This week I’m doing part 2 of how to use YouTube: looking at more advanced features such as how to create live videos, do an advanced search for videos, and customize your channel, along with a few other things. Let’s jump into it!
Let’s start with how to do an advanced search on YouTube. Start with searching like you normally do. Let’s search for physical science. On the results page, click on “filter”. This now allows you to search for videos by the date of the upload, the duration, whether short or long, and even how to sort the results by relevance, date, view counts, or rating.
One of the things that YouTube has started offering in recent years that I’ve been the most excited about is their Creator Academy. A couple of years ago, I wanted a really great video to explain to students the concept of storyboarding before diving into filming a video. I found the perfect one through YouTube’s Creator Academy and I use it every time I walk into a classroom to talk about creating videos. The academy has tutorial videos on just about everything you can do on YouTube and offers excellent advice for those just getting started. It will also have great tutorials on the other advanced features I’ll be sharing in this post.
In the last episode, I showed you how to upload your own videos, but you can also go live in the moment to record a video or schedule a video to be published later, and anyone subscribed to your page will be notified that you are live.
You do need to set this up at least 24 hours before you want to use it as it is a process that needs to be verified by YouTube. They will send you a code by phone that you have to enter so they make sure you are not a spammer and verify your channel. Check out the last episode if you need a refresher on setting up your channel.
Click on the create icon in the upper toolbar, and select “Go live”. Select your country and choose to receive the code via a voice message or by text. Then follow the prompts to continue setting-up live streaming. It took me about two minutes total to go through this process.
Once your channel is verified, you can start streaming! Click back on the create icon and select “Go live” again and you’ll see a new window where you can enter the title of the video, the visibility, whether it’s public, unlisted or private. Then decide your audience, whether this live stream is made for kids or not and while it’s not necessary you can also decide if there needs to be an age restriction to restrict the stream to viewers 18 and over. Under “more options”, you can add a description, category, and access advanced options such as enabling a chat. Then click “next” and get ready for the camera to take a thumbnail picture and then you’ll get a quick preview where you can get a URL to share the stream live. Then you’re ready to go live recording for your audience!
When you’re finished, the video will show up on your channel under “uploaded videos”. If you need to make changes to your video, return to YouTube Studio and click on the “live” tab.
Before live streaming, you may also want to check out YouTube’s community guidelines on what you can and cannot stream.
YouTube has some basic editing features and allows you to edit footage you upload. Go to YouTube Studio and select “videos” and click the thumbnail of the video you want to edit. From the navigation on the left, select “editor”. This is what your video looks like in a timeline view. From here you can trim the parts of your footage, from either the beginning and end or split footage in the middle. Click the “trim” button. Next, you’ll see a blue and a white line on the sides of your video. Drag the line in to chop off parts of the beginning or the end that you don’t want to include in your final version. Click “Preview” to view your edited video, and if it looks good to you, click on “Save”.
If you need to trim in the middle of a clip, click “trim” again and then in your timeline panel, click the beginning of the clip that you’d like to trim out and click “Split”. Then, click the end of the clip that you’d like to trim out and click “Split” again. Then click on the blue line at either the beginning or end of your clip and drag it to the other side to trim it out of your video. Click “Preview” to view your edited video, and if you like it, click “Save”.
You can also add what’s called an “end screen” and give viewers the option to subscribe to your channel or watch a related video or playlist. To do this, click “add an end screen” in your timeline panel and choose from one of the five End Screen templates. Preview and then click “save”.
CUSTOMIZING YOUR CHANNEL
Now that you know some ways to get content on your channel, consider sprucing up the look of your channel and welcoming your audience! This is what my current YouTube channel looks like. However, to show you how to customize your channel, I’ll be using a YouTube account that I have not customized, so it should look similar to what you may have on your channel. Next to your name, click on the “customize channel” button. This will allow you to add a banner, links to your social media accounts, create a welcome video, and add a description about your channel.
One of the key elements of this page is being able to view the page as a viewer would so you can see exactly what they see when they come to your channel. Right next to your name, click on the drop-down arrow and select “returning subscriber”. Now, you can see everything the same way as your audience. To return, click the back button. Use this as you continue to customize to make sure it has the effect you want.
The first thing you will probably want to add is channel art, meaning a banner that will be shown at the top of your screen, like mine here. The easiest way to create a banner and make sure it is the correct dimensions to create one at a site like Canva. On the dashboard, scroll until you find “YouTube Channel Art”. They have a great selection of free templates. Click on one to add it to the canvas and see if it works for you. If you find one that you have to pay for or remove the watermarks, like this one, oftentimes you can just delete the paid option, which in this case is the picture and replace it with your own instead. Download it as .jpg or .png and then upload it to your channel. Or use the guidance found on this support page.
Something else I mentioned in the last episode was adding a thumbnail to your video. While I was getting ready for this episode, I discovered Canva also has thumbnail art for your videos! So if you look around my channel, you’ll discover that I went back and updated the thumbnails for every episode this season. This is just one more way you can customize what you add to YouTube.
Going back to my banner, I also have links to my blog and social media accounts. To add your own links, hover over the banner area and click on the pencil icon and then select “edit links”. You can add up to five links. Click “Add” and then add the title of the link and paste in the URL. Then click “Done”. If you don’t add a title, then an icon will show as it does on mine with Twitter and Instagram.
Underneath the banner, you’ll see a gear icon that gives you more channel options, such as how to set your privacy and if you want to allow comments. Then click “save”. Next, you’ll probably want to add a description of your channel.
You can also customize what a returning subscriber will see versus what a new viewer who recently discovered your channel can see. You may want more information for a new viewer to entice them to become a subscriber. Under the navigation bar for your channel, you can toggle between returning subscribers and new visitors. This is where you could add a welcome video and additional sections to categorize your uploaded videos.
For myself, I could add different sections on Google tools, ideas for technology integration, and more. You could create sections based on specific standards, themes, direct instruction, whatever you want! YouTube also breaks down what you can do within the sections.
At this point, you should have a wealth of information on how to use YouTube. If you still have questions, hit me up on social media, leave a comment, or use the Google Form I have linked in the description area below.
WeVideo just announced a feature I have been wishing for! You can now create gifs!! This is super helpful for showing students how to do a process, like making a copy of a Google Doc or how to share a file; something that will repeat and they can watch over again, if needed.
On the WeVideo dashboard, select “gif”. You’ll notice on the timeline, there’s a yellow area marking that gifs can only be 45 seconds long.
Add in your video elements as normal and when finished, click on “finish” and give your gif a name. Make sure gif is selected and select a size, save to Google Drive in addition to WeVideo if you would like and click “export”.
Edtech guru Jake Miller, creates a lot of gifs and compares how he creates gifs using Screencastify versus this new feature. It’s well worth the read if you’re interested in creating your own. He also has a list of 19 ways to use gifs in the classroom.
The next episode will be our last for the season and I’ll be taking a break for the summer. But I’m already preparing for next season – season 5!! I can’t believe it’s going to be 5 years since I started doing this and I’m really looking forward to it. I would love to hear your ideas and what you would like for me to cover next season. Please take a minute to fill out this Google Form telling me what you enjoyed from this current season and what you would like to see going forward.
Do you have any other ways you like to use YouTube? Please share in the comments below!