Youtube Screenshot200I recently added a new Educational Videos Section to the MusicEdMagic web site where students and teachers can find a variety of useful, fun, and educational YouTube videos on the topics of music education, instrument repair, performance techniques, great live performances, and music humor.  The problem for many viewers of the web site is that their school district blocks all access to YouTube hosted videos to reduce bandwidth consumption and to prevent inappropriate videos from being viewed at school.  This is a good thing in general, but for teachers who want to use YouTube videos in their classroom it is a real problem.  So how do you get on Youtube at school?  Luckily there are a few ways to get around this problem and this article will show you how to do it.

I recently added a new Educational Videos Section to the MusicEdMagic web site where students and teachers can find a variety of useful, fun, and educational YouTube videos on the topics of music education, instrument repair, performance techniques, great live performances, and music humor.  The problem for many viewers of the web site is that their school district blocks all access to YouTube hosted videos to reduce bandwidth consumption and to prevent inappropriate videos from being viewed at school.  This is a good thing in general, but for teachers who want to use YouTube videos in their classroom it is a real problem.  Luckily there are a few ways to get around this problem and this article will show you how to do it.

There are two basic ways to get on YouTube at school.  One is ethical, the other may or may not be depending on where you work.

Viewing YouTube via Proxy:

One way to get YouTube at school is to use some potentially less than honorable services that you can find on the web.  This option is to be avoided as using such proxy sites can violate the school district's Internet usage policies.  In some cases violating these rules can lead to disciplinary action or the loss of your job, so always speak with your local technology director before considering the proxy method. In any case, using such sites should be a last resort as surfing web sites with shady motives can open your computer and the entire school network vulnerable to viruses and other maladies.

Downloading YouTube Videos For Later Use:

The legal way to view YouTube video at school is to use one of many different ripping programs that download and save the YouTube video feed to a thumb drive or CD-R.  For FireFox web browsers look for a free extension called Download Helper.  It can be found at the Mozilla web site.  For Internet Explorer web browsers look at any of the applications that Microsoft lists on the IE add-ons page when you search for YouTube there.  Once you have the ripping software you can use it to save the YouTube FLV files.  Burn those files to a CD or save them to a portable hard drive but don't forget to also get a software program to watch the FLV video with.  Windows media player will not play flash video (FLV) files.

Another great way to get youtube at school is to use an Internet based service such as YouConvertIt.  This site and others like it will take any YouTube URL, download the video, convert it, and then send an email with a link to the converted video.  While it is always possible that the school will block this new site, there are always similar alternatives popping up all the time due the the overwhelming demand to get on YouTube at school.

Always check with or read your local school's Internet usage policies!

 

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