Easily Annotate your Discovery Education streaming videos

Think VH1’s “Pop-up Video”. I’ve come across two sites recently that allow you to upload, then annotate you’re own video. I’m sure by week end there’ll be 50 – 60 more, that’ll offer a similar service, but will stick with these two for now.

  1. YouTube: I know you shuddered, hear me out.
  2. Graspr: Relatively new and probably not blocked.

YouTube.com: (If YouTube is blocked scroll down to the next section)

If you don’t have an account, create one it’s free. Despite what you may have heard, there are actually educational videos on YouTube. Curious about RSS, here’s an explanation from our friends at CommonCraft. See, although your head may be spinning, you learned something.

YouTube recently added the ability to annotate videos. Add speech bubbles, notes and spotlights at the points you pick in a video. Check out my example by clicking here.

To make this example, I simply downloaded a video segment from the Discovery Channel series “When We Left Earth”, available through Discovery Education streaming. I uploaded the segment to YouTube. For this example, since this quick preview segement from the series appears publicly on the Discovery.com website, I choose the the broadcast option of making this segment open to the world. Videos you upload will need to be made private, viewable only by those with a license to Discovery Education streaming.

Once my video was uploaded, I was able to click on the “Add/Edit Video Annotations” button in the top right. There are a few tutorials right on the page, but with a mouse click you be able to add annotations at any point in the video. Play around with it and let me know what you think.

Graspr.com: (New on the block and a different way to annotate).

Like YouTube, create an account, it’s also free. Graspr looks to build a video sharing community around instructional content, a lot of tutorials and how-tos. They aren’t flashy. Not a lot of ads. A relatively small community. I not for the whole annotation component I would have never gone back. I like the way clicking on a note takes you to that point in the video segment.

Again I’ve used the before mentioned segment from Discovery Channel’s “When We left Earth”. I downloaded the segment as before from Discovery Education streaming and uploaded it to Graspr. I choose to make this video public, as I discussed above, however you will need to make any video downloaded from Discovery Education streaming private. Check out the example here.

I added notes to the video, that if clicked on will take you right to that spot in the video. A little different than YouTube’s vision, but I like it. It feels a little less complicated.

I see both services being used as home extensions; a way to get the exact message and content across to a student home sick or that needs to catch-up. These could also used if you have stations set-up in your classroom. YouTube will more than likely be blocked at your school, so Graspr may work best for you. I’d love to hear what you think about these two ways to annotate your videos and invite you to share any sites you know of that do something similar. Add your comments below.


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