It’s that time of year again – back to school! Once you get back into the swing of things, we expect that you will be uploading lots of video to TALENT. Whether you are a Torsh TALENT guru or new to video-based classroom observation tools, we want to provide you with some tips to make your lives easier and help you record good quality video in the classroom.
1. Put your phone in airplane mode
Whenever you are using your phone to record a video, place your phone in airplane mode. This will disable calls on your phone and ensure that an incoming call does not cut off your recording.
2. Keep your camera stable
Make sure you are keeping your camera steady when recording. Use a tripod or stand to hold your mobile device. Do not try to hold your device with your hand. Visit our equipment page here to the see the tripod we’ve tested out and highly recommend.
3. Always film in landscape
Make sure to record video in the landscape orientation (i.e. wide-screen). Also, whenever you’re recording a video, you will want to be sure that the screen rotation lock is turned off. This will allow you to orient your device in the landscape mode and record your video successfully. Already uploaded a video recorded with the lock on, and found your video is rotated sideways? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can rotate it for you.
4. Use an external microphone
Mobile devices are not designed for the best possible audio recording quality. Use an external microphone when recording video on your smartphone or tablet. This is particularly useful when recording large groups or in large rooms. For more information on the benefits of using an external microphone, check out this video from PBS on capturing video of a K-12 classroom. For microphone recommendations, please see our Video Capture Equipment Recommendations resource.
5. Use external lenses to create more complete views of the classroom
External lenses, such as a wide angle lens, can allow you to capture a larger view of a room. Some lenses can expand the viewing angle up to four times. These lenses can be detached from the device, so you can remove it when it’s not in use. And they aren’t very expensive! A kit on Amazon for a wide-angle lens, a macro lens, and a fish eye lens goes for about $7. See more of our recommendations here.
6. Good lighting is important
Lighting is important to consider when filming. If the lighting is too direct or if there is not enough light, you will lose detail in the video. For a better image, avoid placing the subject in front of windows or other direct sources of light and make sure the room is well-lit.
7. Don’t use digital zoom
Digital zoom can significantly decrease the quality of the video. Instead of using digital zoom, move the device closer to what you are trying to capture.
8. Keep your videos short
Videos should focus on one topic or concentration area. This helps your coaches and fellow educators provide constructive feedback. Try not to record the whole lesson, but to keep videos between 15-20 minutes. If you need to record the entire lesson, you can then clip smaller portions for self-reflection, coaching and feedback purposes. Wondering how to clip a video on TALENT? Watch our video tutorial here.
We hope you found our recommendations to be helpful! For more tips for implementation or help navigating the TALENT platform, you can always send us an email at email@example.com.