Welcome back to another tech tool tutorial on The Counseling Geek.
This blog post will be discussing YouTube and all the power that it provides to school counselors everywhere. From morning school announcements to recording parent nights, the power of YouTube is unquestionable. As one of the most popular websites around the world, YouTube has created a huge name for itself in entertainment, education, and broadcast. Did you know that there over 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day throughout the year? That is crazy – can you believe how many hours of video are on YouTube?
So why would I, a school counselor or maybe a school counselor blogger, want to have a YouTube account and start uploading my own YouTube videos?
There are a couple good reasons. The first is that it produces high-quality videos that are accessible, on any device, anywhere. You can take videos recorded from a camcorder, your cell phone, a high-definition camera, or any other recording device and upload it to YouTube (Check out my Counseling Shopping List for a great camera/card/tripod combo). These videos are then processed by YouTube servers and indexed (meaning cataloged) so that they are easily found through a Google search or search on YouTube’s homepage. For bloggers and school counselors this is just another avenue to get information across to our users, which are students or other readers, and gives us a third dimension. When readers or students are used to seeing words printed on the screen, they can now see a person speaking or actual demonstration of a product.
Another great reason why you want to use YouTube is that it helps with your search engine optimization or SEO, which determines the order that your website appears on Google, Bing, or Yahoo searches. This is especially beneficial to bloggers who are trying to get up to the top of the search results to drive traffic to your awesome content. Going up in the search results typically increases your reader base as well as your exposure to new readers or areas of the world. Google, one of the best and biggest search engines, owns YouTube and naturally uses it’s search engine optimization calculation highly when figuring out rankings and determining your placement in search results.
Finally, using YouTube can force/encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone. By recording videos and stretching your tech tool usage creates confidence to try new things. I’m not a formally trained graphic designer, writer, cook, guitar player, Photoshop worker, or any other trades I often use on this blog. However, because I was very interested in these tools, I force myself to get into these different resources and as a result, I am now proficient in most of these. Getting over that curve of being afraid to try something new really opens up new worlds of possibility for your professional, personal, and digital life.
So How Do I Do It?
If you don’t already, creating a YouTube account for your counseling program is very simple. All you need to do is create a Google account, which hopefully have already done, as it is the most recommended email, calendar, and and more available online today. From there, all you have to do is going to Google dashboard and had YouTube and it will talk you through the creation of your new YouTube account. Please keep in mind that this account will be linked to whatever email address you have logged in, so if you are using a personal email for a professional account, you may want to create a new account or sign into a different account before you create your YouTube page.
There are a few best practices in setting up your YouTube account. First, select a catchy name for your account. It doesn’t have to be five or six words long, but you will want to name it something that will be recognizable to users. For example, mine is The Counseling Geek – very simple, straightforward, and easily recognized when someone searches for videos. Some other recommendations are including your social medial links, a link to your website, and other contact information onto within your account and Channel Page. This let users go to your Channel and access your other profiles in social media or on the web. There are endless ways to customize your YouTube channel – from background images to different organizational tools and different playlists — but these are all advanced levels for now.
Uploading Your First Video
First, we need you to get out your handy-dandy video recorder or simply your smartphone and shoot some video. This does not need to be professional or high quality nor about anything specific – this is just practice.
Record about a two minute video either introducing yourself to the viewers or just reading through book if you are a bit shy. We just want to get practice on-screen and with recording a video. This will give you some material to upload to your account. Once your video recording is done head to the YouTube homepage either on your computer or on your smartphone to upload the video you just created. Note: If you’re on your phone this might look a little bit different.
Once you’re on your YouTube page, in the upper right-hand corner there’s a button that says Upload – click that. Once you click that, it will ask you to find a video on your computer’s hard drive or possibly on your phone’s hard drive (please note if you are on your phone to plot try to do this over a Wi-Fi connection as this leaves a lot of your mobile data if uploading over 3G or 4G). Once you locate your video and follow the prompts to select it, the video will start to upload. The upload process will take probably between 5 to 15 minutes depending on the length of your video so grab yourself a coffee and sit back and wait.
Once a video is finished uploading, it will start processing. At this point, you can start adjusting different settings on your video. Some settings include giving your video a title and description, adding tags so users can search for it, setting the date it was recorded, giving it a description, and defining whether it is a public or private video.
This public or private video setting is important. Making it public means that it is searchable via Google and YouTube, so if you’re recording is not to be shown to anybody else – please make sure that is set to private.
From this point on, your basic upload is completed and you can copy/paste the link to your recently uploaded video to share or embed on your website.
Thanks for reading/watching. If you have any questions or would like some more information about YouTube or my blog — please do not hesitate to email me at [email protected] or message me on twitter via @CounselingGeek.