with a cleaner aesthetic and no distracting banners or ads. It’s free to sign up for a basic membership, which allows you 500MB per week of upload space and the ability to upload up to 10 videos per day.
There are many other ways you can share videos and student work with families and beyond. If you or your students blog, it can be very simple to embed videos into sites such as Blogger or WordPress. Short videos can also be emailed directly to parents, or from 1:1 iPads, emailed to the teacher who then can email to parents. 1:1 students can also share their work to show their families through their own Google Drive. Many apps may support sharing directly to Google Drive, and if that is not available in the app they are working with, they can save their media to the camera roll, sign in to Google Drive, and upload the project from there.
What are your favorite ways to share student work?