Online Video Sharing Solutions for Parents and Teachers

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A few weeks ago, I was trying to help a teacher over Twitter who was having issues setting up a place where her students could post videos for her to review as part of a class project. YouTube wasn't an option because her school was blocking it. My suggestion was to try TeacherTube, a site similar to YouTube but for instructional videos only. The education population has embraced it for what it is: a school-focused YouTube minus the questionable content. Unfortunately, she responded that her school blocked that site as well, which shocked me, as the site is truly dedicated to education. My only guess as to why the school blocks it is that it has ads that help pay for the site. Many schools are careful about blocking sites with ads to better control the content being seen--which makes perfect sense to me, since it's not uncommon to visit a site and be shocked by the ads.

The fact that I couldn't find a solution for this teacher bothered me. And while I wished the school would allow access to a positive site like TeacherTube, I knew deep down there had to be something else. Well, I spent some time researching and found a few possible solutions. Many of these sites are perfect not just for teachers, but also for parents wanting to let their children watch educational videos while protecting them from ads and inappropriate content.

SchoolTube is very similar to TeacherTube. It's a video-sharing website targeting students and educators. They claim their website is exclusively endorsed by leading education associations, but the big bonus is no ads. You can create your own channel to share videos and watch some of the great videos other schools, students, and teachers have made. This has great potential if you have budding filmmakers who want to test their skills on education videos and share with others in a safe environment.

Lectr is like SchoolTube in that you can upload videos, create groups, and watch videos. The big difference is it targets junior-high and high-school students, and the content is reflective of that. Unfortunately, there are ads, but there are also some great lectures that are perfect for this age group.

I then found my favorite solution for anyone wanting to utilize the massive educational library of YouTube but needing to filter out objectionable content. Primary School pulls videos from YouTube and a variety of sources, filters any questionable results, and presents each video in a completely ad-free space. That level of attention makes me hopeful most schools won't block it. I like the idea of using this with YouTube; students could upload videos onto YouTube at home, and then teachers could share these videos with the class via Primary School.

These are some great resources for dealing with students and online video. As video becomes more and more common in the classroom and as schools place such tight restrictions on where teachers can go online, I can't help but wonder what else is out there to solve this problem. What sites have you found that enable you to view and share videos without inappropriate content and/or ads? 

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This page contains a single entry by April Stockwell published on February 17, 2011 12:45 PM.

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