Do you remember the 8mm reel to reel films or the film strip with the cassette player? Back in the day, showing a video required a great deal of planning. You had to reserve the projector and film strip. Some teachers were lucky enough to have a film strip projector and their own films. We then moved on to VHS tapes and DVDs. Once again, unless you owned the videos, you had to borrow, which required advanced planning.
The showing of educational videos has only become easier with the internet. We have short video clips at our disposal 24/7. I have found some great clips all over the internet. My favorite place find videos is on YouTube.
The blocking or unblocking of YouTube is a hot topic. I understand both sides of this debate. No matter what side you are on, you must admit there are some great clips to be found.
If your district has unblocked YouTube, as my district has, I suggest setting up a playlist to have all the clips saved and available. To save videos to a playlist, you will have to create an account. If you have a Gmail account or if your district has Google accounts for you and the students, you already have an account. After you have a playlist created, you can share it with your students through a link or by embedding it into you website. A playlist would be a great way to help flip your classroom and let students watch content at home. All of these ideas have tutorials available on… you guessed it, YouTube. It only takes a few minutes of searching to find many options.
One problem with showing YouTube videos right from the internet is the ads. Depending on the age of your students, ads can be a real problem. If ads are a concern for you, keep reading.
If your district blocks YouTube, or you don’t want to see the ads, you can download YouTube videos to play in your classroom. This will require you have the web address of the video you want to play and to convert in a location where YouTube is not blocked. Go to www.clipconverter.cc. All you have to do is copy the web address of the YouTube video and paste it into the converter. If you are using a Mac, you can download using .mov. If you are using a Windows pc try converting as .avi. If you plan to show using an iPad, try converting as .mp4. This will allow you to use these great clips even if YouTube is blocked in your district.
YouTube has a wealth of great educational content. Yes you can use YouTube in your classroom.