A video solutions company is nice if you want to have a central location for your staff and/or students to be able to create and store videos. I am not 100% against one, in fact, my district does use one, but I am not 100% on board either. And that is just my opinion. I am not going to bad mouth spending money for video solutions. Instead, I am going to try and offer some suggestions to Google Apps for Education (GAfE) districts out there that just can't afford to or simply don't want to pay money to go this route.
First off, if you are not a GAfE district, you should be. It is FREE! There are Google Education Trainers, like me, all over the world who can help get your district started.
I chose the top five features (in no particular order) people look for in a video solutions company. I will show Google tools you can use to complete these needs. If you are in a district where YouTube is blocked for students, don't worry because I will show solutions for the students who don't have access to YouTube.
1. House (store) videos
YouTube is the best solution. Google does not limit the number of videos that can be uploaded and there is no per video charge. Users have the ability to upload videos and set as:
private(personal use only) unlisted(people have to have the video URL) public(anyone in the world can come across your video during a search). private sharewith specific people postfor anyone with the link (or anyone within the domain with the link) public.
2. Record webcam videos
Many people think that YouTube is just a video storage app, but it is so much more. You can record webcam videos straight from YouTube. Teachers can use this to explain a concept and students can use this to show their understanding of a concept.
If YouTube is blocked for students, then students can use a Chrome Extension, like Screencastify, to create a webcam video. The free version of Screencastify allows for a video up to 10 minutes and can be uploaded to Google Drive (or YouTube).
3. Create screen capture videos
4. Live Video Streaming
YouTube allows for live streaming, which is nice when you are wanting to conduct or watch a webinar. Google doesn't charge you a streaming fee or restrict you on the number of videos streamed per month/year.
Google Hangouts, part of Google+, is another great option for live streaming. You can do a regular video conference (Hangout) or a scheduled event and broadcast it live (via Google+ or YouTube). The recorded Hangout on Air broadcast will be immediately uploaded to your YouTube channel.
I haven't found a free option for live streaming if YouTube AND Google+ are blocked for students. I am always open to suggestions though.
5. Video Editing
You have the ability to edit your videos and create new videos from a collection of your videos directly in YouTube. There are creative commons videos and audio files that you can choose from to create new videos.
If YouTube is blocked for students, then they can use a Chrome application like
I know there are more features that companies offer, but for the sake of this blog not becoming 20 pages long, I choose to go with the top five.