Educational videos can be a great resource in the online world, and they make for excellent content. If you’re passionate about education and spreading knowledge, however, you’ll want to take your videos beyond the online space and get them directly into the classrooms.
Video content in the classroom is far from a new concept. “Reading Rainbow,” “Magic School Bus” and “Bill Nye the Science Guy” brought educational content to a generation of students. As technology continues to improve, this type of content is more accessible than ever before. It’s different than just uploading a new video to YouTube, but the steps below will put you on the right track.
Know your audience
Before you begin reaching out to schools and teachers about using your educational videos in the classroom, you need to know if they’ll even be allowed. Each state has its own standards for what can (and should) be taught at each grade level and this information is available online. Studying up on your state’s standards will give you insight into what students are learning and what teachers need. This gives you a chance to build your videos from the ground up with the right audience in mind.
Pick your topic
The basic goal of any educational video is to answer a simple question: “How does something work?” Once you understand the educational standards in your area, you’ll next need to decide the specific topic you want to focus on in your videos. Obviously, you’ll want to choose a subject you can speak about with authority, but having the standards as a guide should make things a bit easier.
Keep your facts straight
The most crucial aspect of an educational video is its accuracy. You need to be thorough in your fact checking on every bit of information you present; even citing sources in your credits or information blurbs. Another great way to ensure accuracy is to go over your content directly with teachers in the appropriate field.
For all ages
For the purposes of getting your content into classrooms, you’ll have to make sure it’s something that appeals to a broad age range. We’re not talking about the language you use but about how you present the information. You need to make sure you’re breaking things down in a way that children will understand.
This is another area where reading up on your state’s standards will help. This will give you a general understanding of the comprehension level in each age group. Then you’ll be able to build content around each grade and tailor it to their age.
Making the pitch
You’ve picked your topic and made the videos, now it’s time to get the schools and educators to pick them up. It’s not the same as YouTube, where you upload it directly to the platform and promote on social media to bring in viewers. Getting into the classroom requires a more personal approach with direct pitches.
Treat your conversation like you would any content pitch. Reach out first to see if there’s interest in working together. Teachers are always looking for new ways to engage their students, which you can use to your advantage. Talk about your experience and take time to explain why your specific videos offer up material that will benefit a class (super easy if you’ve stuck to your local education standards).
Who to talk to
Every school website has all the information you need for contacting various faculty members. A great place to start is at the top with the Program Directors of the subjects you’re building content around. They can guide you directly to the people who might benefit most from your videos. After all, a fitness class isn’t going to be too interested in your video on basic woodworking.
Educators are busy people, however, so direct phone calls may not yield the results you want. Emails can be a great way to get the conversation rolling while giving them the leisure to respond. Summer is an ideal time frame to reach out since teachers will have more time to focus on your pitch.
Reaching out directly to educators doesn’t mean you should ignore other outreach methods that are more common to video-making. Social media is still a powerful tool and can expand your audience potential, especially when combined with targeted ads.
It also helps to have a call to action within your videos that speaks directly to teachers and offers more content. Include information on how to contact you or purchase your content. After all, teachers who want to bring videos into their classrooms have probably already searched for new content. It doesn’t hurt to remind your audience that you have more great videos to offer.
At the end of the day, it’s still on you to create and deliver the content educators want to feature in their classrooms, but following these simple steps can help put you in the right direction.