Thursday, April 3, 2008

TeacherTube.com

In the school district where I work, YouTube.com is blocked by our Web filter. I'm not complaining about this (although many do). We do have some other good resources for video available to us, such as DiscoveryEducationStreaming (http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/), formerly United Streaming, and now TeacherTube. http://www.teachertube.com/ is a trememdous resource for educators and students. As you might expect, it has anything from lengthy educational slideshows to student-produced skits. What I like is that it is highly organized, just like YouTube. There are links at the top of the site for "Most Viewed," "Most Discussed," "Most Recent," "Top Favorites," "Top Rated," and (my favorite), "Random." This is a great way to bring up a video-of-the-day entry with one click. Of course some clips are better than others, and that's where the ratings come in. Each video can be rated from 1 to 5 apples. 5 apples being the best (and the teacher apple being the theme here), you can choose "Top Rated" and get nothing but 5-apple videos. You can search the site for topics which pertain to the unit you're studying in class, for instance. Posting your own videos to, and downloading videos from the site is also quite simple once you create your free user account.

One advantage TeacherTube has over YouTube (beside NOT being blocked by school Internet filters) is that video clips are easy to download directly to your desktop. I say easily. Hmm. Yes, it is easy to share your video clips (as it is in YouTube and Google Video) via an e-mail Web link. You can even embed the link within a Web site, but if you want to play the downloaded .flv (Flash) video clips as stand-alone movies, once downloaded you can go to ZamZar.com to convert the .flv file to any file extension of your choice, or, a better option, is to download the Free FLVplayer and easily drag and drop the file into the FLV Player. It's one of those free utilities I talk about all the time. So far I have posted one student-and-teacher-produced video to TeacherTube. Here is a link to it. Hopefully it will be the first of many.

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