So you’ve learned how to create a basic video, now you might be wondering how to jazz it up. Maybe you aren’t getting the engagement levels or if you’re like me, just want it to be your best. One place you can start is by creating an intro and thinking about editing software for your videos.

Editing Software: I use Premiere Pro, and am a novice, just like you. I learned how to initially use this software to clip my videos for my National Board Certification videos. Now, I’m learning how to use transitions between different clips. Other software people might use is iMovie. Whatever you choose, there are so many YouTube videos out there. That’s how I am learning and continue to learn. And, just like our kids, we learn by practicing and playing around. I think the important part is choosing editing software that fits your lifestyle, learning level and your ease of use. I already have several Adobe software programs, and this already came as part of the suite I had. So, I didn’t have to pay extra for anything.

Pay Attention to How you Clip: The other thing I have been doing, is watching tv. Yep. I’ve been paying attention to the different transitions they use, are they short and abrupt or do the transitions fade into the other? When and what transitions are used for what? Just like when you are learning to be an effective writer, you read to write better and I’m watching with special attention to what makes the shows I like good. It’s just as much about content as it is about how it is filmed. I’m paying attention to the viewpoint, where to cut off talking, and using visuals and filming from above or from my iPad (writing, arranging objects, etc.)

Add Music: music changes everything. It creates a mood and tone for your video. Make sure you use music that is not copyrighted, or that is public domain. Otherwise, you might have to pay royalties or be infringing on copyright. Pay attention again, to your craft. When you turn on your favorite show, is there music the entire time or just during the high points? I have been adding music to the beginning of my videos with an entry video, and cuing right before the end. I also included music during read alouds or other activities.

Add video clips to the beginning, end or middle of your video: You don’t have to film everything you want. One of the places I find free public domain videos and photos is on For my social studies videos, I found a video, added a title to it in my editing software for Adobe Premiere and walla. I have a video that looks more professional with minimal work. I added the music to the beginning with a video I didn’t create. For thinking time, I found a clock video.

Add animation: again, you can find animation that is public domain on I also have been playing around with adobe after effects, which I learned is the new version of Adobe Flash. However, it is much simpler than when I tried to learn Flash a few years ago. I used this to animate my learning target at the beginning of the video and my theme music at the beginning for at home learning.

Practice: I think the most important thing to remember is that most of us are novices at this distance learning thing, and even those of us who might have (I wasn’t one of them) played around with recording ourselves for tips and tricks for teachers, haven’t done many direct instruction videos. We are all learning and it takes time. So I’m learning to practice, play and research.

What tips and tricks do you have to help jazz up your videos? I’d love to hear from you. Write a comment below! Lifelong learning has taken on new meaning during these times!

You can also see an example of a Social Studies Lesson I made below…

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