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Frequently Asked Questions about Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trips

Questions about Submitting Video Questions for the Live Broadcasts

What are video questions?
I want to submit video questions, but I don’t have a video camera. Help!
When are the video questions due?
How should I record the video questions?
Is there any paperwork involved?
What format do the videos need to be in?
What are the video specifications?
What are the audio specifications?
I have several students with questions. Does each question have to be a separate file?
How do I send the video questions?
How can I submit video questions on YouTube?
To whom do I send the video questions?
Will you tell me if one of my students’ questions is going to be aired?
What happens to video questions that don’t get aired?
I need help! Whom do I contact?

What are video questions?
Video questions are another way for students to interact with Colonial Williamsburg historians and character interpreters in Electronic Field Trips. In addition to phoning in questions during the broadcast, emailing a character the week of the field trip, or posting opinions and questions on the message board all school year, students can pre-record their questions on camera. The video clips can be sent to us in advance and may be aired during the broadcast.

I want to submit video questions, but I don’t have a video camera. Help!
If you don’t have a video camera, remember many digital cameras and computers with webcams have the ability to capture video. We have also successfully used several submissions recorded on smart phones. Feel free to send this information home with your students and let them record their own video questions for homework. This is a good way to get parents and other family members involved in what their student is doing in your classroom!

When are the video questions due?

  • The Bill of Rights: Tuesday, October 1st
  • The Balance of Power: Tuesday, October 29th
  • Women of the Revolution: Tuesday, December 3rd
  • The Amazing Trade Shop Math Race: Tuesday, January 7th
  • Harsh World, This World: Tuesday, February 4th
  • Civil War Ironclads: Tuesday, March 4th
  • The War of 1812: Tuesday, April 1st

How should I record the video questions?

  • Students should address themselves to the camera as follows: “My name is [FIRST NAME ONLY] from [CITY, STATE], and I would like to know, [QUESTION]”. We CANNOT use a video with a student's last name in it!
  • Shoot the video in a quiet location and have the student speak clearly and distinctly.
  • In total, questions should be no longer than 15 seconds.
  • Focus on one student, not a large group, and try to make sure that there is light on their face.
  • Try to use an interesting background. Please avoid shooting against plain white walls and windows.
  • Students should not wear shirts or hats with company, product, or professional sports logos.

Is there any paperwork involved?
Each person appearing on camera must submit a completed Consent Form to appear on the EFT broadcast. For anyone under age 18, this form must be filled out and signed by a parent or legal guardian. Please include this paperwork with the video submission. We CANNOT use any video question from students without this completed, signed consent form.

Download the consent form.

What format do the videos need to be in?
Please submit your video files in QuickTime or Windows Media format. Acceptable file formats include .MPEG-4, .WMV, and .AVI.

I have several students with questions. Does each question have to be a separate file?
No. However, we do ask that you leave at least 6 seconds between each question.

How do I send the video questions?
Most teachers are able to email individual files. Please coordinate with Jen Garrott at jgarrott@cwf.org if you have questions. You can also mail a data CD or DVD. If you email the video files, you do still need to mail the original consent forms. You can also submit your questions by posting them as a private YouTube video. Students under 13 need parental permission to use this option.

How can I submit video questions on YouTube?
Colonial Williamsburg's Electronic Field Trips are now accepting Video Questions via YouTube. Students under 13 need parental permission to use this option. Follow the steps below or download the PDF for step-by-step instructions with screen capture images.

  • Step 1: Go to www.youtube.com.
  • Step 2: Sign in. You can also sign in with a Google account if you have one.
  • Step 3: Once logged in, click upload.
  • Step 4: Select a video file or record using your webcam.
  • Step 5: Once the video file is selected or created, change privacy settings from "Public" to "Unlisted." This means only people with the link can view it; it is not searchable.
  • Step 6: Please title your video with the Electronic Field Trip you are asking a question about and today's date, for example "The Bill of Rights 8.15.13." In the description box please write your first name, school, and the text of your question.
  • Step 7: Once the video has finished uploading, YouTube will send an email confirmation to you that includes the shareable link. That link is also at the top of the upload page.
  • Step 8: To ensure that your video is Unlisted, click the drop-down menu from your username in the top right-hand corner, and click "Video Manager." On the Video Manager page, look at the icon next to the video. A group of people means the video is public, while an open lock means the video is unlisted.
  • Step 9: Please email the link to your video and your completed consent form to jgarrott@cwf.org.

To whom do I send the video questions?
If using the U.S. Postal Service, please send all materials to:
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Video Questions—BHS 123
Attn: Jen Garrott
P.O. Box 1776
Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776

If using UPS or FedEx, please send all materials to:
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Video Questions – BHS 123
Attn: Jen Garrott
301 First Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Please include all signed consent forms and the teacher’s contact information. We will let you know when we receive your package.

Will you tell me if one of my students’ questions is going to be aired?
Yes. We will let you know if we plan on using one of your students’ questions. Please note that we can’t guarantee that the question will air, as sometimes we experience technical difficulties or run over our allotted time.

What happens to video questions that don’t get aired?
After we have chosen video questions for the broadcast, up to 10 additional video questions will be answered via video clips and posted on the "Question & Answer Videos" page. We will try to answer all other submitted video questions on the message board.

I need help! Whom do I contact?
For more information about video questions, contact Associate Producer Jen Garrott at jgarrott@cwf.org or 757-565-8525.



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