What is Runway and How Can It Be Used for Teaching? Tips & Tricks

(Image credit: Runway)

Runway is an artificially intelligent creative platform that can be used in education as a tool to help make media for use in lessons.

Runway, like many other AI-powered tools, has huge potential but is still growing -- albeit at a rapid rate of development. The idea behind it is to use the AI smarts to be creative. While that might sound daunting the reality is that this is using machine learning to help create art, entertainment, and more.

All that translates to making the life of an educator easier as accessibility to specific media that suits teaching needs is simpler than ever before. From generating presentations to building lesson plans, it could all be a far faster and more media-rich process with tools such as Runway.

What is Runway?

Runway is what is called a generative AI, meaning it uses artificial intelligence to generate images and video. While it could be easy to say it creates these from scratch, it does use other examples to meld something new from that. But then if you really get down to it, it's rare that even humans create something totally original.


(Image credit: Runway)

Runway has a few stand-out tools that it is currently developing. These are primarily image editors, which takes out the work of researching the internet for image-based resources; and Gen-2, which synthesizes new videos without the need to actually film anything.

These tools break down into case-specific needs, including Text-To-Image, Image-to-Image, Infinite Image, Video Inpainting, Frame Interpolating, Custom AI Training, and more, with over 30 tools available at time of publishing.

All that means is that as a teacher you can create videos, edit images, and create your own pictures, all from an idea and the words you use to ask for what you want.

How does Runway work?

Runway offers free sign-up for which you simply need a Google or Apple ID to login right away. At this point you can sign-up for email alerts to be told when new tools are released -- or deny this to be left alone and go to the tier package you want. 

Select "Try For Free" and you can get started right away.


(Image credit: Runway)

Runway offers a side menu toolbar with a selection of options including "Create new project," "AI Magic Tools," and "AI Training." Tools are also displayed on the main screen with accompanying images to give an idea of what you can create.

Select, for example, "Text To Image" and you are taken to a tool in which you can select the output ratio of the image you want, the resolution, the number of outputs, and can then input the text of what you want in the box. 

An option is available to train your own model, for more advanced and accurate results. Then hit Generate and the AI will get to work outputting an image for you. It works really well, and fast.

What are the best Runway features?

Runway might seem new and daunting at first but once you start using this tool it is actually very, very easy to work with. In fact you may find this is your first stop every time you want to find an image or video to help with a class presentation.


(Image credit: Runway)

That text box, to use the Image To Text tool example again, is so simple that you can literally list words of what you need. Hit generate and see what you think. Don't like it? Add more words to the prompt to narrow down the specifics of what you want. As you get better at "searching" you'll find it quicker and easier to get exact results of what you want.

Find one you want? Simply tap on the download button and you have it on your device ready to use as you need.

Expand Image is another useful tool, allowing you to zoom in on an image and enhance it digitally for more detail, or to focus on a certain part. Remove Background is another great feature, letting you effectively have a green screen but one that you apply retroactively to any image. Image To Image lets you upload an image and have it changed to something fresh, using text prompts. Blur faces, create super slo-mo video, clean audio, remove silence, and plenty more.

This tool essentially lets you do pro level video and image editing by simply typing what you want, as the AI does the work for you.

How much does Runway cost?

Runway has a wide selection of tools available to use for free but there are also paid for plans that get you more access.

The Free plan gets you 125 credits, three video projects, 5GB of assets, up to three editors, 720p video exports, and limited AI Magic Tools export options.

Go for the Standard tier, at $12 per user per month, and you get 625 credits per month, the option to buy more credits as needed, Gen-1 video up to 15 seconds, upscale and remove watermarks on generated video, unlimited video editor projects, 100GB assets, up to seven editors, 1080p and 4K plus green screen exports, 2K AI Magic Tools image exports, full 3D texture options, and training of custom AI generators.

Opt for the Pro plan at $28 per user per month to get 2,250 credits per month, the above plus 500GB assets, up to 15 editors, all video exports plus PNG and ProRes, and all Magic Tool exports.

There is also an Enterprise option, on a quote basis, with more support, ongoing success program, custom storage and more.

Runway best tips and tricks

Create class
Make your own class image based on words that apply to that class, print it and use it in class and on your digital media so students feel at home in your lessons.

Edit images
Work with the class to edit images, removing background parts, sharpening, enhancing, and more so students can see how easy AI is to use.

Get the class involved
Have students use the app to film and edit videos using the AI smarts, submitting to show how creativity still plays a part even here.

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Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.