Working with video

There are many options for watching, downloading, and sharing video online. For Thing 10 we’re looking at video platforms to compare their usability, licensing options, and accessibility as well as ways to generate your own videos.


YouTube was created in 2005 as a website for users to share original video content. Since then it has Video signbecome a repository for video, film, animation, art, and advertising. It’s now common for broadcasting and film companies to have their own accounts and share video content on YouTube.

Anyone can view content on YouTube, and can also choose to sign up and share their own content, or curate lists of other content on the website. YouTube videos can also be shared and embedded within other webpages and platforms such as Twitter.

YouTube provides its users with two licensing options for content uploaded to its site. The first is a Standard YouTube licence which allows for the embedding and sharing of YouTube video on other websites using the YouTube platform.

The second is a Creative Commons CC BY Attribution licence allowing anyone to re-purpose and re-use the video so long as attribution is provided to the creator of the video. Within YouTube, videos that have been licensed with the CC BY option can be re-mixed using YouTube’s own video editing tools. These tools will automatically provide attribution to the original videos when shared on YouTube.


Vimeo was founded in 2004, and in 2007 became the first video sharing site to support high-definition video.

Anyone can view content on Vimeo, and can also choose to sign up and share their own content or curate lists of other content on the website. Users can also choose to allow others to download their content for re-use outside of Vimeo.

Vimeo videos can also be re-shared and embedded within other websites by using the Vimeo platform. However, Vimeo also offers the full suite of Creative Commons and Public Domain licensing options. For this reason, the platform is often preferred by artists and film creators.

YouTube is the second highest-used social media platform in Australia, which gives a clear indication of the power and outreach of video. Consider the popularity of TED talks, which have now branched out into TEDx and TED-Ed talks. The Khan Academy has also changed how we learn online. However, MOOCs continues to be the biggest influence on higher education and teaching, sharing content online through the medium of video. Even if you simply want to record a performance, lab experiment or interview as part of your research, there are several low cost ways of capturing video, including web cam, portable device or even your trusty digital camera.


Have you ever wanted to show someone how to use equipment, how to navigate your web site, use a software program or use a challenging web tool? Or have you had to show way too many people the same steps and need a way to record these steps so students and staff can find the directions they need, when they need them. Screencasting and Screen Sharing tools can help.

Screencasting tools record whatever is happening on your computer or mobile device screen and let you record a voice narration as well. When you’re done recording, you end up with a video. What you can do with the video depends on the tool you used, but most common options include uploading to YouTube, dowloading to you computer or embedding on a website.

Screencastomatic & Screencastify (Chrome)  are free, easy to use tools that work on a PC or a Mac. There are also a number of paid Mac & PC software packages that provide higher-end features if you need them. But for most purposes, the free online tools are perfect. Some of the online tools require Java, so check with your tech staff to make sure your Java software is up to date. For your Chromebooks, try Screencastify.

Screen sharing tools don’t record your screen activities, they’re more like a live meeting where you’re sharing your screen with a limited group of people. This is helpful during online meetings, webinars and when you’re trying to troubleshoot someone’s computer problems.

If you want to record your iPad screen, it’s not quite as straightforward. But these inexpensive tools, Airserver and Reflector, will stream your iPad to your computer and record it from there.  ScreenFlow is a very polished screencasting application, which records just about anything and gives you a huge amount of editing options afterwards. View full description

Watch this video and see how an academic uses Reflector for instructional purposes.

If you film your video in one take – congratulations to you!  Most of us will need to edit what we’ve recorded. This also allows you to add introductory images, overlay audio and music and use more professional transitions between scenes. Your computer will already come with some software programs you can use.

YouTube allows you to record and upload directly to their website as well as perform basic editing and effects.


Try this


  • Screencastomatic – (Free and Fee) – This tools runs from a website, but also has a downloaded application for Mac or PC that will run from your desktop. It can be used to record anything on your computer. Free account is limited to 15 minute videos, which is plenty!  (TUTORIALS)
  • Screencastify for Chrome and Chromebooks – (Free and Fee) Similar to Screencastomatic. Runs from a website and records whatever you have on the screen. Recording limit of 10 minutes, which is more than enough. Short recordings are more successful and useful.
  • Snagit for Mac/PC – ($) Downloadable screencasting and screen-capture software that runs on a PC or Mac. Create recordings of any application on your computer, not restricted just to capturing content from web browsers. Record audio and use video trimmer to clip out unwanted bits after recording. 15 day free trial. $49.95 for a single education license for 1 computer.  Multiple license pricing available too. Tutorials
  • Airserver and Reflector – Try out a free trial of these tools for broadcasting and recording from your iPad
  • EduCreations – (Free / Fee for upgrades) iPad app that helps you capture screenshots, annotate them and record your voice. Great for students to show their work to you. And for instructors to record help files and lessons for students.
  • Hangouts on Air with YouTube Live – Using the screen sharing function, you can record what’s on your screen and talk at the same time. You can broadcast live if you like,  or select a private recording.
  • Screen Sharing
    • – Really simple & free video conferencing tool for up to 8 participants. Web based, no accounts needed. Screen sharing works in Google Chrome.
    • Google Hangouts – Need to show your screen to someone? Or do they need to share theirs? Google Hangouts is a quick, easy way to do that. You can have up to 10 people in a video hangout.
    • ScreenLeap – Share your screen with others. Very handy for troubleshooting a problem on a remote computer. Free account limits your sessions to 2 other people and up to 30 minutes. Pro accounts available.
    • – Similar to ScreenLeap. Share your screen with up to 10 participants using the free account.

Explore further

Ted Talk: Chris Anderson on How web video powers global innovation – “What Gutenberg did for writing, online video can now do for face-to-face communication”.

Social Impact of YouTube – This Wikipedia article explores YouTube/online video sharing impact across culture, education, journalism, politics, and world events. I’d definitely recommend exploring the references on this article, the videos, news articles, and academic papers are broad and fascinating.

Three ways you can use video in your blog posts – Blogs are the perfect place to house videos that are made by you, your students, or someone else. If you’ve never tried adding a video to your blog, or you’re looking for some additional tips or ideas, you’re in the right place.

Your turn to create a short video!

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