Sunday, March 21, 2010

Taking YouTube videos offline

I was certain I had posted about this before, but I can't seem to find the post. Apologies if I'm repeating myself!

A lot of people in this space are frustrated by the fact that access to YouTube is blocked within their organisations. I think we've satisfactorily established that, while there is an inevitable amount of dross on YouTube, there is also a wealth of material that is useful. When reputable organisations like WWF, MIT, and the OU have their own channels on YouTube, surely it is time for a paradigm shift?

But if you are still bumping your head against the firewall, there is a chink of light. If you have identified some YouTube videos relevant to the learning needs within your organisation, you can take them offline. Appropriately enough, there is a YouTube video to tell you how to do this:

Of course, this is a long way from having all of YouTube at your disposal, but it's a start. If nothing else, it will demonstrate to your learners the value of YouTube as a learning tool.

The message seems finally to have gotten through in my own home. My younger son has recently decided to take up rugby. In a rugby mad family, he was always the one person who has been uninterested in the sport. But recently, he has been playing at school and has discovered an innate talent a passion for the game. Of course, he now has a lot of catching up to do, since most of the other kids have been playing for years.

To my delight, and entirely of his own volition, he went the YouTube route. Having discussed with us the role of each positional player within the team, he decided that he was most likely to play on the flank (numbers 6 and 7, sometimes known by the older name 'wing forward'). Over the past couple of weeks, he has completely immersed himself in videos about the rules of the game in general and the role of the flank in particular. He has also taken every opportunity to watch live rugby with us, questioning us endlessly about the reasons for stoppages. Then he has had a go at explaining to us what the deal is, to see whether he is getting the right end of the stick.

The learning anorak has spawned a self-driven learner, ladies and gents. My cup runneth over.


Alja Isaković said...

My favorite tool to download YouTube videos is this little Firefox plugin:

Once you install it, you get the option to download any YouTube video right on the video page, and you can even choose different download formats. And it even allows you to download videos in full HD quality!

Garry Platt said...

My personal preference is DVDVideosoft, completely free and has the ability convert downloads into all sorts of formats. You download the sections you want which includes burning, decrypting and who knows what else:

The upsycho said...

Thanks for these alternatives, folks!

Garry Platt said...

Do we think we should mention that breaking of copyright can be an issue unless you get permission of the originators of the video?

The upsycho said...

@Garry Copyright - and the minefield it inhabits - is a whole argument in and of itself, but you're probably right that people need to be aware of the risks.