Okay, you’ve started to post videos from your school to Youtube, or maybe even created your school’s very own Youtube channel, now what?
This is where the fun part really begins. The possibilities for video ideas are really endless. Just think about information that your students, parents, teachers, and other community members would find interesting or helpful. Also think about types of content that would make your school more appealing to future students.
School social media expert Andrea Gribble at #SocialSchool4EDU confirms that videos are really the happening medium in social media. Not only Youtube posts, but Instagram (15-second length limit) and Vimeo are starting to gather some momentum with school communicators.
Videos can be used to promote events prior to fact, or chronicle them afterwards. They can be humorous in tone or serious in nature. Andrea suggested the following examples for schools to use when getting started with posting videos:
- Teacher sharing why they love their job
- Superintendent doing a weekly recognition shout-out to an outstanding student
- Students explaining their art work
- Parent expressing what they love most about the school district
- Student telling a joke
Popular subjects for school Youtube videos
Here are some other types of videos that schools frequently post to their Youtube channels:
Classroom updates. Every week, spend some time with a different classroom in their school. Get some short interviews with students and record a fun update on what the class is currently working on. The students will love seeing themselves online and their parents will appreciate the view into their children’s day.
Field trips. There are fewer things more fun than a class field trip. Ask your teachers, chaperone, and even students (if they’re old enough to have phones) to video highlights from the trip. Then use Youtube editor to piece the clips together.
Extracurricular. Highlights from sporting events, school plays, and other extracurricular activity. Want more attendance at your sports events, talent shows, cultural performances, and other activities? Make some highlight videos to show your school’s community what they’re missing.
Behind-the-scenes with extracurricular groups. Does your band want to recruit more members? Maybe drama club could use a few more actors? Record a “behind the scenes” video showing what the group is really all about and then share that video on your channel.
School news updates. Do you have some important news to announce? Your Youtube channel is the perfect platform to distribute a message to your entire school community. To make the update more fun, recruit some students to act as news anchors on the video.
Messages from teachers and administrators. Your teachers or other faculty may have their own group- or class-specific messages they need to get out quickly. Ask them to record a video on their phone and then send it to you to put on the channel.
Faculty and staff highlights. You’re probably proud of your faculty’s skill and hard work. Why not showcase them on your Youtube channel? Every week or month, focus on a different teacher. Record them in action and then get interviews from their colleagues and students about what makes them so great.
Lesson reviews. Your teachers may want to offer their students quick lesson reviews so the students can get through assignments and projects at home. Have your teacher make a quick video in front of a whiteboard going through the lesson. Then you can post it to your Youtube channel so students can see the lesson from anywhere.
There’s no limit to the power of Youtube for schools
As you can see, there’s really no limit to what you can post on Youtube. You can engage with your community, distribute important information, recruit new students, and even help your students with their at-home assignments.
Youtube has the potential to be the most powerful tool in your digital toolbox. Plus, it’s easy and free to use. You may not be a great filmmaker, but you can use video to tell your school’s stories and engage all your audiences.
The National School Public Relations Association annually bestows awards to schools producing their own videos. The sky’s the limit on the kinds of topics, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box when producing your next – or first – school video for your Youtube channel.
Award-winning school video content
Andrea Gribble's article on 33 Ideas for Social Media Videos outlines some pretty cool subjects for your school’s Youtube channel. Check ‘em out. While your at it, check out a sampling of some of the award-winning topics from the NSPRA Electronic Media Awards for 2015:
- Green initiatives
- Community garden
- Bond/school levy vote
- News program
- Development/foundation promotion
- New principal feature
- Superintendent’s holiday greeting
- Common Core Learning
- New website
- Food and nutrition in the district
- Mobile learning
- Teacher and staff features
I recommend you copy and paste some of the titles from these NSPRA award-winning videos into your Youtube search window and see for yourself how schools are creating some neat stuff. Don't expect your first efforts to garner any awards; I guarantee you they'll get some views and shares as you build a library of videos for and about your school.
Marketing director and content strategist for Campus Suite, Jay’s a former school public relations specialist who’s helped businesses, schools and colleges use the power of web communications to improve their image, generate support, and optimize relationships. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.