Technology Center

Technical Tips

Effective Classroom Videotaping


  • Zoom Q2HD or other camera with sufficient memory
  • SD Card(s) if needed
  • Extra charged battery or separate batteries
  • Tripod
  • Extension Cord
  • Masking Tape to secure cables



  • Do not video in high-definition (HD) unless there is a specific reason. HD is not necessary for web viewing and takes longer for you to edit/crop/encode and upload. WVGA 640×480 resolution or close to it is plenty

  • Record a 10 second test video, noting effects of light and background noises your device is picking up
  • Tape 1-2 minutes before and after the action you want to capture
  • If the teacher is in your frame, try to place him/her on the side rather than in the middle
  • Do not include name of state, school, or district
  • Capture only first names for individual students (applies if you are videoing student work)


Classroom Set-up: (Consider these points and control what you can)

  • Limit extra noise
  • Think about major light sources (Better to have your light in front of your subject!)
    • Natural light (sun) or artificial? Try to avoid significant contrast (areas of extreme light or dark)
    • For example, if you film a subject in front of a window (with sunlight streaming in behind), he/she may appear dark. Increasing the light in the room may help or videoing from a different angle.
  • Think about camera positioning (angles and framing)
    • If I have to set up a still camera (on a tripod), where is the best place in the room to capture the action I want?
    • Should the camera be positioned above participant heads, straight on, or down closer to the floor? Should this be changed as the activity changes? Should the framing be wide (captures more but with less detail) or narrow?

Tablet and phone recording tips:

  • Video in landscape position (device turned on its side)

  • Focus your device by tapping on the screen where you want it to focus. On most devices, a yellow box appears and you’ll see the camera move and adjust.
  • All the above information applies, including a 10 second test recording and videoing 1-2 minutes before/after.
  • Verify that you can either locate your video file post recording or export it so that you can edit.