Leave Clear Instructions for Substitutes

Every once in a while, you need a substitute to fill in while you take a sick day, attend a conference, or just get some time away. Rather than spending hours writing up lesson plans for them to try to follow, why not create video instructions for substitutes and your students to watch together? Plans will be clear and the sub can focus on creating a great learning experience without worrying about how to interpret the directions.

What do I need?

1. TechSmith Fuse and/or Camtasia

2. Your plans for the day you’ll be absent

Making your video

Want to show where things are in your classroom? Start with Fuse. If you only need to review on-screen material, you can record it all in Camtasia.

For instructions around the classroom:

1. After downloading, open the Fuse app on your mobile device

2. Press the Video option to start recording. You can walk around the room, show where things are located and narrate instructions. You can also demonstrate activities and other procedures that you expect the class to complete, and where to turn in assignments.

3. Tap Done to finish recording

4. Open Camtasia on your computer, and go to File → Connect Mobile Device. You’ll see a QR code appear on your computer screen.

5. In Fuse, share the video to Camtasia and select Connect New Device. Scan the displayed QR code with the Fuse app.

6. Your video is now in Camtasia, where you can edit it and share with your sub and/or students.

TIP: Investing in a small mobile phone tripod is a great way to take hands-free video for demonstrations on the go.

For on-screen only instructions:

1. Open up the lesson plan (slides, document, etc.) that you want to explain.

2. Open the Camtasia recorder. Make sure your material is showing within the selection window.

TIP: Consider including your webcam so they can see your face as you talk. Your video will be more personable to your sub and your students.

3. Make sure the webcam is turned on, if you want to include your face in the video. Also check to see that your microphone is turned on.

4. Press the red Rec button and start your instruction. (Note: You will not see your webcam image within the larger selection, while you’re recording.) You can explain class expectations, review key topics, and let them know what to expect while you’re out.

5. Press Stop to finish recording. Now you can save, edit, and share with your sub and students.

See it in action

Without much notice, Dan Spencer of Michigan Center High School had to miss class to stay home with an ill family member. He made a quick video for the sub to play for the students, to assure everyone stayed on task while he was away.

Can’t see the embedded video? Watch it here.