In a post earlier today, I talked about helping teachers use an online html code editor to “pretty up” their pages in our LMS. That’s all fine and well if content is not blocked. I’m referring here primarily to videos. Most popular online video sources (Youtube, Vimeo) are blocked for students in our school’s networked environment.
Filtered content is just something we must deal with
Working in my region of the US, filtering is just something we must deal with. With our LMS and the goal to have teachers use more of a Blended or flipped model of instruction, you can guess that embedding videos would be problematic for many of our teachers. Even if they have learned how to find and grab the code and embed a video, that does not mean the filter won’t block access to the content for our students while they are on campus.
More of a dilemma is the need or desire to create video channels of videos found in searches that meet the curriculum goals and objectives, or a place to store original student video content, only to realize the only one who can access it at school is the teaching staff. Sigh.
What has worked recently?
Big in my district, teachers provide access to blocked video content by using video downloading tools that work in Youtube. KeepVid, Youtube Downloader, and even the simple trick of adding ss to the beginning of a youtube’s url -example-https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch….. – allows teachers to quickly and easily download a video they want to provide to students. Legal? I’m not so sure, though arguably it is done in the name of fair use. This is how many have addressed the issue of filtered video content. But that doesn’t work for all online video sources. It also does not allow teachers to embed video in their web portals or LMS’s.
What is the solution?
Here is another reason I am a huge Google fan. Did you know you can upload those original student created videos to your Google drive and get an embed code there? Since I work in a GAFE district, content linked from my Google Drive is not blocked. But even before we became a GAFE district, I’d already discovered that pulling content into my Drive for a link was not blocked. Best, videos hosted in your Google Drive can be a place to grab an embed code.
Need an EMBED CODE for a video in your Google Drive?
Here are the steps using CHROME as your web browser:
- Upload the video to drive. (I put mine in a folder for the same type of videos. This folder pictured contained either posters or videos because that is what the kids had to make for their project.) Make sure the shared settings are public. If they are not shared properly, anyone who tries to view them will be asked for a login/password. This is an important step. In this screenshot, you can see the double head icon telling me it is a shared file.
- The shared settings: There are several ways to get to the shared settings, but I usually just right click on the file, then choose share from the menu.
- Choose the option that best fits your needs. I tend to choose “Anyone with the link can view.” Then right click again and this time choose “Get Link.”
- Now you have to open that link in an incognito window. To launch an “incognito window” click on the upper right in Chrome. If you are logged into Chrome, your account name will be in a box. Notice mine reads “District 6 Train…” This will open a menu that allows you to switch users or go incognito. Choose “incognito.” In a MAC environment you may have to go to FILE–>New Incognito Window
- Once the incognito window for Chrome is open, paste the url of your video (or picture) into the url box. Your video should load and be ready to be played. Larger videos will need time for Google to process them. At the top in the tool bar, choose the strange vertical dots to open another menu, and there you will see the embed menu option.
- Open the embed menu option, and copy the iframe code.
- Now you have something you can use in any number of digital places . This technique will also work to embed pictures, though Im not a fan since it also brings with it an unattractive, unsightly grey band/border..
This is a good thing since many LMS’s limit users in their available storage space, and pictures and videos take up a lot of room if uploaded.
So what are the drawbacks?
- Teachers must remember to tweak the shared settings.
- The embedded videos cannot be viewed full screen, at least not to my knowledge.
Special thanks to my Google Teacher Academy cohort (GTAATL) where I learned this nifty trick.