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Planning and recording a good instructional video takes time. Teachers are busy. There are great YouTube videos available on almost every topic imaginable. So, why do we encourage our teachers to record their own videos?

Informed by our own experiences as classroom teachers, these are just a few of the reasons why we recommend teacher-created videos.

1) They are relatable. Your students know YOU. Because of that, and because they know you care about their learning, we’ve found that students are much more likely to engage with videos their own teachers create. Plus, they can bring these videos home, so their families get to know you as well. As my co-founder Kareem Farah always says, blended learning doesn’t need to be pretty — it needs to be personal. Recording your own videos makes learning personal.

2) They leverage your expertise. Not only do you as a teacher possess a deep knowledge of your content, but you also know your own students better than anyone else. Sure, someone on YouTube can explain a concept, but does that person really know how to make it relevant to YOUR students? And, if your students watch someone else’s videos, will they continue to see you as the expert? You know the best way to explain things to your students — recording your own videos helps you do just that.

3) They last. Imagine this: for the rest of your career, you’ll only need to explain a certain concept once. Videos make that possible! If you can record a good video on an essential skill, you’ve essentially cloned yourself… not only will your current students learn from this video, but your future students will too. Plus, their families can watch the same videos, and use them to reinforce the instruction you give in school. If you invest the time in making a good video now, you’ll save hours of explanation across the span of your career.

Does this mean that you should never use a pre-made video? Of course not! There are many great ways to use pre-existing videos: as reviews of prior content, as primary-source information to analyze, as interesting “aspire-to-do” extensions. We encourage this! But, for day-to-day instruction, we don’t think there’s anyone better than you, or any better way than recording your own videos. That’s why we’re so eager to show you how.

Looking for additional support with distance learning? On Episode 3 of The Modern Classrooms Podcast, Head of Teaching and Learning Kate Gaskill joins the show to discuss how Modern Classroom educators around the country are adapting to distance and hybrid learning. You can subscribe here (Apple/Spotify) to hear new, teacher-driven content as soon as it’s released.

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