Read along videos are being heavily used by K12 teachers as part of their distance learning efforts.
Read along videos are an effective tool for all age groups to help improve students’ reading ability and expand their access to literature during the Covid-19 crisis. Under normal circumstances, video-based read-along videos are considered a copyright violation, but most publishers are currently waving or modifying their copyright rules in light of the forced distance learning environment now faced by most schools.
Please check with a book’s publisher before creating a read-along video to fully understand their copyright restrictions.
Here are 5 easy techniques offered by Kids Read Now, that you can use to make your read-along videos more effective.
Use a Microphone or Wireless Mic
If you are recording from a PC or laptop, consider using a wireless microphone attached about shoulder height on your chest. A remote microphone can also be used to place the sound recording closer to you. Most devices will automatically turn off the internal mic when an external microphone is added.
Use 2 People to Create the Video
If you can arrange an assistant, recording a read-along video can be improved by shifting the focus of the camera to that of the book, so that the students can see a close up of the pages as the words are being read. Stabilize the video camera by placing it on a tripod or resting it on a platform. Excess camera movement is distracting. Try to emulate what students might experience as if they were sitting in front of you in class. Video creation and editing tools found on SchoolTube can be used to create read-along videos.
Introduce Yourself and the Book
Start by introducing yourself to the viewers. Share the name of the book and give the author’s and illustrator’s name and perhaps the year it was written. Briefly explain the book and state why it is important to the class. Say hello to the students and recognize their virtual presence in some pleasant way.
Interact With the Viewers
Occasionally close the book, focus the camera on the reader, and ask questions about what was just read. For example, why did the main character do that? What do you think happens next? Allow time for a virtual answer and continue back to the book.
Lighting & Environment
Make sure you have good lighting and that the reader and book are lit from the front. Face a sunny window or light source. Experiment with different levels of lighting as needed. Make sure you are in a quiet place so that there are no distractions and make sure your background is free from distractions.
By following these basic tips, you will improve the quality of your read-along videos making them more interesting and enjoyable to your students and viewers.
Bonus Tip! Share Your Video on SchoolTube
SchoolTube is the perfect venue for sharing read-along videos with Students. SchoolTube provides FREE safe video creation, hosting, and sharing for K12 teaches. With SchoolTube you do not need to worry about exposing your students to inappropriate content.
Kids Read Now CEO, Reading Evangelist