Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Being Smarter w/ YouTube: Trimming, Extracting, & Combining

This post is the second in a series about being smarter with YouTube.  YouTube can be a powerful teaching & learning tool, but with great power comes great responsibility . . .

In addition to getting rid of YouTube page clutter, another useful thing to consider is getting to the crux of what you want kids to see.  Keep copyright in mind, though, and remember Fair Use Guidelines when using existing content in any medium.  If you need a good information source, check out the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video.   

Using YouTube to change the start point:  If you want to skip a beginning portion of a YouTube video, YouTube provides a way to direct viewers to a certain starting point. If you move the progress bar to a certain point of a video, right-clicking will give you the option to "copy video URL at current time."  

Or, you can use the "Share" option and check the box next to the URL that says "Start at."  You'll notice, though, that those options vanish if you get the embed code for a video.

TubeChop:  YouTube lets you determine a starting point, but what if you need to grab a portion from the middle of a clip?  TubeChop lets you extract a section that you can then either link to or embed in a webpage or blog.  This works well if you have a long video but you want so show only a certain portion that illustrates an idea or provides a starting point for discussion.

Embed Plus:  This is a pretty impressive tool.  For Chrome users, Embed Plus has an extension that you can install that gives you all kinds of tools when viewing YouTube content (zooming, commenting, trimming, slow-mo, cropping, etc.).  If you don't want to use the Chrome extension, you can just go to their website, enter the URL of a YouTube clip you want to work with, and you'll get different options (start & end times, chapter markers & annotations) .  

DragOnTape:  This free tool lets you create a "mix" tape of clips from different videos, but it does require you to create a user account so you can store your "mixes."  This behaves like other video editors.  You "drag" video clips from YouTube into your mixer and then trim down to the sections you want from each clip, arranging in the order you want them to appear.  DragOnTape then puts the various clips into a single video for sharing.  You can then provide a link to the mix or get the embed code for your website or blog.  (DragOnTape is also available as a free iOS app, but it's rated 12+ as there are "mixes" from other users that are viewable.)

If YouTube is blocked in your district, these tools won't necessarily make YouTube clips accessible on a district network (and they rely upon access to YouTube to get the clips).  However, it might be a good option for at home viewing or for whole class viewing (teacher directed).