SafeShare.TV – Share YouTube Videos Without Distractions


Ever play a YouTube video and which you could hide all the distractions? SafeShare.TV is a simple tool to make YouTube safer in your classes. Simply paste the url to your youtube video and you’ll be given a new url that hides all the distracting “related” videos and comments.

Compare this:

To this:

A Google A Day


A Google A Day is a fantastic way to test your (and your students) search engine skills. Each day, a challenge is presented where finding the answer will take a little more searching skill then your everyday search. The site uses a ingenious system that searches the web as it was the day before the A Google A Day challenge was given, ensuring that you don’t stumble across spoilers.

Many students think they are good “Googlers”, but often they are just scratching the surface of what search engines can offer. This short activity can be used as a great transition activity, discussion starter, or even class competition to compare times. You can even embed the challenge as I have below to highlight the day’s challenge on your class website.

A Google A Day

Google Apps – A good idea for your school?


google_appsOver the next few posts, we’ll be investigating if Google Apps is a good fit for your school. In a 3 part series we’ll be answering the following questions:

  • Google Apps – what will we gain?
  • Google Apps – what will we need to give?
  • Google Apps – is it worth it?

In case you’re not familiar with Google Apps, Google offers many of their most popular services, such as gmail, calendar and docs to be “hosted” under your domain name, with additional controls over users. Many large companies and universities have taken advantage of the program.

The Networked Student


This is a great video on a general overview of how a teacher can use technology to revolutionalize how students access and interact with information. Instead of a text book, students are expected to create their own text book, and interact with the creators of the writers of the various blogs and sites that make up the body of information they create.

Perhaps you’ll see a lot of things that you are already doing in your classroom in this video. Hopefully this video will inspire you to take technology in your classroom to the next level. Instead of adding a little technology in, let the technology completely change the way you “do class”. It’s not about requiring students to create a powerpoint every now and then, it’s about introducing them to a global, constantly changing body of knowledge that hopefully, they’ll utilize for the rest of thier lives.

Using YouTube in the Classroom – without filter hassles


YouTube is often blocked at schools due to the inappropriate content that is hosted on the site. However, there is a great wealth of educational content as well that you might wish to show to your classes.

We will be downloading a copy of the video that you can bring into class. You’ll find that while downloading the video does require some planning, it offers some great benefits:

  • The file you bring in can’t be blocked by the filter
  • You have the video for years to come in case it’s taken down from youtube
  • You can show the video anytime, no longer dependent on an internet connection
  • Students won’t be exposed to the little thumbnails and links to other videos on the youtube site, which might not be appropriate.
  • No more loading or buffering waits!

In order to make showing a youtube video a smooth experience for your class, please follow the following steps.

These steps will be preformed at home (or somewhere where youtube is not blocked)

1. Copy the youtube video’s URL (web address). Example:



2. Go to Click Download Videos. Paste the URL for the youtube video in Step 1. Choose the format to convert to. AVI is a good choice. Step 3 – Enter your email address. Hit Convert and wait while the video is converted.


3. After you file has uploaded, you should get this message. In a few minutes you should receive an email


4. When you view your email from zamzar, find the download link below the pitch for you to sign up

5. Click on the download link on the web page. You now have a copy of the video that you can copy to a USB drive or burn to a CD to bring to school.

At School

6. Open your video file with a video player, such as VLC or Windows Media Player.

Note: There are many different services that will allow you to download a youtube video. A quick search on google for “youtube downloader” will give you many other sites to use in case zamzar goes down or isn’t working for some reason.

Keeping Kids Safe Online – Issue #1 – Pornography


Note: This is an on going part of a look at six issues that we face in keeping our children and students safe online. We’ll be looking at the issue, discussing some solutions and recommending some free and commercial software that can help protect the children you work with online.

As a parent, one of your many responsibilities is to monitor your child’s media habits. The end goal should be a fully mature adult who can discern right from wrong with or without guidance. It’s very important to lay down some ground rules, as technology has a great amount of potential to effect our lives positively or negatively. Here’s a few areas to be concerned with, and how to help monitor or filter those areas.

The issue: Pornography

Steps need to be taken to protect children from both accidentally discovering pornography during innocent surfing, as well as those children who might be actively searching for it. It’s quite easy to accidentally access a porn site during a search for a report or for an image during a google image search.

Solutions for parent concerns:

General Tips:
– Place the computer in a family area. Children shouldn’t have access to a computer in a private place.
– Be sure to keep your password confidential and to turn off your own automatic logins. Children can run up quite a bill accidentally (or purposefully) after going to a site that you have left yourself logged into.

– Pornography
– If you suspect your child is purposely searching for pornography, talk to them about the issue. It can be a difficult discussion, but it can save your child from a lifelong addiction.
– Set up a filter that can protect your family from stumbling across undesired content.
– Just know that no filter is perfect. Always, always, know what your kids are doing while surfing the web, because a filter never takes the place of a curious and caring parent.