I don’t have formal survey data to back up this perception, but it seems to me that the vast majority of U.S. public schools now block all access YouTube with network content filters. There are some understandable reasons for that action, I suppose, but overall I think the blocking of YouTube by school districts reflects a general preference for blocking websites at the network level instead of doing more difficult but potentially valuable things like:
- Supervising students when they are online at school.
- Creating and maintaining systems of online accountability at school, so the websites students visit are logged to their user account and thereby documented for parents, teachers, administrators, and the students themselves.
- Ensuring that learning opportunities provided to students are genuinely engaging.
YouTube will likely continue to be blocked in our school districts for the foreseeable future, but more alternatives are available for teachers wanting to integrate and use high-quality web video that CAN be found on YouTube as well as other video sharing websites. I now have about 20 videos saved in different playlists in YouTube.
I’ve learned about two new resources this week that relate to the use of instructional videos with students. The first is TeacherTube, which I learned about from a post by Eric Langhorst. It is great to see sites like TeacherTube which strive to provide educationally-focused video content for learners of all ages. Because of its specific educational focus, hopefully TeacherTube can avoid the blacklist (or make the whitelist) of most school district content filters.
I also learned about ZamZar, I think from my del.icio.us network. Zamzar will let you download any web-based video directly to your hard drive, so you can play it offline. That means teachers can download YouTube and other web-posted videos they want to use instructionally with students at home (where the district content filter doesn’t get in the way) and then play the videos offline in their classrooms in the format they prefer.
One person I talked to today said he’d had problems with Zamzar truncating the last 30 – 60 seconds of video from some of the files he’d tried to convert. I’m not sure if that is a bug with certain websites or in general. I have not used Zamzar yet myself, I’ve used the YouTube Downloader previously to make offline FLV copies of movies. The great thing about Zamzar is you don’t have to just download the video in FLV format: you can specify the format you want. After you make your selection, you are emailed a link when the file has been converted that lets you download it in the format you’ve selected.
Very cool! And very free! 🙂
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On this day..
- WordPress OKC Meetup Notes: March 30, 2015 - 2015
- Create an All-iPad Class Radio Show with AudioBoo, Bossjock, GoodReader, & SoundCloud - 2013
- Sharing Apple iCloud Calendars and Google Calendars - 2013
- Spots available for April 2011 Storychasers Workshops - 2011
- An easy case for digital curriculum: Weight - 2010
- Learning about password security early, individual student logins at school - 2009
- Digitizing my life - 2008
- Cyberwarfare capacity and partial quotations by journalists - 2007
- Stop Cyberbullying: Move Out Into Mainstream Media - 2007
- McREL Podcasts, Del.icio.us & Switchpod - 2006