Saturday, October 29, 2016

How to start a classroom YouTube channel

Available as handout on 

How to start a YouTube channel for your classroomOpen ...
Katie Morrow, ESU 8

  • Ability to Share: Access
  • Organization: Playlists
  • Promotion & Spreadability: Subscriptions
  • Storage & Cost: Unlimited, free space!

Examples of Educational YouTube Channels:

Getting Started:
*Each Google account/Gmail address automatically has 1 YouTube channel associated with it. You simply need to activate it to use!
What You Need:
  • Google account with Google+ enabled
  • OR YouTube app

Steps to Complete:
  1. Sign in to your Google account.
  2. Visit
  3. Click on ‘My Channel’ from the main menu.
  4. Accept the terms of service to create channel.
  5. Add Channel art and Channel description (optional).
  6. Choose your Channel Settings including privacy settings and customizing the layout of your channel (add a channel trailer and organize playlists into sections)
  7. Create new playlists around topics of interest by either uploading videos or clicking “Add to” button when viewing videos from others.
  8. Share your playlists and/or your entire channel.

Channel Settings
  • Description (sentence or two describing your channel content, purpose, and intended audience)
  • Channel art (suggestion: Create graphic with dimensions of 2560 x 1440 pixels or use to create YouTube channel art.)
  • Privacy (can be set at the individual video and/or playlist level as well)
  • Customize the layout of your channel
    • Channel trailer (welcome video that will only play when people visit your channel for the first time)
    • Suggest content to subscribers
    • Organize playlists into sections (lots of options for organization here)
    • Advanced settings

  • Can create as many playlists as you want...
  • But only 10 playlists can be displayed as sections on your channel homepage
  • Create playlists by class, chapter, or topic
  • Add videos to playlists directly upon uploading or when viewing from YouTube
  • Add tags for additional keyword searchability

Uploading videos to your channel
  • Upload button from YouTube in a browser
    • Choose Privacy: Public, Unlisted, Private
  • OR use YouTube capture app (signed in to your account) from a mobile device
  • While uploading, you can add description, details, etc.
  • Click ‘Publish’ for it to be searchable/subscribers to get notification

  • Require students and encourage others to Subscribe to your channel by clicking once on the button on your Channel homepage.  
  • If you get over 100 subscribers, you can create a custom URL for your channel.

Additional Information

  • In order to upload videos longer than 15 minutes you must verify your YouTube account (YouTube will send a verification code as a text message or voice mail so that you can verify you are a human YouTuber!)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Advance your EdTech skills with the ESU 8 Certification Challenge!

ESU 8 is excited to announce a new challenge encouraging everyone to advance their technology skills. With recent technology certifications announced by both Apple and Google, educators can pick their platform of choice and work through the quizzes to achieve certification status.

Work through the quizzes, digital badges, and certification tests on your own... or ask your ESU 8 Technology Integrationists for help. After each certification achieved, submit your name to be recognized on the Honor Board and in various ESU 8 publications. If you have already earned either of the certifications, we still encourage you to submit your name and celebrate your professional accomplishments.

Each entry to the form on the ESU 8 website will also enter your name in a drawing for a technology integration day provided by ESU 8 for your classroom. (Drawings to be held March 1, 2017.)

Visit to learn more and get started! 
Contact or with any questions. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Honey bees in a hologram?

Mrs. Rossman's 4th grade students at West Holt Public School have become experts on honey bees! They wanted to share what they learned with others and thought that creating a hologram might be a memorable experience for all.

First the students researched and learned all the amazing facts about the honey bee. They compiled their research into topics and each constructed a short "script" to explain key findings.

I (Mrs. Morrow) visited the group and showed them how to build hologram "projectors" to use to view hologram videos (from YouTube) on their iPads.  Each student built their own and many questions were asked that added to our collective curiosity, such as "What is the biggest hologram we could create?"

On my next visit, I worked with the kids to begin to create their video.  We decided that the best approach would be a live action video (rather than an app-animated video) and knew we needed to film in front of a green screen in order to make our video appear on a solid black background (for the hologram).

Mrs. Rossman and the students collected great props and costumes and the students brought their scripts to life in front of the green screen!

I initially planned to use the DoInk Green Screen app to assemble the clips, but it was actually easier to do the additional editing (and the green screening) all in iMovie on the Mac.  This made adding the voice over even easier as well.

On my last visit with the group, the kids each recorded their scripts narrating the scenes as voice-overs right in iMovie.  In doing so, they could view the source clip in real time and time out their reading somewhat.

We exported from iMovie and had one full size video, which can be viewed on YouTube here:

The final step was to AirDrop this video to each of the students' iPads.  We started a new Keynote file, widescreen format with black background. We inserted the video once and re-sized it to smaller dimensions. Then we copied and pasted, and rotated the video three more times. (90 degrees, 180 degrees, and 270 degrees) Using Keynote's guides we aligned the four videos so that all the "feet" were touching the inside borders, and attempted to make that interior "window" in the shape of a square.  An animation needed to be added to all four videos so that they all played automatically in unison (and not in succession of each other).

