EdTech @ ISB

Transforming Teaching & Learning

Tag: video (page 1 of 2)

Video Options for Online Learning

Video is an important element for continuing the learning through an online environment. At ISB there are several options available to teachers and students for uploading and sharing video content and responses. Unfortunately, there is no perfect option that will fit everybody’s needs, so it is important that you look at all the options available, weigh the pros and cons, and make the decision that is best for you. This flowchart can help you decide the best way to handle video content that you have created. Use the links at the bottom to learn how to do any of the options in the flowchart.

If you have any questions about what is best, contact EdTech or ICT and they can help you decide.

Uploading Videos to Dragons’ Tube

Dragons’ Tube (http://isbtube.isb.bj.edu.cn) is our self-hosted video server. The videos uploaded here are accessible to anyone in the world without VPN. ICT is working with our internet service providers in China to improve external access to Dragons’ Tube for uploading and viewing videos.

You can find a tutorial on how to upload to Dragons’ Tube here.


Uploading Videos to DX or Seesaw

In Middle and High School, you can upload a video directly to DX using the “File Upload” option. Technically, there is no file size limit but the smaller the video (compressed), the faster it will upload and the faster it will transcode for students to watch. If you’ve uploaded your video to Stream or Dragons’ Tube, you can also just paste the link to the video in the post.


In the Elementary School, you and your students can record a video directly into Seesaw, with a limit of 10 minutes recording time.

You can also upload a video that you have created and compressed to Seesaw using the “Upload” option. Or, if you have saved your video in OneDrive or ES 365 for others to use, you can paste the link into your message. If you use the “Insert Link” option, the link will work but it will create a preview image that is not very attractive!

Using the “Upload” option to a video saved on my computer

Using the “Link” option to a video shared on ES 365.

Pasting the shared link to a video on ES 365 into a note. If you want to make this a bit nicer, you could use a link shortener like tinyurl. Do not use bit.ly since it does not work without a VPN


Uploading Video to OneDrive

For ES and Parent videos, you can upload your compressed videos to OneDrive or ES 365 and can share them so that they are viewable by anybody with the link. You can then share this link in Seesaw or an email.

Upload the video to OneDrive by dragging it into the folder you want to store it in. Once it is there, you will need to create a sharing link for the video.

Once your video is uploaded to OneDrive or ES365, click the three dots and choose “Copy link”

Select “Anyone with link” and make sure “Allow editing” is NOT selected. Then apply the changes.

You need to copy the link that is created and share this with students and parents. You must always use this process to share a link. You cannot just send the URL of the video (unfortunately).


Uploading Videos to Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Stream (https://web.microsoftstream.com/) is a new feature of Office 365 that allows us to upload videos and share them with anybody in our organization. This means that in order to view a video shared on Stream, you must have an ISB email and password. This is not a suitable option for videos that are to be viewed by parents or by students in Grade 3 or below.

Some interesting features of Stream include automatic searchable transcript of the audio and the ability to link a form to the video for feedback and interactivity.

First, log in to Stream from any Office 365 tool (like Outlook Online, Word Online, etc.)

Upload your video under the “Create” menu. You can also create a Channel for your course (Grade 6 Humanities; Grade 10 Math; etc.) to group all the videos related to your course.

Once your video is uploaded, you can go to the viewing page. Grab the URL to share in a DX thought, or use the Share button to embed the video into your blog or into a DX Lesson.

Here’s an example of a video embedded from Stream. If you aren’t logged in to 365, it will not show properly. Click on the video and login to see it!




Using Handbrake to Compress Video

To make working with video easier, it often helps to compress the final video before you try to upload it anywhere. This is especially important if your video is large and/or if you are working on a slower internet connection. All ISB computers came with Handbrake installed. It is designed specifically to compress video. If you don’t have it on your computer, you can download it at https://handbrake.fr/ 

Once you’ve checked that you have the newest version of Handbrake (version 1.3.1), select your video as the source file and choose preset VeryFast720p30. This will ensure a high quality output without taking too much timeI encoded a 5 minute video (700MB to start with) in about 2 minutes (26MB when it was done). 

