YouTube is Blocked…

Carol recently left a comment regarding my UbD unit for Death of a Salesman. This unit utilizes several videos I found on YouTube in order to help students learn more about the concepts central to the unit; however, Carol says that one stumbling block she will encounter if she chooses to use this unit is that YouTube is blocked at her school.

I will spare you all a rant about the utter shortsightedness of blocking all of YouTube rather than educate students about using it properly and instead offer a suggestion for getting around this sticky problem.

I added an extension to Firefox called Better YouTube. Through this extension, I discovered a way to download videos from YouTube. If you have Firefox, consider using this extension. If you don’t use Firefox, or don’t want the extension, you can still download videos.

First, copy the URL of the video. Next, point your browser to one of many available tools to download vidoes. This one from TechCrunch is quite popular. Your downloaded video will be in flv format (.flv). You will need a program to play it. VLC is a popular program, but there are others. You can search for “flv players” and try different ones.

The problem as I see it is that any school that bans YouTube most likely will also not allow employees to download programs. If you have a flash drive, you can try downloading and installing the program on the flash drive. The movies will all fit on a flash drive or CD, too, as the largest one was about 90 MB when I downloaded in in FLV format (and it is about 45 minutes long).

Do readers have any suggestions for getting around YouTube bans so that the valuable videos that are blocked along with the inappropriate dreck can be accessed?

9 thoughts on “YouTube is Blocked…”

  1. I don't know for sure if this would work (I haven't encountered any blocked YouTube yet), but you could try embedding the video at another location (like your website or set up an account on Blogger). If the school blocks YouTube, it might block the source entirely. I'll talk to my professor at GSU's dept. of Middle Grades & Instructional Technology in the College of Ed to see if she or anyone else has encountered anything like that at their schools.

  2. There are always proxy servers you can use to get around the blocks, but some school's frown upon their use. Also, not all proxy sites are safe to use.

    Here's another thought. Use a laptop to access the videos on youtube using a wireless connection that isn't the schools.

    If that doesn't work, then use a laptop and access the videos from home and just leave the videos you want opened up and downloaded to temp internet files in your browser. Then just plug your laptop into the projector and bam.

    Actually, it would just be easier to download the files and switch the projector connection to the laptop.

    I agree that blocking youtube is a bad idea. I use it at least once a week in my classes and it's great for illustrating points.

  3. You can download YouTube videos to any computer that can access YouTube using — it'll email you a link to the downloadable video. Then you can just put it on a thumb drive or CD RW or something and bring it to the school computer.

  4. Youtube and the availability to add any programs or install any devices of any kind has been blocked by the technical "support" at our school.

    The only way I found around it is by having complete Zen-like self-control, patience, and extreme politeness to the tech dept. However, our network manager is impervious to all pleas for help. If it weren't for making friends with the new hires in the tech dept, I would be still waiting for my printer to be hooked up because I was locked out by the administration password.

    I am also blogging and emailing from home because the staff at school is blocked from certain google searches, such as "teacher burn out."

    Despite this craziness, the new tech guys changed my security level, so I could use Youtube in my class now, while the remainder of the school is unfortunately still blocked. If the network manager finds out, it’s gone.

  5. Thank you everyone for your helpful hints. I am not very advanced in the tech. dept. but I might try saving the videos to a jump drive and then playing them that way on my computer.

    Thanks again!

  6. I should add (if anyone's still following this discussion) that I just downloaded a cool extension called DownloadHelper, and it will download videos to your preferred format, so no need to get an FLV player. W00t!

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