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Flipping Your Classroom for Free or Cheap

Most teachers have very limited budgets and have to get a big bang for the educational dollar that they do spend. I thought that “bang” return could be found in the form of Flipped Learning Methods, but much of what I read involved expensive content delivery systems and video editing software and equipment. If teachers and educational specialist have this equipment, knowledge and time so very professional videos can be produced. I don’t have time and equipment, I have developed a way to create videos using tools that I already have around in my classroom.

My Tools

PowerPoint and the other office programs are available one of the few programs that all teachers have on their work computers and that was a primary reason for choosing it as a tool to create flipped videos. I then paired up PowerPoint with a USB headphone with boom microphone. This was a fairly inexpensive device to add to my toolkit of flipping tools. I carry this headset around in my work bag most of the time and it has held up very well for two years so far.

Creating the Video

My videos begin with a PowerPoint presentation that I would be to ea

sily lecture from. They include information in complete short sentences more akin to an outline format. This allows me to create information quickly, I also add more in-depth information and talking points to the PowerPoint’s speaker notes section for each slide. I then add in graphics to help convey the information in a different context. I will usually go through the presentation at this point a couple of times to check for continuity in the information and make sure it makes sense. Finally I will add in text animation and slide transitions to automate the presentation’s movement. Each bullet/talking point gets its own “click” animation to help focus the viewer’s attention to that point and make it easier to animate the presentation while it is being narrated. The narration of the videos can be as time consuming as creating the presentation materials themselves. In order to narrate the presentation, click on the SlideShow Tab and choose Record Slide Show and finally choose Start Recording from Beginning. You will then be able to start clicking through your presentation and narrating. If you stumbled in your narration, simply press the Escape key on your keyboard and you will stop the narration. When you are ready to begin use the Record Slide Show button, but choose Start Recording from Current Slide. This will allow you to start recording your narration from where you left off. Once you are all done recording the narration and have everything how you want it, click on the File Menu and choose either Save & Send or Export depending on the version of PowerPoint that you have installed. You will then have the option to turn your presentation into a video, that is played in a common MP4 format. PowerPoint will then go through the process to contain all of the media into one file and create the video, once complete it will prompt you to save the file to a location.

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