Virtual Learning Help! ISO Video Making or Editing Program
April 15, 2020 6:20 PM   Subscribe

I'm an educational sign language interpreter desperately trying to find resources to make our state's virtual learning accessible to my students. I'm looking for a program (either a video making program or an editing program, I think?) that will let me put an already existing video from the internet OR a document on one side of the video and let me record myself interpreting on the other side. Do you know of any programs I can try for this? More inside.

The videos will usually be from youtube, but sometimes outside sites like Khan Academy. The documents will usually be pdfs or word-type written documents. I need to interpret those videos or documents and have it so my students can see me on one half of the screen and the material on the other half.

ideas that have not worked, just FYI:
1. me wrestling with two computers facing each other and me standing next to one while a video/document is up - you can't see the computer screen clearly on the video.
2. captions on the videos or just letting the students read the documents - many deaf students are not proficient in english and this is not accessible enough for them.
3. me recording myself interpreting alone and telling the student to play the video in another window on their screen - causes syncing issues and is more visual/mental work than I would prefer for the student.

My colleagues and I are working on doing some of this over zoom, but I would like to be able to have recorded material ready for them to do on their own time. Also, to add another layer of difficulty, program suggestions would have to be free or extremely low cost, as our district has zero dollars to spend and I am technically furloughed and therefore don't have money of my own to spend on this.

Resources available to me: a super old macbook, a newer chromebook, a samsung galaxy s10+, and an old ipad mini.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions, and other ideas or things approaching a solution will be welcomed too!
posted by carlypennylane to Technology (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Pretty sure the basic version of Movavi video editor will let you merge two parallel video streams into a picture-in-picture structure. I believe it's ~$30 with educator discount.
posted by Bardolph at 6:24 PM on April 15, 2020

I dunno if this will work, but could you try screencastify? It's a chrome browser extension that has a free tier (5min video) that allows you to record either the browser tab or desktop and also use your webcam to embed a video of you in the bottom corner. I have no idea if you can record the audio of a tab because I have not had to use that functionality, and perhaps the fee rate might make the video you are interpreting weird, but it is worth a try.
posted by freethefeet at 6:39 PM on April 15, 2020

If you're making a recording, OBS should be able to do what you're after. You'd add your material as a source, along with your webcam either on top or beside it, and start recording.
posted by sagc at 6:40 PM on April 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

If it works you could record 5 min chunks and splice them together using iMovie?
posted by freethefeet at 6:40 PM on April 15, 2020

iMovie can definitely do this. (Free on the macbook.) It allows you to do split screen or picture in picture with two separate video clips. You can also add in pdfs as one of the "clips" in the video.

For recording the video, you could just use your macbook camera and quicktime video recording.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:03 PM on April 15, 2020

Seconding sagc's recommendation of OBS. I've been using it to teach classes online. Let's me put a video, website, powerpoint, etc, as the main screen, and then it records me on my webcam in the upper corner. You can adjust the size and position of your webcam screen to make it bigger or smaller depending on your needs. OBS looks like a service for streamers, but you can just as easily record it as a video to your computer.
posted by Nightman at 7:11 PM on April 15, 2020

I posted this in an online ed group I’m part of- folks have suggested that Loom will do this, although it won’t be 1/2 and 1/2 screen- there are three screen distribution options you can play with. What you need should be in the free version, but the Pro version is pretty inexpensive. Caveat that I haven’t tried it yet.

It seems pretty easy to figure out- a lot of non-techy elementary teachers I know are using it so it can’t be too bad. :). Screencastify would be the other thing to try but it has a time limit.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:41 PM on April 15, 2020

You can do this in VSDC (which is totally free) and it would take like 2 seconds to drop in two videos and resize/crop them so they each take up half the screen.
posted by Literaryhero at 12:00 AM on April 16, 2020

I actually do this in Zoom. I start a meeting with just myself and share the document or program that I want my students to see. I turn off the video camera for my recording, but you could leave it on and adjust it so it's large enough for your purposes. Also, you can flip the video in zoom's settings so that is not a mirror image of your signing.
posted by rakaidan at 1:44 AM on April 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

My husband has told me that Adobe's entry-level video editing software (Adobe Rush) is extremely quick and intuitive to learn, and it would be able to do this.
posted by nosila at 7:51 AM on April 16, 2020

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