Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday's Five - Filter-Friendly Youtube Alternatives

Like many other schools, the district in which I teach blocks Youtube and Vimeo.  Often teachers in my building ask me, "How can I post this video that my students have created on their blog (or our class wiki) without using Youtube?"  After the same question was asked by a teacher on the Facebook Educator Page, I thought I would offer five suggestions for alternatives in today's post.
  1. Schooltube - It's easy to use, easy to embed, and unblocked by the majority of school filters.  If you are looking for a place to simply upload a video and be able to embed it and share it, this is an excellent option.
  2. Flickr/stevegarfield
  3. Voicethread - This is my favorite place to host videos for my class.  As a matter of fact, I just used it as part of a math lesson on measurement this week. The video quality is slightly reduced compared to some of the other sites, but I like that you can easily create "scenes" on different slides and allow students to comment on each different section of the video.  You can also combine slides with videos, documents, and pictures into your Voicethread.
  4. Qik - This combination of website and app for your smartphone allows you to shoot video with your phone that automatically uploads instantly to the web.  You can then easily share the video without uploading or converting the file.  For those using portable devices in the classroom, or those with no access to a camera other than your phone, this is a great tool.
  5. MyBrainshark - With MyBrainshark you can create presentations by uploading content including videos, documents, PDF files, and photos.  It also allows you to narrate your presentation, share it with others, and track who views your creations. 
  6. Teachertube - Much like Schooltube, this rarely-blocked site is easy to use and allows you to easily embed and share your videos.  I've used it many times in the past to host short videos, but over time have found myself using the above four tools more.