Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Creating Video PD with Free Google Tools

Whether you are a technology trainer, teacher, administrator, or anyone involved in education, one question we are always asking is how can we improve the quality and impact of our professional development. We face many challenges including:

  • Schedules - finding time when people can meet
  • Travel - getting everyone together in one place
  • Levels - moving at a pace that is not too fast for some or too slow for others
  • Resources - there is only one of you and hundreds (thousands?) of them

As a technology integration specialist, and a Google Certified Trainer and Innovator, I have struggled with the same concerns. Back in December of 2014 I tried something new to help address this need. I used free Google tools to create, deliver, assess, and track video professional development.

Below you will find loads of information about how I did this, as well as free resources you can use to do this yourself. You can watch the one-hour training video below, view the slideshow, read the rest of the post, and check out all the linked templates and resources.

Training Video

Slideshow Presentation

Our Story

My co-worker, Anthony Luscre, and I began creating webinars in December of 2014. As of July 2017:

  • We have done 44 webinars
  • The webinars have been viewed over 150,000 times
  • We have given out over 7,000 one-hour certificates of attendance for those who completed the webinar quizzes
  • We have received over 1,000 evaluations, with an average score of 3.9 out of 4
  • You can view all of my webinars here on the Control Alt Achieve site at: www.controlaltachieve.com/webinars
  • You can view all of the SPARCC webinars at the SPARCC Tech Integration site at: ti.apps.sparcc.org/videopd

Why Video PD?

We have found many benefits to providing live and recorded video professional development:

  • Attendees can watch anytime they want
  • Attendees can watch anywhere they want
  • Attendees can pause, rewind, rewatch, or jump ahead as needed to fit their pace
  • We have been able to reach far more people than we can (and do) reach through face to face training
  • We now have created a valuable archive of resources to supplement our face to face trainings

Why Google tools?

There are many excellent tools available for creating, broadcasting, and recording webinars including Adobe Connect, Cisco Webex, GoToWebinar, Blackboard Collaborate, and more. However we have found great success with tools from the Google ecosystem for several reasons:

  • Cost - All the Google tools are completely free
  • Growth - The Google tools allow us to make as many webinars as we want, that are viewed by as many people as wish to view them
  • Customizable - Google tools allow you to tweak your video PD system to meet the specific needs of your learners
  • Ease of Use - Many of the Google tools are familiar and easy to use

Our process

The steps we go through to create our webinars is covered in detail in the video training embedded above. See below for a quick outline of these steps, as well as templates you can copy and use. Keep in mind, you certainly do not need to do every step we do. Pick the parts that work for you as you develop your own system.

Before the webinar:
Day of the webinar:
  • Set up equipment (mic, 2nd monitor)
  • Test Hangout (connection, sound, sharing desktop)
  • Launch HOA 15 minutes before webinar and go live
  • Use canned intro
  • Presenter does the webinar
  • Assistant monitors chat Doc and stream
  • Use canned outro
  • Stop broadcast
After the webinar:
  • Minor editing in YouTube (trimming, annotations, description, tags)
  • Edit webinar page
  • Add webinar to archive page
  • Email webinar link to registrants
  • Check assessment and evaluations


Although I will always continue to do face to face trainings, I will also continue to create videos for PD. Using free Google tools I have been able to provide training to tens of thousands of people, in a format that is convenient for their schedule and learning pace.

I would certainly encourage anyone involved in education to consider ways you can provide flexible video PD for your students, staff, or others. Please share in the comments below your tools, tips, ideas, and resources for video professional development.

Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1


  1. Thank you, Eric! I love how organized you always are. This will help me immensely.

  2. This is pretty awesome. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This is an absolute gold mine! Thank you for all of these excellent resources. I see myself heading in the direction of video PD in the future, and I will use these resources to create instructional videos for LPDC credit.

    1. Awesome! Looking forward to seeing what you create!

  4. Super job! Thank you so much for sharing all you do and all your materials. People like you make schools better for our kids!

  5. Thanks Eric. This kiwi has just had her eyes opened. Can't wait to have a go myself. Kia Ora

  6. Love it! Working on so many videos for my staff!!

  7. Amazing resource Eric. Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Absolutely awesome Eric! I learn so much from you every time! Though I'm not into video PD yet (I'd like to be), I do create video material for students. The resources you shared will help me refine my process further!
    Thanks again!