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.

TeacherTube – A Safer, Educational Youtube for the classroom?



Youtube has plenty of educational content, from Photoshop tutorials to great speeches from history, just about ever content area can be found on the site. Unfortunately, a ton of inappropriate content can be found too. How can you keep the good yet protect your students from the bad?
TeacherTube may be the answer. It’s a youtube-like site that has many of the same features yet has some protection built in to keep out the bad. In the past, educators have found that no matter how stringent a site is on content, it’s always possible that something could sneak through and make it to your students. Evaluate the site, see if there’s good content and if you feel comfortable using it in the classroom.

A Few Great Teaching Resource Sites

  • iLearn Technology -iLearn technology is an edublog dedicated to giving teachers practical tips for integrating technology into the classroom. All of the resources are free to use and simple to implement.
  • Mango beta is an a great online language learning system that somehow is totally free. I really can’t believe such a great resource is totally free.
  • Teaching Hacks – Has some great resources and is written by a fellow elementary educator.
  • Schoolr is a great home page for school computers. Every major search feature a student could need is quickly available here.
  • BrainPopJr. is a great K-3 site with interactive videos that mostly feature science and math topics. Kids love it
  • – Some great virtual manipulatives here -especially in geography.

5 Great Places to Find Fonts (and how to install them) pt. 2


Font Folder Icon
Now that we font some truly awesome fonts in our last episode, now we need to install them.

Installing fonts on a windows XP computer is a fairly simple job. Go to your control panel (Start->Settings->Control Panel) and if you are not in “Classic View”, select the Appearance and Themes category.

Select Fonts
Go to File->Install New Font…
Find your fonts in the folder where you downloaded them and click OK

It’s that simple. By finding a font that is a little different, you can really add some pop to whatever document you are creating!

5 Great Places to Find Fonts (and how to install them) pt. 1


Lasting Impression by darkmatter
As teachers, we create a countless number of documents. Nothing can spice up a boring newsletter, permission form, or even a test or quiz like an eye-catching font. Here’s a few great places to find great (and free fonts).

  1. – A great site filled with truly awesome fonts
  2. – Very user friendly, previews the entire font before you download
  3. – Many great fonts that you can’t find anywhere else
  4. simplythebest – I don’t know about the best, but this site offers a huge assortment of fonts.
  5. – Looking for a font used in a movie, tv show or band? Here’s the place to find it
  6. I know the title says 5 great places, but check out Vitaly Friedman’s post on the 20 best free fonts

Now that we have the fonts, check out our next post in the series on how to install them.