Creating Tutorials in the Social Studies Classroom

By Monica Burns 12.01.2014 blog

You may have heard of the flipped classroom model where teachers create videos for students to watch outside of the classroom. The idea behind this movement is to transform the way teachers spend their time as instructors.  Educators can create video tutorials for students to watch for homework and use class time for discussing and engaging with content. There are lots of options for getting started.

Choose Your Objective

Before you get ready to record a tutorial for students, make sure that you have a clear objective. Your goal might be something like, I want students to understand how to read a timeline or Students will understand the causes of the American Revolution. Once you’ve decided on a clear objective, make a plan for how you will present it to students. This might be a script you write out ahead of time or a quick list of notes you want to cover. The great thing about tutorials is that they are straight to the point and include visuals. Use your time wisely and make sure that you have pictures on the screen that connect to your narration. If you have lots of content that you want to cover, break it into chunks so that you have a handful of short tutorials instead of one very long video.

Pick Your Tool

There are lots of great screencasting tools to check out. Screencasting means that you are recording what is happening on the screen of your device. This could be a PowerPoint presentation that you are flipping through, a diagram you are drawing, a slideshow of images, or a combination of a few different types of media. You can also record your voice during a screencast using the built-in microphone on your device. Screencast-O-Matic and PixiClip are two options for creating tutorials on your laptop or desktop computer. With Screencast-O-Matic you can even add a web cam so that students can see your face as you are speaking. ExplainEverything is an app available for iOS and Android devices.  Users can create a screencast straight from their tablet or smartphone which is a great option for teachers on the go. Two free options for iPads are Educreations and ShowMe. Both of these apps give teachers a shareable link for students to click on and watch the tutorial you have created.

Decide How to Share

There are a few different ways that you can share your tutorials with students. Some tools give you the option to save your screencast as a movie file and others give you a link to where the tutorial is hosted online. If you are using a movie file, you can upload it to a learning management system like iTunes U or Edmodo. You can also start your own YouTube channel. Once you have a shareable link to your video tutorials, you can add this link to the course platform you are using or even connect the link to the QR code you add to an activity sheet.

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.


  1. rickover student

    yes bring it on

  2. Riley

    I agree

  3. Riley

    I agree 100%

  4. Caroline and Destiny

    Yes definitely it is awesome it’s weird for someone to say no because if you want to take a selfie than wala .it also helps if you need a pic and your hand are full

  5. Caroline and Destiny

    Yes definitely because if you had to take a photo but your hands were full then there you go. I definitely want one for Christmas .it can take stress off of people .and it is awesome thankyou channel one you are the best

  6. charlie


  7. Jacob

    I don’t think this is a good idea because personally I think school is overtaking students lives. Most of our year is taken up by school and this just takes up more of our time.

  8. Jacob

    I don’t think this is a good idea because personally I think school is overtaking students lives. Most of our year is taken up by school and this just takes up more

  9. 1656522

    yes I agree this is totally the next big thing!:)

  10. Julia mikulski

    Yes because its better then take a selfie if you want to take a full body selfie the drone watch can do that for you!!!!!! I really like it

  11. Minerva

    Every student has to take stress off there backes and plan there own lessons in there own level

    • Marcus A.

      I agree 100%

  12. Carterpeeps

    Teens and even adults could use something like this, it takes stress off the teacher and the students, using something modern in the classroom can possibly make students pay more attention if they think its cool they’ll want to know more.

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