Does your school or school district provide a moderated, interactive web platform for video sharing among students as well as teachers? While education-specific video sites like, SchoolTube, and TeacherTube can and are being used by learners around the world to share video interactively (as well as YouTube and YouTube EDU) there can be a number of benefits when schools provide “homegrown YouTube” video services. Often school district network administrators are loath to unblock / open access to YouTube. A homegrown video sharing site can be moderated and controlled (an extremely important word in the lexicon of IT directors) in ways a public video sharing website outside the school network cannot. Bandwidth limitations are often cited as the reason video sharing sites in schools are blocked. While software and hardware solutions exist to limit the percentage or total amount of bandwidth allocated to services like video streaming websites, many school networks are not presently configured to implement these types of imposed limits. “The fight to unblock YouTube” even for teacher access and use is an uphill struggle in many schools, but the case for a homegrown video sharing site can be less contentious.

One of the basic needs we have today to help students develop digital literacy as well as the dispositions of “good digital citizens” are moderated “sandboxes” where learners can share content and interact digitally. Most of our K-12 schools in the United States shy away from these environments, despite the fact that ISTE NETS mandate digital collaboration, creativity, content creation, etc.

The College of Education at NC State University has created a video sharing community, using the commercial solution Clip Share. Like YouTube, Clip Share sites permit visitors and/or members (depending on the administrator-specified permissions) to rate, comment on, and create playlists with videos. Users can also upload their own content. This is an example video on the site from the summer of 2009, when Dr. Yong Zhou shared a presentation on Global Competencies at the college.

The ability to embed media content in other sites is a BIG deal, and is essential to leverage the power of multi-modal communication possibilities today.

For the past three years we’ve used a Ning website for our Celebrate Oklahoma Voices statewide oral history project, and currently have over 560 shared videos on the site which have been created by Oklahoma teachers, librarians, administrators (in a few cases) and students. Ning permits moderation / approval of submitted videos, as well as moderation of members. We used a Ning site more extensively in 2009 for the K-12 Online Conference, inviting presenters to embed their video presentations for additional interaction / feedback opportunities.

Later this week I’m headed to the School District of Palm Beach County for their annual technology conference. The district has a video-on-demand sharing website, but unlike YouTube and YouTube-clone sites it does not appear to support rating, commenting, or playlist creation. Despite the non-interactive nature of this site, it still represents a GREAT leap forward for video sharing within the school district. The site DOES support embedding, and includes a wealth of video content. Most school districts with which I work don’t provide ANY type of video sharing website for learners, interactive or otherwise. This 30 second spot is an advertisement for Friday’s tech conference on the site now.What examples of school district-provided “YouTube clone” / video sharing websites have you seen? PHPmotion and Clip Bucket are open source / free server software programs which can be used to create YouTube clones, but I’m not aware of any schools which have used these to create their own sites. If you know of other YouTube-like school sites please share the links as comments. Hopefully we’ll see more school organizations provide websites like these in the coming year.

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4 Responses to Homegrown YouTube Options

  1. Wesley Fryer says:

    Brad Clark tweeted a link to Kaltura as a server-based software option.

  2. Our district uses OSTube. It’s been a huge success.

  3. We really have enjoyed our Clipshare server at The College of Ed @ NCSU. I think one of the great features of the server that we had not originally anticipated was the “Private” button. Teachers can upload videos, such as ones we use for critique of student-teaching lessons, and use the embedd code to add to their Moodle or Blackboard site. It has worked great.

    Another college on our campus is trying out Kaltura and they have really enjoyed it. I will try and find a link to their site to share. There is a new Moodle plug-in for Kalthura that may make it even more desirable.

  4. Chad Wintzer says:

    We have a custom built application in Palm Bech County and are currently exploring Kaltura.

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