As a former video production professional, I used to edit commercials for shows on the television station The WB, so it should come as little surprise that as an educator I love giving students the opportunity to demonstrate learning through making videos. Not only does it allow students the chance to be creative, but it teaches them important presentation skills. There are countless EdTech tools that teachers across the globe endorse, but I truly believe that WeVideo should be a staple in every classroom.
The greatest thing about WeVideo, and the reason I consider it better than iMovie or Sony Vegas, is that it is cloud based, which means that students can edit from any computer or device anywhere. This means a student can begin editing at school, and finish it at home. The problem with iMovie and some of the traditional editing softwares is that the students always need to edit from the same computer, and if someone else is using the computer, they can’t do their work. The other issue with traditional softwares is that they cannot be loaded onto Chromebooks. WeVideo eliminates both of those problems, and in an era of 1 to 1 devices, that is priceless.
WeVideo offers users two different modes, Storyboard Mode and Timeline Mode. Storyboard mode is for users with little to no experience, and is essentially a drag and drop tool (think of it as a higher-end Animoto). Timeline Mode offers users a true video editing experience, similar to what they might encounter with iMovie, Sony Vegas, or Adobe Premiere. In this mode users can edit their video and audio within multiple tracks. No matter what skill level a user has, he or she can always visit the WeVideo Academy, which has over 50 tutorials that range from basic to advanced.
Some WeVideo’s most useful features are a large library of transitions, frames, overlays, solid and video backgrounds, free audio files, themes, and static and motion title slides and lower third graphics. The new motion title slides and lower third graphics are amazing and are sure to give your video a professional look. All of these features are absolutely free. Another nice feature for Google schools is that students can go to WeVideo.com and sign-up using their Google account, they don’t need to input any personal information, and can begin editing in minutes. With the free accounts, students can publish up to five minutes per month.
For students or teachers that are a bit more serious about video production, the premium accounts offer more power and options. For example, premium accounts have access to 100 royalty free songs instead of 22, can download up to 30 minutes per month (or unlimited depending on the package), can output in HD, can use Chromakeying and slow motion editing effects, have the WeVideo watermark removed, can screencast, and best of all…allow student collaboration! For me personally, giving students the ability to collaborate on a video is the greatest feature that you can offer. As someone who taught video production classes on old desktops, any time students would work in groups, inevitably one student would do the editing while everyone else just sat around. Now students can take turns editing, and even if one student is out of school, he or she can still work on the video from home. Teachers also have the ability to track the revision history to see who worked on the project. In my opinion, this is a complete gamechanger.
When I was a Video Production Teacher I started a modest television studio with the goal of creating a daily news show that would be run by the students. The students would write a script, come to class where we’d film, I’d upload the video, share it out to a team of editors, those students would communicate among themselves and decide who was going to edit what parts, and they would upload the final product for the morning. The students truly took ownership of the process, and never missed a deadline. As the students got more comfortable with their roles, not only did the quality of the news improve, but we had to create a waiting list for students who were interested in joining our production.
There aren’t a lot of EdTech tools that I stand bye and actually endorse, but WeVideo has changed the way that I am able to teach. I’ve used WeVideo for over four years, and as they continue to listen to their customers, the product continues to evolve and get better. This is a product to get excited about.