Smartphone Video, or How Blogging Helps me Teach

Just over a week ago I was fortunate enough to attend the Fitbloggin’ 14 conference in Savannah, Georgia. I also attended what was definitely one of the most popular sessions of the conference this year: Taking your Smart Phone Video to the Next Level led by Andre Smith of Mission Meltdown. While many people raved over the wonderful guidance and product recommendations that we received during the session, it seemed to me that most attendees were looking forward to applying their new knowledge for fitness and nutrition videos and blog posts. I, on the other hand, was excited for a different reason: I don’t (currently) use much video for blogging or fitness purposes, but I do post video for my online and classroom courses at the University.


Andre Smith of Mission Meltdown dropping knowledge

There is some indication from distance learning research that students respond more favorably to online courses when they can regularly see and hear from their instructor. So, I have to post videos for my classes for this reason, but I don’t enjoy recording or editing video at all. I’m rarely satisfied with how I look, or how I sound, and I feel crazy talking to a web camera. It also can be pretty clunky using the computer to record video because I can never quite get that web cam at the right angle. All that said, I am a control freak and although we have a wonderful media studio on my campus, I want my video to be exactly what I envisioned. If that’s not enough, I’m lazy and don’t necessarily want to travel to campus in full business attire when I can sit on the couch at home with business attire on top only. Okay, okay, that lazy thing is the real reason. Yep. Anyway…

Since I’m teaching an online class this summer, I felt motivated enough following Dre’s session to dust off the tripod and iPad mount that were collecting dust in my basement. I also ordered a Bluetooth camera shutter remote (Dre recommended) to start and stop the video, found a spot in the house with decent natural lighting, and took time to test audio, positioning and set up so that I could record a quick video.


FITScholar Studios, version 1.0. iPad and mount, tripod and a big comfy couch.


The prep work, including makeup, took much longer than the one minute video I needed to record, and involved lots of adjusting the tripod back and forth and up and down. But, the end result turned out great! I expect that prep time will improve as I work out my setup.


Makeup done (pending lip gloss) time to record! But first…

Cropping and editing video took some figuring out as I attempted to use iMovie instead of my more familiar Camtasia. I eventually gave up and just imported the video to Camtasia to finish up. It would be nice to be able to capture and edit video on the go, though, so I’ll continue to tinker with iMovie on my iPad and iPhone.


Two of the many faces from my video. Clearly, I felt very strongly about whatever I was saying in the top still.

For my next video appearance, I’m planning to incorporate a light stand and lapel mic. Soon I’ll have my own personal media studio at home! How long before I start recording tool and product reviews and exercise demos? Ha ha ha, I know, I know…baby steps…

Enough for now, until my next video! I’m off to the gym!


My fingers are not really this long. It’s the camera angle, I swear!

Did you attend this session at Fitbloggin’? Have you applied any of Dre’s tips yet? How are you taking your smartphone video to the next level? Please share!


One comment on “Smartphone Video, or How Blogging Helps me Teach

  1. I attended the session. I haven’t put it into use yet, but I have looked into a few items. I will be ordering real soon.

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