Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

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The Power of YouTube


Adding video to your class can have huge benefits to student learning. Students can be taken on trips, view advertisements, and gain a better understanding of the content being taught. But, it's also important to understand how to use YouTube and how you can customize videos for your students within the site. Whether that is content that you have created, or videos that are already there, knowing their functions can greatly assist how you deliver the information to students. Below are several, tips, tricks, and embeds that will increase your YouTube engagement and implementation in your classroom.

YouTube Terminology

In order to fully understand YouTube, as basic as it may seem, it's important to understand the differences between Channels and Playlists. A channel is a "home page" of sorts for all of the videos produced by a certain user. A teacher could then "Subscribe" to that channel, alerting them of new videos uploaded, or an easier way to access the videos from a user at a later time. What's really neat is that each teacher already has a channel with an EDU domain, so curating content is much easier! A playlist is a group of videos that can be created by the teacher about a topic. These videos do not have to be from the same user. They can be related in content, music genre, or any other number of characteristics.

View Videos Without the Ads

If you've ever shown a video in class, there's always the element of surprise at which videos will end up in the "Related" or "Suggested" videos. There's an extremely simple fix for this. Just copy and paste the video URL into a website known as View Pure. This eliminates all of the other jargon (including ads) surrounding a video, so that only the video shows up to view. This site also disables the comments, so the entire interface of the video being played is clean, and free of inappropriate content that may have squeaked past a district filter.

Embed a YouTube Video

Sometimes, you would like to students to view a video, and provide feedback on it. Whether that is answering some questions that have been created, or writing a response to it, embedding the video is the easiest way to do this. Since YouTube is owned by Google, you have the option of inserting a video into Forms, Slides, and even Google Classroom. Just look for the YouTube logo in any of those applications, and you're able to drop a video directly into your assignment. You can then have students easily interact with the information in the video, regardless of what tool you use.

Make a GIF from a YouTube video

One of the coolest tricks I have ever learned about YouTube is that you can actually make a GIF from any YouTube video. If you simply add "gif" to the front of any YouTube URL (gifyoutube.com/watch......), a separate website appears that allows you to create a GIF. You can add a caption, crop the photo, and add some visual effects to your GIF. Then, when you're finished, click "Create GIF" and it is done for you!

Other Clever Tricks

Hyperlink to a Specific Point in the Video: If you've ever shown or shared a video, there's a chance you had to share the entire video when you wanted just a small snippit of information. Instead of asking the viewer to play the video at a certain time, locate the spot where you'd like to video to start. Then, right-click on the white blob that moves along the bottom of the player, which will bring up a menu. From that, select "Copy Video URL at Current Time." Voila! Done!

Easily Download any YouTube video (legally, of course): Oftentimes, you may find a video that's awesome and you want to use it more than once. In order to download a video, insert "ss" before the video URL and a download will automatically begin. (www.ssyoutube.com/watch......). This will make it easier to use this video in the future from your computer instead of streaming it online!

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