Monday, November 4, 2013

Saving YouTube Videos

It seems like everyone has a lesson, how-to, demonstration, or other exciting video that they've posted on YouTube. These come in handy when you are teaching a concept and need a little additional information to enhance that lesson. Unfortunately in my district YouTube is blocked. But with the help of the Internet you can download that cool video at home and still show it during your lesson.

Ideally, to get through the district filter the YouTube video should be tagged for educational use. You can usually contact the author of the video and ask them to add that tag. You can also submit the video through YouTube EDU's submission form.

If you are unable to do that, or need it quicker than the email back and forth, you can use a site like to convert and download the video. Best of all-the site is free! You will need to follow these steps at home, since you still need to access the YouTube video.

To start you need to navigate to the YouTube video you want. Copy the URL for that video from the address bar.

Go to and paste in that URL in their search bar. It should look something like this.

Then click the Download button to the right of the search bar. Don't click any Download buttons below the search bar - those are ads and you'll end up downloading some junky software.

After click Download you may need to accept a security warning about Java. It's okay to Trust it - I've done this hundreds of times without any problems.

After the Java applet runs you'll be presented with a choice of file formats. Always go with the mp4 file format. The 480p is in the 4:3 aspect ratio and a smaller file size. This is usually good enough for my needs. 720p is in the 16:9 aspect ration and a much higher quality (and file size).

Click the link for the file format you want and it will download the video to your computer. Transfer that video to a flash drive and take it to school!

Keep in mind that the video is not yours to keep. I only offer this tip as a way of getting around the district filter for content you know is acceptable and useful in your class. Once you've shown the video be sure to delete it and also give proper credit to the author!

No comments:

Post a Comment