In a time when a virus is keeping us apart, we find our own ways to stay connected. Zoom has become the go-to platform for businesses communicating through video conference. It’s a platform I use when recording instructional videos. In this time of social distancing, it is quickly becoming a way for individuals to communicate with loved ones, for church groups to gather despite being apart, and for people to meet new friends half a world away.
Get Started with Zoom
You’ll find many tutorials on YouTube demonstrating how to set up a free account. This one is particularly good. With a free account, you can talk with one person and have no time limitation. With that same free account, you can host a meeting of up to 40-minutes with as many as 100 people.
The other people in the meeting don’t have to have a Zoom account. They merely click a link you send. When they join the meeting, a prompt has them click and download the Zoom software. That process takes only a few seconds.
The first time you join a meeting with a few other people, it will remind you of the beginning of a “Brady Bunch” episode. All participants appear in their own little squares.
Recording Video Using Zoom
What if you want to record a lesson on video? You know you would need a webcam and microphone. But what software would you use to record? Where would you house the video? How would others be able to get to it?
I use Zoom. The process of recording an instructional video is the same as hosting a meeting… with one exception. After you start the meeting, you hit the “Record” button.
Here is how I create video using Zoom:
Editing Your Video
As you record video, you’ll make mistakes. But you don’t have to start over every time you miss a word. Keep going. Pause, back up a sentence or two, and jump back in.
The second step is to edit the video. I use a free editor called “Shotcut.” It’s available for Windows and Mac. For Mac users, iMovie is always a good choice. Here is a video where you see me take a sample Zoom recording and edit out the “bloopers.”
As you watch, pay special attention to how I export my video. After exporting, the video is saved to your computer. You could share it with others by putting it in Dropbox and sharing a link. You could send it to a site such as “We Transfer,” a free service that I talked about in this blog post.
Upload to YouTube
If you want others to see your work, the easiest way is to upload to YouTube. Here’s a good video on how you could create an account right now. You always have the option to make a video public, unlisted, or private.
Public videos show up in a search. Unlisted videos can only be viewed by the people who have the link. For example, a teacher who makes a video specifically for the students in a class would make the video “Unlisted” and give the link to the class. “Private” videos can be seen only by the creator and email addresses of the creator’s choosing.