Day 2 Guest Blogger @ Wes’ by Bob Sprankle

YouTube woes got you down? You’ve a little nugget that would work perfectly in your lesson, or you want to show your staff Karl Fisch’s “Did You Know (2.0)” on the first day back to school? Well if you work in 99.9% of the schools in the U.S. you can’t, can you? (Ok… I totally made up that statistic, but you get the idea). YouTube is blocked in your district, isn’t it? Even the good stuff.

You may already be aware that there are several software solutions for saving the files to view offline, so you can download them to your hard dive when you’re at home and then show them from your own machine later when you’re in the safety/restriction/firewall of your school. The ones I’ve played with to date have been a bit cumbersome, and not always so friendly, often involving some “hoop jumping.”

Well, those days are over. I just found a great web-based converter that is quick, easy and works as simply as you think it should.

It’s called vConvert and can be found at This online app will convert your FLV files found online (such as YouTube files) to wmv, mov, mp4, mp3, 3gp etc. all at the click of a button.

So here we go:

I take the address from YouTube for Karl Fisch’s movie:

Paste it into the vConvert form:


select the “Mac (.mov)” format so I can play it on my Macbook (you select what flavor you want):


and hit the button “Convert and Download”:


“Did You Know?” is an 8 min 19 sec. movie. It took vConvert 2 min 17 sec. to convert and 44 seconds to download on my cable connection. Not bad, huh?

So, yes, it takes a bit of planning ahead, but now you have Karl Fisch’s movie on your hard drive and are free from the constraints of firewall protection.

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6 Responses to You CAN take it with you! by Bob Sprankle

  1. Mark Ahlness says:

    Wes, thanks for the tip – this is great! – Mark

  2. […] Click here for Day 2 as Guest Blogger over at Wes Fryer’s Moving at the Speed of Creativity. Today I talk about a great tool to bring YouTube Videos into the school setting. […]

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    Mark– This was actually posted by Bob Sprankle, so we need to thank him– it is a great post! 🙂

  4. […] your students this YouTube video (note, if YouTube is blocked at your school, see my post here yesterday for a […]

  5. I use the FireFox Video downloader extension. It seems to work really well. I haven’t ever had any problems.

    If your classroom has a SmartBoard, you can pull the .flv files directly into the Smart Notebook software so
    there isn’t as much quality loss when downloading it.

  6. Great tip, Bob! Thanks! I’ve been using some other tools that I’d downloaded but this just does it for you painlessly, online. I’m going to link to this post on as well as my blog.


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