I love to use media in my classroom. I find that it helps students make connections and it can be highly motivational. I am a big fan of Discovery Streaming materials and love that I can usually find video clips, full videos, audio clips etc. that fit right in to my lessons. But often I find great content located in forbidden places such as YouTube. YouTube is a wonderful place to find very appropriate and timely resources for classroom use. The problem is, you can find lots of other not so appropriate stuff there as well. This being the reason that YouTube is blocked in most schools. But that doesn’t mean that we as teachers should not use this resource. If you are one of the rare teachers who actually spend time outside of the school day planning and prepping for class ,(a bit of sarcasm), there are ways to filter through the videos on YouTube at home and download them for use in your classroom. Zamzar is a file conversion program on the internet. It is a handy tool for converting all kinds of files. To copy a YouTube video, find your video on YouTube, copy the URL on the side, go to zamzar.com. Choose the URL function. Paste in the URL. Choose what type of file you would like to convert to. I use mov. or avi. Type in an e-mail address for them to send you a link to the conversion when it is done. And then wait for the file to upload and be converted. (Sometimes takes a while.) Once the link is sent to your email you can download the file onto your computer. You can put it on a flash drive, a cd or dvd or just use it from your own computer. It is really quite easy and once you start using it, you will find all sorts of ways that this tool will be helpful. A few similar tools are vixy.net and media-convert.com. If Zamzar can’t do what you want it to do, try another. By using these tools, we as teachers are doing the mining and filtering of content so that our students can benefit from these great resources.
Another good media resource is TeacherTube.com. TeacherTube is usually not blocked in schools and has lots of good teacher created videos. A nice thing about TeacherTube is that you can upload your own class videos here and then embed them or link them to your webpage or blog without taking up school server space.
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