Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Saving YouTube Videos

When I'm working with teachers in schools I get lots of questions about how to save YouTube videos.  For many this still remains a mystery and is a major feat for the following reasons:
  1. Teachers are just too busy to spend hours online browsing and finding a solution for themselves
  2. YouTube is blocked in many UK Local Authorities so access during school hours is impossible
On top of this, most staff in school are not aware of the excellent range of quality videos that could infact be used in the classroom to support learning and teaching.
Personally, I like to use YouTube videos as lesson starters - for example, Ive used them to support instruction writing in Literacy.  I ask my class to write instructions for a friend to explain 'How to fold a T-shirt', and then they all try to read and follow each others instructions.  As you can imagine, this is quite hilarious to watch and the final look of the T-shirts? Well to put it politely - I definitely wouldn't wear one prepared by my class!

As a follow up activity I show my class a video on the same thing and we all have a go at folding our T-shirts using the video instructions. The difference is amazing! This really makes the children realise the impact that images and video can have on the end result - as long as its a quality video of course.  But in terms of learning and teaching it gets across the need for students to write clear instructions and whenever possible include appropriate images or video to support effective learning.

Another area I like to use YouTube is when discussing issues relating to Geography in the News, 'Global Disasters' or 'Extreme Weather'. YouTube videos are perfect for this, with lots to choose, from Volcanoes to freaky Arctic weather conditions to Tsunamis. Once downloaded the videos can be imported into movie-editing software and edited to make your own documentary, news report or advert.  It's so much easier than trying to shoot your own footage and is a great way to introduce digital creativity projects. Using existing footage will save you time, guarantee an outcome in the designated time, enable achievement and lots of smiles in your classroom. So if its something you've never tried yet then why not give it a shot!
So how do we go about saving YouTube videos? I'm the first to admit that it's certainly not obvious on the YouTube site - anybody would think they don't want you to download them....
Here are a few of my favourite ways of saving videos:
  • Zamzar
    Select the Download Videos tab and then follow steps 1, 2, 3 and 4
Watch a video tutorial here 
It's important that you download the latest Java or update your current installed version in order for this to work.
So which format should I download?

  1. - 3GP is for your cellphones, you can transfer it using the USB cord that came with your phone
  2. - FLV is a flash format that is now supported by most Media Players
  3. - MP4 is a video format with the best quality - works with Quicktime and other Media Players (SaveTube recommends you to download this format)

  • KeepVid
    Simply enter the YouTube video URL in the box and click the download button.
  • Save YouTube - in just 3 easy steps.
    Simply c
    opy-and-paste a YouTube video URL  into the box at the top of the page, hit Download, and choose the format you want the video saved as.
iCab mobile 
Saving YouTube Videos on an iPad
Unfortunately Apple have put a stop to this saving YouTube vids. to iPad functionality (Jan 2013) and Ive yet to find an alternative way..... 
If you're using an iPad then it's a completely different story.  This flummoxed me for some time because I wanted to use the YouTube videos in the same way I had been doing on my Macbook but I just couldn't find a way of getting the video onto my iPad in the first place.  

And then the iCab mobile App was released - a simple web browser for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad. 
It provides some great features such as:
  • full screen viewing
  • tabbed browsing 
  • apply filters to block ads 
  • and a Download Manager that lets you download files directly on to the device.
Download the app from the iTunes Store and try it for yourself.

For more information contact me:

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