My school uses a variety of Google tools. We use Google logins, Google classroom, Chromebooks, and the list goes on. One of the best student-friendly, free video creation programs is WeVideo. The list of positive aspects is extensive. Today I’d like to share with you how to use WeVideo in the classroom. It has been a terrific presentation option for my fourth and fifth-grade library media students.
Accessing the Free Version
The free version is not obvious if you just do a search for WeVideo. You have to go to the pricing page to see the free version. Here’s the link to set up your free account. A big plus for learning how to use WeVideo in the classroom is the ability to just sign in with a Google account. My whole school district is Google compatible and we all have Google accounts. Students don’t have to create a new account to use WeVideo. For me, that’s huge. It saves so much hassle. Once the students have been introduced to WeVideo, the fun begins.
Planning the Presentations
I usually have students follow a storyboard when creating a video, so they have a plan beforehand. Here’s a sample storyboard for our Mission Possible Project.
Students design a book trailer video, which is rather like a movie trailer, except it’s for books. It’s sort of like a book commercial. After thinking of a favorite book, students write down some details on their storyboard. During the course of the project, students learn about library call numbers. They also gain knowledge about using the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) to determine how many copies of the book the library has in its collection. Once the storyboards are complete, students are ready to begin creating presentations in WeVideo.
When students first access their WeVideo account, the program often shows the user the Timeline view. The easiest view for beginners to work with is definitely the Storyboard view. The Timeline view offers a few more advanced options for editing, but I would not recommend it for elementary students.
With the Storyboard view, students just follow the storyboard they have created. They can add as many text slides as they need by going to the text tool in the top menu bar.
I usually have my students go to Theme, then choose Title slides for most of their slides, so that the theme they choose can play throughout the presentation. The text on each slide is pretty brief with this particular project. The final slide is always an End slide from the Text/Theme menu.
Uploading an Image
For one of the slides, I always have students upload a screenshot of their book cover. Uploading an image is pretty intuitive in the Media menu. Just select Import and wait for the image to upload. After the image is uploaded, the student may add the image slide into the storyboard.
Adding a Theme and Music
Students have fun adding a theme and music to their presentation. Each theme comes with music, but if students wish to change the music, they may do so in the music library.
After music and a theme are added, students fine-tune their work, changing the duration of the slides as needed by dragging out handles on either side of each slide.
Publishing and Sharing Presentations
When video creators are ready to publish their content, they can click the blue Finish button in the top right corner of the screen. One quick tip before publishing is to have the blue play head bar located in the middle of the slide you want to have displayed as the thumbnail view of your video.
This is what people will see on the screen before pressing the play button. I usually have my students show a thumbnail of their book cover. Once the thumbnail view is chosen, just click the blue export button and the video will begin processing. When processing is complete, a link will be available for copying and sharing. Here are some completed examples.
You can get an embed code as well if you wish to place the video directly into a web page. That’s how to use WeVideo in the classroom! Students are always excited to share their presentations created with this fun, free video tool.
Yes, There is an App
WeVideo does have an app, which is handy. The main drawback of the app is that there are fewer choices for free themes available. I wrote about this in more detail in my post about free video apps.
Would You like to Give WeVideo a Try?
Do you now feel inspired to try WeVideo? Whether you are a classroom teacher, home school teacher, or need to create your own video projects, this is an amazing free tool. I hope you have learned the basics of how to use WeVideo in the classroom, and feel comfortable experimenting with it.
What are Your Favorite Free Technology Tools?
How about you? Do you have favorite free technology tools you like to use? I welcome your suggestions, and if you like what you have read, please consider subscribing for access to a library of free resources, including an eBook about free media tools. Have fun experimenting with WeVideo!