Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Using YouTube in School - Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about the advantages of being able to use YouTube at school. Unfortunately, many schools block YouTube because of the inappropriate content that can be found there. In yesterday's post, I included a video that shows an easy way to use YouTube videos despite your school's firewall. Let me go into a little more detail as to that process. The following directions come from the video at .

First, find the video on YouTube that you would like to use in your classroom (you'll probably have to do this from home) and copy the URL associated with that video. (You don't need the http:// part.) For instance, let's say I want to include "Lattice Multiplication" in a presentation. I would find an appropriate video that explains this and I would copy its URL; in this case it's , which I shorten to .

Next, go to the website . This site is free with no sign up required if your file is less than 100MB. In Step 1, click "URL." The http:// will come up on its own. Then paste in the URL for the video you want to convert. Step 2 will give you a selection as to which type of file you would like. For instance, "mov" will convert your video to a file that can be used with Quicktime, while "wmv" will convert it to a Windows Media Video. In Step 3, type in the address where you would like the file emailed after it's converted. In Step 4, click "convert." The process may take a little while.

While you're waiting you can read the Terms of Service. Remember that many of the videos on YouTube may be copyrighted. You will need to give credit to the creator of the video or you may need to get permission to use it. If you're just presenting it to a group of students as part of a lesson, there is probably no problem, but you'll want to check.

Once you receive a notice on the Zamzar website that your file has been converted and uploaded, check your email; you should have received a message from Zamzar Conversions. Open that email and download the file.

Now that the file is downloaded, it's ready to be used. You can just show it to students using the appropriate player or you can put it into PowerPoint or other presentation software such as ActivStudio.

I might mention there are other sites that allow for easy use of YouTube's content. Some will sell you software that enables you to safely and securely use the videos. Others provide their own media content for a subscription fee. The nice thing about Zamzar is that it's easy to use and free for smaller files. TeacherTube also provides content similar to YouTube's, but may not be blocked by your school's firewall. Find it at .

Thanks to Jan Geronimo for the suggestion to include these directions.


  1. Hi, my name is Mika!

    I'm still quite new to the site, but I just wanted to invite you to check out my movie review blog at . I hope you'll like it and I would love to hear your opinion about it.

  2. I like your thoughts. Can you send me a link to your other posts?

    Justin Davis
    Disclaimer: Author does not represent any legal position of
    Lightspeed Systems Inc. and is the author's opinion only, and
    Lightspeed only provides an internet filter to K-12 schools and institutions

  3. Justin, I'm not sure how to reach you, so I'll post it here. The main link that will get you to all the posts is