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This course is the fourth in a series of courses offered by College in the Clouds. Our previous courses and books included learning how to use free open source tools such as Linux to run your computer, LibreOffice to write an Ebook, and Joomla to build a website. In this course, we will cover how to use Google Plus (also known as YouTube) to create your own video channel and another free tool called Open Shot to edit and post your videos.

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Whether you are a teacher interested in creating videos to help your students or an activist wanting to spread the word about an important cause, videos are a powerful new tool to inspire folks to learn. If a picture is worth one thousand words, then a video is worth one thousand images.

Videos are not an end to themselves. Despite what Bill Gates might tell you about the power of online video courses, they are not a substitute for forming a real and lasting relationship with students. Compared to a book, videos go by too quickly. It is hard to slow the video down when you get to an important part like you can when reading a book. You cannot study an image like you can when reading a book. You cannot ask a video a question in real time like you can when attending an in person class. But videos are useful because not everyone can learn from a book and not everyone has access to a real teacher in an in-person classroom. Creating your on video channel allows you to reach millions of people for almost no cost – just as creating an Ebook or PDF allows you to share your ideas with others for almost no cost. So videos are a new important tool in the process of creating change.

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In this course, we will use a building block approach to learning how to create our own video channel. First, we will review how to do online video conferencing using a free tool social networking too called Google Plus. If you have a free Gmail account, then you already have Google Plus. You also have access to another free tool inside of Google Plus called Google Hangouts. You will need access to high speed internet and access to a computer. Google Hangouts is an ideal tool for practicing video conferencing. You will also need a friend to practice with - so hopefully you can find another person who also wants to learn this skill. Thanks to the power of the internet, the other person can be anywhere in the country or anywhere in the world.

We will then review how to set up our own YouTube Channel – another free tool that comes with Google Plus. We can then post our Google Hangouts video conferences to our YouTube Channel. We can even use some basic video editing tools available on YouTube.

Next, we will cover how to use free open source tools to create screen capture videos. These tools record your desktop and your voice allowing you to turn your computer into your own video production studio.

Then we will discuss how to set up a real production studio complete with camera, light and a green screen background. This will allow you to place the background for your video anywhere in the world – or even from Mars!

Finally, we will cover how to capture video and sound tracks from the internet in a manner not much harder than copying and pasting text from the internet. This will give us four sources of video to use when creating our own video productions – video conferences, video screen captures, studio videos and video clips captured from the internet.

We will then learn how to use another free open source tool called Open Shot to put all of these videos and sound tracks together with beginning and ending clips to create our own videos that we can then post on our YouTube channel.

This course is a work in progress. We will be adding articles to this website over time with the goal of having it completed by the summer of 2015. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to post them on our community forum at College in the Clouds. This forum can be reached by clicking on the word FORUM in the main menu. Now that you understand the plan, let's get started with a few tips on gathering your online video creation tools.

Regards, David Spring M. Ed.

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