Sunday, March 6, 2011

Download and/or Convert Video

Recently in our district, teachers were given access to video channels. Since we don't have a lot of bandwidth in our schools, streaming is not recommended as it will bog down the system for all, and it will also probably be a very frustrating experience if you are trying to stream video for students.

It is recommended that if teachers find video they want to use that they download it to their computers and then share it with their students via their desired medium.

A couple of easy sites for downloading video:
1. KeepVid - this site is super simple - Find your video, copy the URL into the space at the top of their page, hit the "download" button. It may take a couple of minutes depending on the size of your video, but very soon it will be on your computer.

2. Zamzar - still easy, but an extra step or two - copy the URL of your video into the space they give, BUT then you can choose the file format you want (you many want only the audio from a video - so convert it to an MP3 file) or any of the many video formats such as wmv, mp4, mov, flv, or whatever your particular needs are. Zamzar will convert it and send it to your email. From there you click the link they send and it will download to your computer. Besides being a good site to download videos, Zamzar is also a handy file converter.

Showing video to students

Of course the simplest way to do this is to project it on your screen or IWB for the whole class. But what if you want to "personalize" the video? Ideally we can easily give students different videos, allow students the ability to stop, start, and replay the video to suit their needs. There are a number of options for doing this - here are a few easy ones;

1. Drag the video clip into a Pages document with some questions or directions and distribute it to students via a thumb drive, Remote Desktop, or emai (all AGSD teacher Macs come loaded with Pages - if student or school Macs for some reason don't have it ask Jason. It can be loaded easily).
2. Load the video to an iPod Nano, or an iPod Touch for individual use.
3. Upload the video to your class blog or wiki site allowing students access to it anytime and anywhere.

Store all of your video downloads in your iTunes - simply open iTunes and drag your new video to it. iTunes will store it into your "movies" library.

Most of the time we just need some movies that are a few minutes long that enhance or reiterate our lessons, and that will help the students. Don't forget that any videos you or your students create can also be added to your movie library!

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