Nov 8, 2018 – Video Tools

Many teachers use Youtube videos in class on a weekly, or even daily, basis. Finding and organizing those Youtube videos can sometimes be a challenge though. However, Youtube has a built-in tool for saving videos into playlists that you can create and use yourself and can share with others in many ways. This can be a terrific way to provide access to those movies you’d like to share with others quickly and easily. It’s also a perfect way to bookmark a video for future use, so you know you’re using the version of the video you’ve used in the past.

playlistA playlist is a collection of videos. Anybody can make playlists and share them, and you can have multiple playlists on your account, so you can create one for each topic or subject are you teach. Want to put together a collection of read-aloud story books, or one with videos highlighting specific directions for your math class? How about sharing a common experience for your students, or providing background information for a new topic? Playlists are for you.

Make & find your playlists 

  1. Start with a video you want in the playlist.
  2. Under the video, click Add to .
  3. Select Watch later, Faves, or a playlist you’ve already created, or click Create new playlist.
  4. If you create a new playlist, enter a playlist name.
  5. Use the dropdown box to select your playlist’s privacy setting. If it’s private, only you can view the playlist.
  6. Click Create.

To find your playlists, go to the Guide  and click Library.

To edit or delete playlists:

  1. Go to the Guide and click Library.
  2. Click on the playlist you wish to edit or delete.
  3. Click Edit
  4. Choose “Edit settings” to change the name or privacy settings. Choose the three dots on the right to delete the playlist.
    Edit playlist

When it comes to using Youtube videos, there are a few other tricks that every teacher should know. Teachers can specify a starting point for a YouTube video by clicking on the little ‘share’ icon that is below the ‘subscribe’ button and a little section will expand below with a checkbox called ‘Start At.’ Here you can decide at what point you want the video to start for your students.

Or, insert your video into Edpuzzle (shown in a recent blog post of mine) and crop the video so that only the section you want students to view is available. This works really well if you’re having a sub play the video. Just direct them to the correct video in Edpuzzle, or insert the link into your lesson plans. It also works really well when inserted into Google Classroom.

viewpureAn additional tool that I love, and that works with Youtube exceptionally well, is ViewPure, found at Using ViewPure, teachers can “purify” their video clip by removing potentially distracting add-ons, commercials or related videos. ViewPure also removes all comments allowing students to watch a video without the risk of inappropriate content. It’s a wonderful way to share a video with students! ViewPure also allows you to enter a start and stop time, so sharing the ViewPure weblink with subs would be a fantastic way to have them only share the portion of the video you want your students to see: no ads, no distractions.

Here is a quick video explaining how to use it:

And with a FREE ViewPure account you can create playlists within ViewPure (which you can also share, or keep private if you choose), as well as create your own personal URLs, such as the one I made above, to make it especially easy to locate the video.

Imagine creating a playlist for your sub, using the date for the playlist URLs! It would be amazingly easy to put together, and you could rest easy knowing that your students would view exactly what you had prepared. If you like sharing through QR Codes, this is another terrific way to share videos. Imagine taping the QR Code link to a read-aloud book, or a message from the author, in the back of your classroom books?playlist

One more note: the FREE teacher resources area includes a huge collection of videos that other teachers have already purified. They’re all set for you to use immediately, without having to do additional YouTube searches!!

If you want some assistance working with ViewPure, with Edpuzzle, or with Youtube, please don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to help!

Utilizing Google Calendar in your School

I’m not sure that any school can get along without a robust shared calendar, or a full set of them! Google Calendar certainly fills that bill, and provides the flexibility that a school needs for almost any activity.

From the individual teacher’s perspective, your own personal calendar is the way to start. Color code this in your favorite color and include any and all of your private or family events. When adding your appointments, social events, special dates, and more, you will find the portability of a digital calendar to be enormously helpful, especially if you live by your smartphone.

The next thing to do is add the calendar of your family members. Sharing the calendar with a spouse and having all family events located in a digital area goes a long way to keeping a family organized. If you have school-age children who use Google Classroom, you can also add their shared calendars. This will help keep you up-to-date with their assignment due dates and special events!

Next, our district created a public calendar for each building. These included important school dates like conferences, PTA meetings, and anything we wanted the public to be aware of. Not only is this calendar posted on the front page of the website, it also can be added to anyone’s personal Google calendar with the click of the “plus” button on the bottom of the calendar. And with permissions granted by the network manager there is no concern about having the wrong people add, edit or delete events.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.06.26 AMHowever, the real power of calendars comes when they are used to schedule meetings and activities. Begin by creating a meeting date. In this menu you can add attachments, such as agendas, that are shared with all members of the group. If these attachments are shared Google Docs they can be used during the meeting for note-taking. In this menu you can also set up reminders for the meeting, either through email or through pop-ups, scheduled days, hours, or minutes in advance. Each person you add to the meeting can indicate whether or not they will attend the meeting, too, so there shouldn’t be any surprises that day.

Google Calendars are also great tools to use for scheduling technology, classrooms, and more. The online access makes them easy for people to view, so communication is clear and easy. If you’re not using Google Calendars in your school you will certainly want to try them out today!

Critical Thinking Skills

This presentation on Critical Thinking Skills highlights key elements of critical thinking and tools and videos, particularly in:

  • Instill meaning
  • Argument
  • Develop logic and strategy
  • Evaluate the process

I enjoyed learning about Critical Thinking Skills through Joe Lau’s Critical Thinking website located here: The website is currently being updated and may be off-line, but check back soon.

You may view the complete PowerPoint here: eLearning Critical Thinking presentation

In addition, here are a few examples of Bloom’s Taxonomy using apps:

App-Tool-Grids-21st-century ipadagogy-wheel-001 Bloom-iPads-Apps