When I was a student teacher, I prepped a lesson I was proud of, showing students power struggles through the use of a comic Tom and Jerry YouTube clip. Of course, as a student teacher, I was unprepared, and panicked when I got to class and realized that YouTube was blocked by the district. I remember struggling to find the video elsewhere, and in a last-minute ditch effort, pulling up a cartoon of the famous cat and mouse and explaining the clip.

Time has passed, and I have learned:

  1. Always have a back-up. And then a back-up for that back-up.
  2. There are alternatives to YouTube!

If you are in a district where YouTube has been blocked, fear not! There are ways to get around this, and these are just a few I’ve found:

  1. Use a cleaner, alternative version of the site, like TeacherTube or SchoolTube.
  2. Take a YouTube link and make it safe through sites like SafeShare.TV or ViewPure, which remove the extra content that is usually a red flag on district firewalls.
  3. Download the video and save it to your desktop with KeepVid.
  4. Use alternative video hosting site altogether, like Teachers.TV, Vimeo, Blip.TV, or Google Videos.
  5. Embed the YouTube video in PowerPoint or another presentation form (Prezi, GoogleDoc, etc.)
Once you decide on how you want to actually present the video to the class, you can focus on the video content itself, and avoid YouTube follies like my own!
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