Unleashing 3rd Graders with Youtube Video Editor

After my students began to create content for an online, video dictionary, Clare and Mariko gave some good feedback about how to improve the videos. When recording, the students gave example sentences for a vocabulary word with illustrations included. One of the suggestions was to add the text of the sentences to the videos, so the viewer could both hear and see the example sentences.

The bad news is that the tool we are using to make the videos, Doodlecast Pro, does not include a feature that allows you type text. And writing the sentences by hand would be too time consuming—we want the video-creation process to be as streamlined as possible.

The good news is that youtube, where we have published all of our videos, allows you to add text easily. This is a useful feature which is unfamiliar to many people. I created a quick video to teach my students the process:

YouTube Preview Image



After watching the tutorial yesterday, one of my students was able to add annotations to her own video in less than 10 minutes. This segued into the “Kids-Teaching-Kids” method, and in less than a day, half of my class was comfortable with adding annotations.

I was initially worried that Youtube video editor would be a little too complicated for third graders, but once again I am happily surprised with their ability to quickly adapt and figure things out.


  1. Rebekah Madrid

    For me the perk of YouTube editor are the limited functions. I have my kids use it when I just want them to get to the point and not worry about transitions or music or other stuff that can take them ages. Good luck! I look forward to seeing their work!

    • Jeff Lewis

      Good point, Rebekah. I remember a digital storytelling workshop with Jason Ohler where he mentioned that students often spend 80% of their time finishing the last 20% of their creations. Fancy transitions look cool, but sometimes it’s best if options are limited.

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