Video Projects to Engage Learners: 20+ Tools & Tips

”Humans are incredibly visual and powerful, moving images help us find meaning… [and] video helps capture and contextualize the world around us.” – Dan Patterson

Some of the most popular apps and social networks (Periscope, Meerkat, Vine, Instagram, Youtube, etc.) make it easy for anyone to quickly produce, publish, and share their videos. Chances are your students have already produced their own videos and shared them with the world. So why not have your students share their knowledge through video projects? Students can create video tutorials, silent films, screencasts, lip dubs, commercials, news reports, music videos, documentaries, movie trailers, video diaries, vodcasts, soap operas, stop motion films, machinimas, claymation, talk shows, and game shows. Keep reading to find many more ideas! In my digital book, Learning to Go, find editable handouts and rubrics for creating video projects. Additionally, find some ideas and tips below along with downloadable slides to get you and your students started.

Teaching with Videos from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

  • Before your students begin creating their videos make sure they consider their audience and know their camera settings.
  • Introduce students to the Rule of Thirds.
  • When I’ve had students create videos, the process generally includes getting them to brainstorm; create, gather, and/or remix content; record; edit; and produce or publish the video somewhere.
  • Storyboards help students brainstorm the characters, dialogue, plot, setting, props, background music, and special effects for their video projects. Find a storyboard your students can edit in Learning to Go. Your students can also create storyboards using the Storyboard Generator tool or find a Google Template to adapt.
  • During the recording process, make sure students consider the best location to record sound.
  • Students can edit their videos with iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Youtube Capture, or WeVideo. They can edit videos taken with their mobile devices with apps like Splice for iOS devices and VidEditor. If students have smart devices, they will find their camera tool has editing features.
  • Some of my favorite video creation tools and apps for quick video productions, include Powtoons, Animoto, Educreations, ToonDoo, Touchcast, Instagram, Magisto, Popcorn Maker, Wideo, and Dvolver. Find the links to these free tools in the bookmarks below.
  • Free mobile apps for adding special effects, include Quo Movie FX, Creature FX, Action Movie FX, Game Your Video iOS app, iOS app, Foteo iOS, CineBeat by Smule, and @Video. Find these apps and more bookmarked in my Symbaloo of video tools.
  • Published videos can be embedded on a Wiki or curated on a Pinterest or Educlipper Board. You could also upload them to Vimeo or Youtube and create a playlist.
  • When your students finish their productions, try hosting a viewing party and inviting parents or other classes.
  • Remember to get students and parents to sign an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) form.
  • In Learning to Go, find rubrics for assessing these projects, which you can edit to your projects’ needs.
  • Discover more video creation ideas by checking out 1001 Uses for a Digital Camera and Jamie Keddie’s Videotelling site. One of my favorites is Jamie’s tips on creating video selfies.

Challenge: Get your students to create a short video this year and share their productions!


Find the tools listed above and many more resources in the bookmarks below:

Video Creation & Tools, by shellyterrell

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachersor my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.

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Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at

Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at