Tech novices need to send videos of themselves to me.
November 8, 2020 2:54 PM   Subscribe

What is the easiest way for a tech novice to send videos?

I work with a group of volunteers who because of Covid-19 can not perform their normal volunteer duties of reading with children in a school library. The main reason is the health of the volunteers. The second reason is schools are closed for the foreseeable future. The solution we have come up with is to have volunteers record themselves reading a book, and then sharing those videos with me, and I will then add them to an internal folder for classroom teachers to show as part of their class, as well as with students so they can watch them on their own time. Each video is between 5-15 minutes long.

Here are the issues- my volunteers are generally older, retired individuals who have mastered using Zoom, but I am worried that recording themselves and then sending the video is going to be difficult. I myself have run into issues when I have tried to send a video that is more than a certain length. When I do my own recorded read alouds, I record on my computer and upload directly from my computer to my google drive. I don't think my volunteers will be able to master this (maybe I am wrong?) What is the easiest way to do do this? Record on their cell phone? Their ipads? Their computer? If they record on their phones, best to text it? Email? Only via Wifi? Is there an app that would help? Please help me figure this out.

(Note, as a school librarian, I take copyright laws seriously, and I have done the leg work on finding the books that we are allowed to used based on the publishers permissions that were given at the start of Covid. Any videos made will be removed at the end of the pandemic, and these videos will not be searchable online, nor accessible to anyone beyond the school community.)
posted by momochan to Education (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
As a free Dropbox user they recently reminded me that I have the ability to send up to 100 MB files that don't count against my modest 2 GB max storage, and the other person doesn't have to be a Dropbox user. Now, I understand that "Tech novices" may still have a problem with this, but I thought I would just mention it since you hadn't listed it among the options for submission. Granted you have other hurdles to cross in your effort such as how they will record the video.
posted by forthright at 3:08 PM on November 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

What about if they Zoom call you and you record on your end? It takes more of your time but is dead simple for them.
posted by muddgirl at 3:11 PM on November 8, 2020 [7 favorites]

Check out Screencastify Submit. They get a link, record right from that link, and you get a video in a Google Drive folder.
posted by Jomoma at 3:13 PM on November 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

I would put the video on my Google Drive and send you the link. It's very likely most users have free access to some free cloud space that will do the same thing (whether they know it or not).
posted by SemiSalt at 3:31 PM on November 8, 2020

I work with tech novices and if you have the time I really suggest that they Zoom call you and you record it. If you do not have the time (totally understandable!) there are other options. The big issue with phones is going to be making sure they have enough free space to save a recording. The big issue with computers is going to be figuring out software that works for everyone.

With a Mac, you can just do this via PhotoBooth (which also does videos) and then you have a file that can be clicked and dragged into a Google Drive or Dropbox folder (which could just be a link you'd send them in email). I think if it were me I might set up a YouTube channel where people could upload videos, give them all the log in, and then make some handouts about how to record video using freely available software (VLC will do this for Windows and Mac and I think Linux)

If they've been able to learn Zoom there is a really good chance they could learn to upload a file so I think the trick is finding the simplest way to step them through this.
posted by jessamyn at 4:08 PM on November 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I just did this for the staff of my son’s daycare last week! If you sign up for Dropbox and log into the Dropbox web page, you can create a “file request”. When you do this, they send you a link to an upload page. You can share that link by email or whatever is easiest - no need to give people’s email addresses to Dropbox.

When people go to the page, there’s a single big “add files” button. If you’re on a phone or iPad, tapping “add files” will let you either select a video from your camera roll or record one on the spot. It uses the regular phone camera, so anyone who can record a video on their phone can use it. I didn’t get a single question or problem from the 25 or so staff who used it.
posted by pocams at 4:10 PM on November 8, 2020 [6 favorites]

Have a look at Flipgrid. They get a link, do a simple sign in process, press a button and start filming. It defaults to a fairly short duration (4mins I think?) but you can adjust allowable record length. You can then play the videos back from the site, or you should also be able to download the files. We use it at my work (university) to get students to do talking head responses to discussion prompts.
posted by threecheesetrees at 6:25 AM on November 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

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