Google Apps for Education - A Solution to Your Video Needs

There is a ton of video solution companies out there, such as Kaltura/Media Space, LifeSize/Video Center, Safari Montage, etc. They cost money and in some cases a lot of money, and while some districts have the means to spend the cash there are many out there that are in a bit of a financial bind. 

A video solutions company is nice if you want to have a central location for your staff and/or students to be able to create and store videos. I am not 100% against one, in fact, my district does use one, but I am not 100% on board either. And that is just my opinion. I am not going to bad mouth spending money for video solutions. Instead, I am going to try and offer some suggestions to Google Apps for Education (GAfE) districts out there that just can't afford to or simply don't want to pay money to go this route.  

First off, if you are not a GAfE district, you should be. It is FREE! There are Google Education Trainers, like me, all over the world who can help get your district started. 

I chose the top five features (in no particular order) people look for in a video solutions company. I will show Google tools you can use to complete these needs. If you are in a district where YouTube is blocked for students, don't worry because I will show solutions for the students who don't have access to YouTube.

1. House (store) videos
YouTube is the best solution. Google does not limit the number of videos that can be uploaded and there is no per video charge. Users have the ability to upload videos and set as:

  • private (personal use only)
  • unlisted (people have to have the video URL)
  • public (anyone in the world can come across your video during a search).
If YouTube is blocked for students, then the next best option would be Drive. Now every GAfE Drive account has unlimited storage and the ability to upload a file 5TB in size. Do you realize how long and extensive a video file would have to be to reach 5TB. In Drive, students can set the video to:

  • private
  • share with specific people
  • post for anyone with the link (or anyone within the domain with the link)
  • public.  

2. Record webcam videos
Many people think that YouTube is just a video storage app, but it is so much more. You can record webcam videos straight from YouTube. Teachers can use this to explain a concept and students can use this to show their understanding of a concept. 

If YouTube is blocked for students, then students can use a Chrome Extension, like Screencastify, to create a webcam video. The free version of Screencastify allows for a video up to 10 minutes and can be uploaded to Google Drive (or YouTube).

3. Create screen capture videos
To my knowledge there is not screen capture feature in YouTube, but if I am wrong, please let me know. Screen capture means recording the screen of your device while you walk people through steps or a concept. It is a popular form of video tutorials for web-based tools. I recommend Screencastify as your screen capture tool. The free version allows for a video up to 10 minutes, and to be honest if your screen capture is longer than 10 minutes you have lost the audience anyway. It will upload the video directly into YouTude or your Google Drive, if YouTube is blocked.

4. Live Video Streaming
YouTube allows for live streaming, which is nice when you are wanting to conduct or watch a webinar. Google doesn't charge you a streaming fee or restrict you on the number of videos streamed per month/year. 

Google Hangouts, part of Google+, is another great option for live streaming. You can do a regular video conference (Hangout) or a scheduled event and broadcast it live (via Google+ or YouTube). The recorded Hangout on Air broadcast will be immediately uploaded to your YouTube channel.

I haven't found a free option for live streaming if YouTube AND Google+ are blocked for students. I am always open to suggestions though. 

5. Video Editing
You have the ability to edit your videos and create new videos from a collection of your videos directly in YouTube. There are creative commons videos and audio files that you can choose from to create new videos.

If YouTube is blocked for students, then they can use a Chrome application like WeVideo, to edit a video. When you use the WeVideo Chrome application the video is saved into Google Drive for students to easily access and share with others. The free version gives you 5GB of storage space. Once you publish your video to Google Drive you can remove from WeVideo to gain more storage space back. You just need to make sure you aren't going to edit it anymore.

I know there are more features that companies offer, but for the sake of this blog not becoming 20 pages long, I choose to go with the top five. 


  1. Great blog thank you and will point teachers to this when I do my flipping class with Google presentation next week

  2. Thank you, Leigh. I am glad that you found it useful.

  3. Awsome blog ..!! you can also checkout our website thats provide you lots of services like video on demand,live streaming solution and automatic scheduling and many more.

  4. Thanks for this Kelly. I have used the information to create a presentation under Creative Commons. Could I have your Twitter handle (or other contact) so you can check and see if it's OK before I share? (My Twitter is @iteachtweets)

  5. There are many methods in Google apps’ usage in order to create technological classroom these days, have a peek at this site for more information!

  6. That's just a great news! I've always known Google cares about its users. My English teacher always gives task connecting with recording the videos or writing superbessay, so that these apps may be very useful for such students as I.

  7. Thanks for this Kelly. I've always known Google cares about its users. My reacher ask me doing presentation about Google and guys from help me with it

  8. Thanks a lot for sharing it, that’s truly has added a lot to our knowledge about this topic. Have a more successful day.