Snagging videos

When you find a video on a site like You Tube that you’d like to use in your classroom, what do you do?  Most schools don’t allow You Tube to be accessed within their firewalls and, even if your school does, you probably would like to embed the video in a PPT or some other format.  There are a number of ways to snag a video and download it to your desktop. First, there are a variety of small, free tools to assist you.  Here’s a reliable list of free tools to do this work.

I’ve also found a couple of sites that offer video downloading services without the need to download software to your computer (which I prefer).  My favorite is Zamzar .  It’s worked reliably for me and its very easy to use.  Here’s how you do it:  Point your browser to, select the “download videos” tab, and follow the 4-step, on-screen instructions.

1. Paste the url of the desired video into the blank they provide

2. Select the desired video format (MOV for Quicktime, AVI for Windows media)

3. Provide your email address

4. Click convert

Zamzar will then upload the video to their server and email you a link to the downloaded video.  Once you receive the link in an email message, you click on it, that takes you to the site with your downloaded file, and you download it to your desktop.  Zamzar can handles files up to 100MB in size.

And note while you’re there that you can also use Zamzar to convert other kinds of files (PDFs, sound, image, and music).  Very handy. If you’d like you can also put the Zamzar converter tool on your browser bookmark bar so that you can convert in fewer steps right off of a desired page in your browser.  Here’s the spot to get the Zamzar converter button.


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