You've probably heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
You can also probably imagine how much of a behemoth YouTube has become. Some stats:
Our students are there, too. They have their favorite video genres.
Thankfully, those types of videos can make for great learning activities. We can play off these types of videos to create fun, engaging learning activities. Memorable learning activities. The kind that stick with students.
Lots of classroom video creation tools empower students to make these videos, like:
Making these video activities successful is less technical skill and more inspiration. A simple video that sparks the imagination can do wonders!
Here are eight types of popular YouTube videos, complete with classroom video ideas for using them:
YouTubers unbox all sorts of things! Smart phones. Electronics. Mystery boxes. Video games. (One YouTuber appears to open boxes of squishies. Squishy things. I dunno ... each video has millions of views.)
It may sound crazy, but ... people watch unboxing videos!
Knowing that this is a trend, ask yourself ... What could students unbox in a video -- and describe it all the while? It doesn't have to be an actual product. In fact, making your own boxes and unboxing them on a video could be fun -- and help them show what they've learned.
Some unboxing videos are shot from above so you only see the item, the unboxer's hands, and the top of the desk. Some are shot from the front, seeing the person unboxing and his/her reactions.
In this YouTube video by director/filmmaker Philip Bloom, he offers 10 tips for making great unboxing videos, including ...
When you want to buy a new cell phone -- or any type of product -- where do you turn?
If you're like me, you Google search for reviews of the product. And if you want to see it in detail, you watch a product review video.
These videos get tons of views. There are product reviews for EVERYTHING!
Many product review videos have common elements ...
Because it's a review, the video creators often insert their own opinions in the video -- what they like and don't like, what they wish was different, whether they'd buy it again or not.
Sometimes, these videos will overlay text on the video. The text will summarize the point the video creator is making in that moment. If your students aren't going to edit their videos, this can be done by writing the text out on a sheet of paper (or typing text and printing it on paper) and putting it in front of the camera.
YouTube viewers go NUTS over makeup tutorials.
In 2018, YouTube had 169 billion (yes, BILLION) views for beauty-related content. That's up from 104 billion in 2017 and 59 billion in 2016.
The bottom line: these tutorials are getting eyeballs. There's a good chance your students are watching them, too.
Makeup tutorials are pretty basic. They show -- step by step -- the entire process of creating a certain look from start to finish.
In this video, and in lots of others like it, the video editing is pretty minimal. Some will do "jump cuts", where they eliminate small parts of the video that aren't as important to keep the video tight. If your students are editing videos, they can likely do jump cuts pretty easily, but they're not necessary.
Because these videos can be 10 or 15 minutes or longer, the best beauty vloggers work hard to keep their viewers engaged the whole time. They do this with their voice. They engage their viewers, describing what they're doing (and what they're not doing), encouraging the viewer, or just being themselves and injecting their personality in the video.
Interviews have been a mainstay of media for centuries. Ask a question. Get an answer. They're a staple of journalism.
Types of on the street interviews vary, from silly to serious. Jimmy Kimmel has gotten lots of YouTube attention with his Pedestrian Question series. In the one below, he asks if people can simply name a country on a map. (And watch the end, where a kid destroys all of the adults in this contest!)
In the best on the street interview videos, an interviewer asks the questions. It could be a single question asked to lots of people. Or the interviewer starts with the same question but then probes with follow-up questions.
The video work for these kinds of videos is really simple. On the street interview videos can be shot with a simple smart phone or mobile devices. Even webcams on laptops or Chromebooks could work if someone acts as the videographer and holds it -- or if the device is set down and aimed at the subjects. (Note: having the camera at eye level is ideal for these videos.)
Many of us would LOVE to see sights and experiences in places far from where we live.
If you can't go there, there's probably a travel blogger that has visited that spot! Even if it's still on your bucket list, you can live vicariously through that blogger through their videos until you can finally visit.
Travel bloggers take you on tours of places all over the world, and the YouTube faithful follow along!
Tour videos created by travel bloggers give you all the details you want to see in different locations. The bloggers provide facts, share how it feels, and fill you in on everything about the experience that you can't see in the video.
Tour videos often include lots of starting and stopping (or "jump cuts", where you cut out unnecessary, slow or less engaging parts of the video). Tours include a lot of walking and waiting. The vloggers usually leave that out, showing us the most exciting and interesting parts.
There's something that just clicks with our brains and lists. We love a good list, and we love to know exactly how many things are on those lists before we read or watch!
(Notice that this post is a list? Most of my posts on this blog are lists!)
List videos can be pretty easy to create, and they're a great way to demonstrate learning.
If your students can list them, they can create a video about them!
The list of lists goes on and on!
We love getting tips and tricks from people with experience. If we can avoid mistakes and get things right the first time, we love using their wisdom.
Tips and tricks videos are all over the place. Many of them follow the list format (above), but they are more in the imperative mood (commands, telling us what to do) instead of stating facts.
Creating a good tips and tricks video is based in one important concept: authenticity. The tips and tricks need to work! The best of these videos are from someone with experience. A quick way for a YouTuber to get angry comments is to give bad advice.
Being concise is key in these videos, too. Say what needs to be said, but say it as simply as possible.
We have questions. And we love it when someone has answers!
Sometimes, during Q&A sessions, the value is in the quality of the answers. Did we get useful information?
Sometimes, it's in the way the person answering phrases the answer!
Part of the allure of Q&A sessions can be how unpredictable it is. In the video above, Stephen Colbert takes audience questions. No one has any idea what will be asked. And because he's so quick on his feet, Stephen's responses make the segment shine.
In other Q&A sessions, pre-determined questions -- more like "frequently asked questions" -- can be helpful, less from an entertainment standpoint and more from an education standpoint.
Have you used any of these video types in class? Are there other video types that should make the list? What suggestions do you have for educators and students creating videos like these? PLEASE leave your ideas in a comment below!
Our Tech Like A Pirate page has a whole section dedicated to bringing video creation into your classroom!
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