Teaching online courses can be a challenge. For one, there are fewer opportunities to interact with the students. Adding a human touch is a strategy that is often recommended. Inserting video clips works really well.
There are many commercial video editors, but I found most of them to be too much for what I wanted to do. Most are capable of lots of things, but all I really wanted to produce were simple videos that complement the lectures. When I looked for the free editors for Windows, surprisingly, there aren’t many out there (Mac OS X users can use iMovie).
I found Windows Movie Maker to be the best of the freebie bunch. The best feature is its ease of use. I had tried video editing software in the past, but I just could not grasp the intricacies of how video editing works. The Movie Maker’s interface is simple and easy to follow along.
Movie Maker is an entry program, but it packs many useful features. The two I like are integration of YouTube and visual effects I can add. Once I finish editing my movie, all I have to do is click on the YouTube button and the video gets uploaded to my YouTube account.
I use quite a lot of transition effects in my movie (see the graphic at the top). It is fun to play around with different effects, in my effort to make my movies look a bit less dull.
There is not a lot of official documentation about Movie Maker’s features on Microsoft web site, but I found this article from PC Magazine useful to learn about the program:
Here is the link to download the software: