Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Creating Educational Videos for YouTube by Marty Brandl

These are my notes from Marty Brandl‘s presentation “Creating Educational Videos for YouTube” at the 6th Annual Technology Conference hosted by the SW/WC Service Cooperative. Marty is a Math Teacher at Marshall High School in Marshall, Minnesota. His YouTube channel is Marty’s professional website is MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

The session description was:

Learn the benefits of creating educational videos for the topics you teach in your classroom and placing them on YouTube – provide additional examples and explanations for students with questions or those who were absent, be able to deliver a lesson even with a substitute teacher, students can rewind, fastforward and focus in on what they need, and help students who aren’t willing to ask, but will watch a video when no one is looking. The presenter has created over 100 math videos that have received over 850,000 views on YouTube. He will share how you can get started sharing videos with your students and help people from all over the world learn at the same time.

mbrandl11's Channel - YouTube

Why to use YouTube?
Where I’ve been?
What we can use it for
How to Use Videos
Other Educators
Worldwide Impact

I use a $35 Wacom tablet to make many of my educational videos

In my teaching career, I taught for 4 years at “Blue Sky School” and that really got me thinking about sharing ideas digitally with students
I’m cheap too… so I wanted an inexpensive way to share videos
I came up with a zero cost option: my total investment is about $35 for the Wacom tablet, also had an inexpensive headset with a mic

In the early days I tabled a webcam to a yardstick that was wedged so it could folks on the back of a calendar
– I also used different software programs for recording the desktop

YouTube is where the people are
– I can watch YouTube via my BlueRay TV or HD TV, on my phone
– can’t do that with TeacherTube or many other video websites
– easy to embed and share videos
– has the most robust tools in terms of working with your videos

I’ve goofed up on a video, but YouTube offers annotation tools to insert text over the top of the video and it can share the correction with viewers without needing to re-create the video

The analytics of YouTube have gotten REALLY great.
– can see who is watching your video, how long they are watching the video, etc.
– these are great tools to use
– can even see ages of people
– looks like there are a fair number of adults watching these too
– you can see related videos: where are visitors coming from
– you can see when they come from an embedded webpage

Absent students
– I love when students are absent now and they watch videos I’ve published and say, “I watched it and I’ve got it”
– the thank-yous from students as comments on videos are really good to give you energy and encouragement as a teacher

Extra review
– students can watch a video and watch it again / rewind it to get the concept again
– this is SO powerful!

Sometimes it’s good to hear encouragement from others
– now students in other classes at our school are using my videos
– this is great: it provides another option / pathway for students to get content and understand materials

These are great resources for parents
– examples of parents giving positive comments, it helped refresh their memory about how to work with fractions or something else

Help Others and it’s FREE for everyone
– often online we put a barricade of money up
– some people have shared some VERY powerful comments to me: People who have dropped out of school, getting their GEDs, etc
– this isn’t the main reason I’m doing these videos, but it’s SUCH A wonderful and amazing thing to have a positive impact in this way on other people’s lives and learning

Be there when you’re gone via video!

Kids can take things at their own pace
– some get it the first time, others need to watch it several times

Often we have kids in class who won’t ask questions, but they will write us questions

videos “Converting Decimals into Fractions and Percents” and “Solving Multi-Step Inequalities” are examples where I’ve received very positive comments

– extra examples
– demonstrations
– field trips
– substitute teachers
– anything you have to explain several times

Several different options are available when publishing videos

The more comments and activity you have on your videos, the more likely it is your video will come up for “related video” searches for others
– I try to often answer questions for kids who post

On comment moderation:
– I get an email when people leave a comment, so I follow up on those
– at times I remove comments if they are nasty, but there are a lot of things people comment on: Frustration with the concept, frustration with their own teacher, other stuff

At one level I don’t want to do students’ homework for them…

Sometimes I get comments in ALL CAPS like “I NEED HELP NOW!!!!!”
– it’s not always feasible to answer each person’s questions and problems

I know people in Canada, the UK, India, and other countries are using my videos because of comments
– people in India have asked for permission to download copies of my videos offline, so they can be put on computers in rural areas where Internet access is not available
– this is pretty incredible to think about

Things have changed SO much since 2008 when I started doing this!

Key piece of software I use: CamStudio Open Source
– it’s free and glorious!
– it records any portion of the screen you want
– need to think about it, often YouTube videos are seen in a small size

I’ve used Jing in the past, but I didn’t like that the entire screen would be required

I record an area that is 640 x 480 pixels in size

I use ( as a software program to create graphics I use

I use a $5 – $10 headset microphone

Is everything in your classroom important to record and share?
– probably not
– think about the most important elements

– get straight to the point
– don’t make kids watch your entire 50 min
– I NEVER choose to show myself in a screencast: math doesn’t get old, but the video will if you show yourself!
– make things modular so they can be re-used
– rather than making a single, all-encompassing lesson, hit the smaller pieces and then those can be remixed / reused later
– don’t worry about perfection!

– at this point in the year, as teachers we need ‘Pick me ups’
– some of these comments can really help you keep on keeping on

Embed the videos where you need them, this is good for mixing / re-using
– mobile devices can easily use YouTube videos

If YouTube is blocked, some schools are permitting YouTube EDU:
– all categorized videos
– I’m listed in there as a line listing, and Kahn Academy is there too! This was real charge for me!


Keep YouTube is a website to download videos

Flipped Classrooms are using videos

Making money with YouTube
– let me be clear: Making money is NOT why I do this or why I started
– they send you a check when you make $100
– this can be a little good spending money though

To make money, you have to be able to say NO to all the things they ask about for revenue sharing
– I have received email asking for more documentation when I used the Windows calculator

Since 2008 I’ve made $1457 on YouTube revenue sharing
– as of last night, 915,371 total views
– I was just talking to my wife that we should do something special when I hit a million views!

Important copyright issue: companies (including publishers) can’t copyright a specific math problem


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One response to “Creating Educational Videos for YouTube by Marty Brandl”

  1. Marty Brandl Avatar
    Marty Brandl

    Thank you for the great notes and kind words!