Note from Katie: The widescreen format of our video proved challenging to forming that inner square. It was a bit easier to see if we changed the background color of the Keynote slide to something other than black, and then changed it back at the end. I overlapped the videos a bit trying to get the hologram image as large as possible, but still somewhat centered in the projector pyramid. Also, I muted the sound (turned volume to 0) on three of the video clips to avoid the echo-ish sound that is typical of these video projects.  

So, now our hologram video was complete and we published it on YouTube as well.  Now any iPad with any hologram projector anywhere can enjoy the amazing bee knowledge of these fabulous 4th graders!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall NETA Round-up

NETA (Nebraska Educational Technology Association) held its Fall Ed Tech Conference last week in Kearney.

As always, many great resources and words of wisdom were shared.  You can view the sessions and more at their Sched site here:

Tina Sauser and NPS's Becky Miller compiled their take-aways and shared through an after school tech meet-up at Norfolk Public Schools.

Here is their presentation to share with other interested educators:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Checking in on Blended Learning...

It has been exciting to see many of our ESU 8 educators beginning to incorporate blended learning in their classroom environments.  We encourage you to take a moment to reflect and share with others any progress that you have made.

Please add a comment answering any or all of the following questions in regards to blended learning:

  • What things have you tried with students? 
  • What tools have you incorporated in your lessons? 
  • What tips do you have that would be beneficial to the group?

We also thought we’d try to share a few new tidbits with all of you.

TIP: ABCs of Station-Rotation Model
We recently heard educators using an ABC acronym to plan and organize their station-rotations in blended learning.  This could help you design your blended lessons as well!
A: Acquire Knowledge (allow students opportunity for direct instruction - might work well as instructor-led or by independent online video viewing)
B: Brainstorm (students can build on their knowledge and begin to brainstorm possibilities - may be well-suited as instructor-led or a partner-collaborative station)
C: Choice (give students choice in showing or applying what they have learned - could be an independent work station or partner-collaborative)

So ‘trick’ may be a little misleading, because this advice isn’t tricky at all. But read this MindShift article from KQED entitled “How to Grow a Classroom Culture That Supports Blended Learning” and think about how the author defines the ‘trick’ acronym.

Alright, enough acronyms. Let’s see a new(ish) tool to try in our classrooms! NEWSELA ( is a completely free site for educators to expose students to nonfiction reading, complete with short quizzes and/or writing responses. The most powerful feature of newsela, however, is the ability to differentiate the articles at numerous reading levels (lexiles) with just a simple click. This site works well for blended learning in reading, science, or social studies because students can potentially have control over the topic of the article, the reading level, and the place & pace at which they complete it. If you have never before used newsela, consider watching this Getting Started video or this Student Introduction video

We hope everyone is experiencing some success with the blended learning model and, as always, we encourage you to contact us if we can be of any help to you at all. We would be more than willing to come to your classrooms and assist you with planning and/or implementation of a lesson. Likewise, we can also offer virtual support through a Zoom connection to do anything similar.

Molly, Tina, and Katie
ESU 8 Instructional Technology 

Capture Your Journey: Digital Storytelling for Schools


(from STI 2016)

Everyone Can Code!

Everyone Can Code!
an ESU 8 Wednesday Webinar from Katie Morrow

Everyone Can Code is an initiative recently launched by Apple to make coding with the Swift programming language even more accessible to all. Learn about Swift Playgrounds, a free app designed for middle schoolers on up, accompanying Teacher’s Guide, and related resources to give even novices more opportunities to reach students interested in coding. 

View the webinar here

and check out the Links and Resources below:

Everyone Can Code (and Swift Playgrounds)
Wednesday Webinar 10-5-16

Swift Playgrounds app
*Requires iOS 10.0 or later
Designed for Middle School Students

Swift Playgrounds Teacher Guide

App Development with Swift
Designed for High School or College Students

App Development with Swift Teacher Guide

Additional Resources

Coding STEM kits available for check out through the ESU 8 Media Center

Tickle app (free, but requires newer iPad)

Ozobot for pre-coders

Coding for Kids blog post by Katie Morrow from last year


Full STEAM Ahead!

You’ve heard of STEM, but how can we add STEAM power to our students’ educational environment? Join us to learn how ESU 8 has developed STEAM summer camps to enrich students’ experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Learn great ideas for any teacher or administrator looking to incorporate enrichment programs, clubs, or activities for their school or classroom.

STEAM Activities - Google Site

Heidi Rethmeier's STEM Site

Connect Your Classroom: with Global Collaboration Projects

Connecting, Communicating, and Collaborating are essential skills for today’s learners. How can we create classroom experiences that apply these skills on a global level? Discover the simple and practical possibilities of incorporating global collaboration projects and platforms for your school.

Myths on Copyright and Acceptable Use

Impact Your Audience: Presentations That Rock!

Are students disengaged with your traditional presentation design? Are staff members turned off by your presentation delivery? Find out ways to improve your next presentation, whether for professional learning experiences or everyday classroom instruction. Explore concepts in layout & design, strategies for engaging your audience, and presentation techniques used by some of the world’s best speakers. Make your next presentation rock!

Resources to accompany “Impact Your Audience: Presentations that rock!”
Curated by Katie Morrow


Free for iBooks

Presentations About Presentations!

Recommended Media Sources

Additional Resources

Tools for Audience Interaction