4 Strategies for Using Video More Effectively

Video is an effective medium many of us are use to enhance instruction; however, have you thought about how to use this tool more effectively?

1 - Where You Post Makes All of the Difference

Where you post your videos makes all of the difference for learners who are hearing impaired, English Language Learners (ELL), or need to see written text. YouTube is an excellent place to house your videos because of its Automatic Closed-Captioning features. Click the Closed-Captioning button and there is nothing else to do.

2 - Embed Notes with Your Videos with VideoNot.es

There are several different web applications that you can use to embed notes with your videos. One of my favorites is called VideoNot.es because it links with your Google account.

How does it work?

  • To create your first video,  paste a video link into VideoNot.es and load your video.
  • Add notes to your presentation in the side margin. Each note will contain a bookmark with the exact time it occurs in the video. If viewers click on your note, they will be directed to the exact spot in your video. This is perfect for step-by-step instructions.
  • When you are finished, save your video. It will automatically save to your Google Drive and you can share it with your students. 
How does it work? 

NOTE: Students will need to open up your video using the VideoNot.es Chrome App. 

3 - Don't Repeat, Just Rewind

Are you tired of repeating yourself over and over? Why not use a tool like Screencastomatic, Screencastify, or another screencasting program to record your beginning of class, end of class, or homework instructions?

If a student didn't hear you, walked in late, or was absent, just have the student play the instructions. This will save you valuable time and frustration!

4 - Scaffold Instructions with a YouTube Playlist

One of the main reasons why students fail to complete assignments is that they don't completely understand the content. Why not create a YouTube playlist containing a brief tutorial of the assignment and other helpful videos to help with the assignment?

I often think of 2 - 3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) or topics that will prevent my students from understanding or completing the assignments. I provide solutions in the form of videos on my YouTube playlist.


Hopefully this is a great reminder that video is a powerful tool and even more powerful if used in strategic ways. Do you have other video ideas? I'd love to hear about them!


  1. I'm currently a student teacher working toward my social studies certification.
    In my history classroom, my mentor teacher and I regularly make use of already existing video to suppliment our lessons. It's amazing how much information is already out there. However, it can often be a pain to use these videos in that, because they weren't designed with teaching in mind, they often require a lot of extra explanation on our part so that we can properly allign the video's content with our teaching. For that reason, we have as of yet shied away from sharing these videos with the students outside of the normal classroom. Do you know of any way that we could take an existing video, and add our own thoughts to its presentation so that students can enjoy relevant content outside of the classroom without needing us there to actively relate everything back? VideoNotes is great, but I am hesitant to rip someone else's video for my own purposes, since I'm not sure about what concerns that might cause concerning copyright.

    That question aside, I had actually never thought of that idea of recording lesson instructions. I think, for me, that would be the most useful in the contexts where I'm teaching the same class multiple times each day. Rather than writing the same instructions on the board 4 times, I could just record myself writing those instructions once and letting that play for each class! Definitely an energy saver. (And it saves money on buying new white board markers, too!)

  2. Hi Brian!

    Thanks for your comment. There are a few things that come to mind. You could create a Google Doc or Sheet with specific time stamps (or locations in video) and have supporting links available for students: https://www.lifewire.com/link-to-specific-part-of-youtube-video-1616414

    Have you thought of using some of YouTube's annotation features? https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/92710?hl=en


  3. Awesome post. I didn't use above tool in video making but it may be helpful for us. When you do search key phrase " Video making software" then you will find different tools online so choose one of them based on your need.


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