Sunday, 27 January 2008

From Youtube to Googlepages

This tutorial explains how to take educational videos from YouTube, upload them to your very own personal media channel and then display the channel on a webpage (eg Googlepages).

Stage 1 – Capturing videos from YouTube

The first step is to find the video in YouTube.
• Go to
• In the search box type in a suitable word or phrase.
• View/Check out the subsequent videos. You may need to refine your search.
• When the video is found, highlight the URL Address, Right click and select Copy.

Stage 2 – Downloading the video from YouTube

There are a number of methods for capturing the YouTube videos using online websites.

The two websites I commonly use are Techcrunch and Zamzar.
Techcrunch can work well though at times has terminated prematurely. The videos are downloaded in their original format – flv.

Zamzar works really well. This site can also be used to convert file formats. This is the method I will focus on in this tutorial.

When you locate the Zamzar website you will have a number of steps to go through.

Step 1: Click on the URL link and then paste the YouTube link.
(You will need to delete the initial http:// in the browse box.)

Step 2: Select the appropriate file format – normally this would be avi or mpg.

Step 3: Enter your email address.
(Note: When the video has been downloaded to the Zamzar server, an email will be sent to you. You have 24 hours to click on the link to download the video from there to your computer.)

Step 4: Click the Convert button.

Depending on the file size, this will take quite a few minutes.
(Time for a tea break!)

Step 5: Check your email for a message sent by Zamzar – this email may also take a while to be delivered so don’t be expecting an immediate response!

Click on the emailed link and follow the instructions.


Having downloaded a copy of the video, we now want access to this on the web.

Splashcast allows you to create your own media channel(s). So in the school environment, once you have created your Splashcast account, you can create a channel for those interested subjects – History, English and so on. Within each channel, you can create a number of shows. A show can contain 1 or more videos. For simplicity, I would recommend one video, one show!

Step 1: Go to and register/login.

If this is the first time visiting the site you will need to register. Click on the register button and fill in the form.

You will then be able to login using your email address and password.

Use the splashcast icons to move between the channels, shows and videos.

Create a new Channel
Step 2: Create a new channel. Click on the Channels icon and click on the ‘create a new channel’ button.

Fill in the form details and then select ‘Save’.

Create a new Player
Step 3: You will then be taken to the ‘Players’ screen. You can return back to this screen at anytime by clicking on the Players icon.

When creating a new player, you can determine the size of the display screen, which video you want to be played first and whether you want the video to automatically start when opened.

Technical part!!

The Player’s HTML Code

To display the channel on a web page, you will need to embed the code in the page. This will be discussed later on. For now, you need to know that the ‘Player HTML’ code is the required code for this. You can see this code at anytime by clicking on the Players icon.

Click on ‘Save’ to continue.

Create a new Show
Step 4: Create a New Show.

To create a new show, you will need to click ‘create a new show’ button.

You will then be asked to add an item to the show. Our item is the video we have saved. Select VIDEO then UPLOAD.

HTML Upload tool
You will be taken to the Upload Video window. Initially a new window will popup for you to browse for your video file. I have found that this isn’t the best way to upload the file. It is better to simply close this window and then use the ‘HTML upload tool’. This has proven to be more robust.

You simply browse for the file, select it and then upload it.

Depending on the file size, this may take quite a long time (10 minutes!)
(Time for yet another tea break!)

When finished, a popup window will indicate your successful upload.

Click on 'Done' and you should see your ‘item’ – your uploaded film.

Completing the process
Click on the ‘i’ icon to change the information, e.g. title, if required.

Clicking on ‘Save’ will bring you to the SHOW section. Give the show a suitable name- normally this will be the same as the video if you are using the 1 video, 1 show approach.

Click Save and then Publish.

You can then upload an image for the show. If you don’t, the splashcast logo will be displayed for the show.

When finished, click on the publish button.

Click ‘Done’ (twice) to complete the process.

What’s next?

Now we have created our own media channel. We have uploaded a video to a show. The next step is to embed the code into a web page.

We are going to use Google Pages to view our channel.

** N.B. You need to go back to the Player and copy the HTML code as explained previously **
Click on the player icon, then on the ‘i’ (information) icon beside the appropriate player.


To use Googlepages, you will need to have a Google account. If you do not have an account, you can create one for free. Go to for more information about Googlepages.

You will now have a website with your username as part of the URL so you might want to consider the username you choose.

Your web address will be something like:

When you have established an account, go to

The next step is to design the first (Home) page. Type in a suitable page title.

Click in the main content section. This is where we are going to embed the Splashcast channel HTML code.

Click on the ‘edit html’ link. Paste the code into this window. Now click on the ‘Update’ button.

When finished, click the publish button.

You can preview your channel by typing in your URL:

NOTE: Because the embedded code points to the channel, any other videos uploaded to the channel will be automatically available.

This process of embedding code into a webpage works for any web based environment, such as a VLE or a Blog.

Learning NI (LNI)
In LNI, open the appropriate course.

Step 1: Click on the Edit button

Step 2: Now click on the Add button. A popup window will appear.

Step 3: Click on the Web Page

Step 4: After adding the Title, click on the ‘Edit Page’ tab.

Step 5: Click on the Source icon at the top left of the icon panel

Step 6: Now simply paste in the embedded code:

Click on the Save button to finish.

A link will have been created in your course. To see the embedded video, simply click on this link.

When you click on the link you might get this ‘Security Information’ window, just click on the ‘Yes’ button.

In Moodle, open up the appropriate course.

From the ‘Add a resource..’ menu, select ‘Compose a web page’

In the next window, toggle to the HTML source by clicking on the ‘<>’ button.

Now paste the Player HTML code.

When you click on the link, you will see your channel appearing in a new window.

And that’s it!!

To see the illustrated version of this, go to our VLE here.

Friday, 18 January 2008

eBeam Projection

The eBeam has all the functionality of a traditional fixed size interactive whiteboard. It transforms any flat surface into an interactive 'white' board. This surface could be a normal whiteboard or an emulsioned wall in the classroom.

The eBeam connects to your PC/laptop which needs to be connected to a dataprojector. The eBeam is placed at any corner of the surface and, after it has been easily calibrated, you have a fully functional interactive surface. Any notes and diagrams you make on the whiteboard can be captured by eBeam and saved onto your PC for emailing or printing out.

Priced at £375, it certainly has great potential.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Software of 2007

2007 brought a variety of excellent software designed to enhance the learning and teaching in our classrooms. Most of the software we looked at is open source(free). We tested all the packages to ensure that they worked on the C2k machines. Here is my top ten list:

1. Yacapaca - a brilliant assessment tool;
2. Splashcast - create your own media channel;
3. Audacity - Audio editing and podcasting made easy;
4. 21Classes - blogging geared specifically for the classroom;
5. PBWiki - easy to use wiki for your students;
6. GIMP - an open source piece of software similar to Photoshop;
7. Scratch - imagine, program and share;
8. Ning - create your own social network for your class;
9. eXe - create a scorm project or webquest;
10.EduSim - create your own 3D interactive virtual educational environment.

For more information, take a look at our previous blogs.

The top two management systems would have to be:
Moodle - a course management system - see as an example;
Joomla - a content management system - check out

Have you any other suggestions?