Please note, if you are downloading a video from YouTube or another service, these videos are usually already optimized and will not always benefit from being run through Handbrake. 


Categories vs Tags

It’s important to organise the information we share through our blogs to allow users to effectively access previous posts. Two ways to do this are through categories and tags – but what are they? How are categories and tags different and why should we use them? In the following video, Bec shares the different ways categories and tags make it easier to organise your blog’s content.

Scheduling a meeting in Outlook

In last Monday’s TLT, Bec and Clint showed us how to use Scheduling Assistant in Outlook to book a meeting. It is still a bit tricky when making a time with teachers, as class times do not currently feature in calendars, however, this is our recommended method for making a time to meet with specialists… such as Bec and I!


How to update Seesaw class settings

The ES are doing great things in Seesaw, including lots of student, teacher and parent activity. There are a range of different settings you can explore to find ways to customise the Seesaw experience to your class or grade level. In the following video, I’ll show you how to:

  • Add specialist and co-teachers to class journals
  • Edit students’ preferred names & icons
  • Add parents & allow parent access
  • Add/edit folders & skills
  • Allow student comments & “likes”

We will continue to add Seesaw resources to the Ed Tech blog. In the meantime, please let Bec and myself know anytime you have a question or celebration around Seesaw or if there is another resource you think would benefit the school.


Video Basics: Story, Framing, Lighting and Sound


Story is KING! Without a story your video is just unrelated pretty pictures. All videos have to have some kind of story or theme that holds it together. Without a compelling story everything else in this post doesn’t matter.

Framing: Basic Shot Composition

Photographers and videographers refer to the Rule of Thirds as a cornerstone of taking good shots. Put simply, don’t place the subject of your photo directly in the middle of the frame. Have them one third into your frame from either side. Watch the video below for more info.


Lighting will make or break a shot. There are two parts to great lighting. The first is to make sure your subject is well light. If you’re videoing people make sure their faces are well lit. This can be as easy as filming near a window or outside.

Once you’ve made sure your scene is well lit, think about using light for dramatic effect. Videographers and photographers talk about the golden hour. The golden hour is the first hour of daylight right around sunrise and the last hour right around sunset. Golden hour gives your shots a warm colour.

This video gives more detailed ideas for shooting at the golden hour.

Sound: Capturing Audio

Make sure you capture the best sound possible. People will watch less than perfect video but poor audio quality will have them clicking on to something else to watch very quickly. Here are some tips to ensure you capture good audio.

Film in a quiet place where you can control background noises. When you get to your filming location, stop and listen. Listen for noisy fans, humming refrigerators or barking dogs. If your location is noisy fix it.

Have your microphone up close to your talent. This may mean using a mic on a boom pole but it can be much simpler than that. It may be as simple as getting your camera closer to your subject. I once stuck my iPhone in my actor’s shirt pocket and used the Voice Memos App to record the audio as I filmed. It was a back up to a fancier audio recorder I was using. As it turned out the batteries in my audio recorder died so I used my iPhone’s audio for the last few minutes of the video. Nobody noticed.

If you want to learn more about capturing audio the Vimeo Video School Blog has lots of resources including Sound good, feel good: things to consider when capturing audio. It is good  for anyone wanting to do a deep dive into capturing audio for videos.

Sound: Background Music

Background music can be great but be purposeful when you use it. Your favorite song may not be the best music for your video.

Instrumental songs—songs without lyrics—are usually best because the brain can’t multitask. If people in your video are talking while there’s a song with lyrics playing in the background, the viewer’s brain tries to listen to both sets of words and it can’t. At least it can’t do it well. Scientifically, this is known as cognitive load.

So use music without lyrics but that’s not enough. It’s important that the volume of the background music is kept much lower than the actors speaking in your video. iMovie has a cool feature that lets you automatically drop the audio levels of the background music. It’s pretty handy. Use it but also check that it’s done it right by listening carefully to your entire movie. You may find that you have to make some further adjustments.

If you’re looking for more audio ideas Vid Authority has some more in depth tips for using background music in videos.

There you have it—Story, Shot Composition, Lighting and Sound. Control each of these elements and you’ll be on your way to your first Oscar!

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