Creating Instructional Videos

Last week I worked with Mr Ranton and a group of children at Lower Fields Primary to test an idea. We wanted to try some different ways of turning instructional writing into instructional videos. We started with a simple idea. Write out instructions step by step. Take a photo of each step, create a voice over for each step and narrate it over the video. We accomplished all of this in iMovie. It was a very simple and quite straightforward to do. You can see an example here. We created paper aeroplanes because it was easy to set up and it was fun!

The next stage was a little more ambitious. We recorded each step of the instructions as a video. It would be quite simple to add these together in iMovie and then simply narrate over them again as we did for the still images. This time we recorded saved all the shots as a single movie. We then imported it into DoInk Green Screen and used it to play in the background. After this a willing volunteer was recorded reading the instructions. You can see the example below. When we filmed making the paper aeroplane we deliberately left a gap on the right so there was space for the presenter without hiding the video in the background.

This was a test recording, there were a few things we agreed we would change next time:

  • Use a tripod with an iPad mount to eliminate any wobbles when filming.
  • Film in a smaller room so our voices are easier for the microphone to pick up.
  • Think about buying a bluetooth microphone to wirelessly connect to the iPad.
  • We’d have a bigger green screen in school to give us more space when we film. We had to film this shot in portrait, ideally we’d like to use landscape.

Now that we’ve learnt these lessons from our first go we can put our ideas in practice and make more instructional videos.


Another app that may be worth using here is video collage. In the example below I’ve recorded the different steps of an investigation but it could be used to record each instruction.

If you need any more info or help tweet me at @idletim or email

Tim Bleazard

Tim has over 20 years experience as a primary school teacher, twelve of them as an ICT co-ordinator. In 2009 he was seconded to Challenge City Learning Centre and used the opportunity to assist schools in their understanding and use of a range of new and emerging technologies. He joined the team as a Curriculum Innovation Consultant in 2012. Tim is a qualified E-Safety Mark Assessor, CEOP Ambassador, Apple Professional Development Authorised Trainer and a Google Certified Teacher. Tim’s role includes evaluating a range of mobile devices (Apple, Android and Microsoft) and advising on their appropriate use in schools. Tim is passionate about blogging, programming and using creative digital technology such as video, animation, photography and audio to raise attainment across the curriculum. He leads the very successful ‘Media Literacy Leaders’ project in partnership with Bradford UNESCO City of Film, the British Film Institute and Cape UK.

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