The answer is yes...but! As a firm rule, you always want to be sure that you have signed consent to film someone before you begin shooting. This is true even if you’re not sure the person will end up in the final product — and even if your video is a freebie.
The reason that you need to get permission first is because everyone has a legal right to privacy. In other words, an individual has the right to say no if she doesn’t want her image, name, or other information that could identify her, publicly posted. When it comes to your students, who are minors, this is especially true.
To get the consent, you need to protect yourself and those you film. It’s essential to have anyone you film sign a release form. In the case of children, you’ll need to have their parent or guardian sign a “minor release form.” We strongly suggest that you build in time to get the releases you need signed and returned to you as you plan your timeline for filming and producing your video. With folks over the age of 18, you might be able to get signed release forms on the day you film. For any minors, you’ll need time for parents or guardians to return a consent form to you. Once you receive your consent forms back, we recommend you store them long term.
If you’re thinking about filming in your classroom or on school grounds, you’ll also want to look into your school’s policies on what’s ok to do. Your school may not be ok with teachers filming on school property for non-school related projects or they may require a location release form. Take the time to make sure you’re following the rules.