Last night I was at Parent Teacher Conferences for my daughter. Her Chumash teacher, who is a wonderful educator and very adept with the SmartBoard, asked me how she could download videos from Youtube and other Jewish video sites like Aish.com's Video Gallery to be used in their Smart Notebook presentations.
The easiest answer is to just hyperlink the video's website address to a picture in the presentation. To do this in Smart Notebook, you click on the drop-down handle on the top right of every image and select "Link" and type the web address. You can then choose either to insert a corner icon so you have a reminder that the link is there or to link the entire image to the web address to surprise the students.
Use Firefox Add-Ons. Go to Tools>Add-ons and search for "Video Downloadhelper". After you install this add-on and restart Firefox, every time you visit a site with a video an animated icon will appear that you can press to download the video. This is sometimes more reliable than Keepvid and works for many video sharing sites besides YouTube. If you wish to download animated maps or other Shockwave Flash objects (SWF files) you should search for and install Embedded Objects. This extension will download all embedded objects on the page including FLV and SWF files.
If Keepvid and Firefox extensions don't work than you will need to be a little more creative and "go under the hood" in order to download your FLV and SWF files and insert them in Smart Notebook. The thing to realize is that every object on a webpage is actually a file that is cached in the web browser after it is played on the page. What this means is if you can navigate to where the web browser saves all of its cached files, you should be able to just copy and paste the FLV or SWF files directly from the web browser to Smart Notebook. The easiest way to do this is using the Internet Explorer Web Browser. Below are step by step instructions for this.
This method while easy is not always reliable or useful in a classroom. Some classrooms do not have Internet which makes streaming video impossible. Even with a reliable Internet connection, videos can take a long time to load and they can stop in the middle of a video stream for buffering. Also, the video you want could be taken down by the website host so you can no longer open the link. Finally, one might be hesitant to open the video in class because all of the other clutter on the page like ads and related videos could be distracting for your students at best or downright inappropriate.
- To solve the final problem is YouTube one can use a site called ViewPure that will "purify" your YouTube videos so that you only see the video with nothing else on the page. However, this does not solve any of the other problems stated above.
The best solution is to download the video to play directly in the Smart Notebook program since Smart Notebook comes with a built-in Flash player. This means that any Flash video (an .FLV file extension) or a Shockwave Flash object (an .SWF extension) will play directly in Smart Notebook. Therefore all one needs to do is download or copy the FLV or SWF file and one should be able to paste or insert it to Smart Notebook.
There are a number of methods to download the video or other objects from the web.
- Keepvid is a website designed to download Youtube videos. Just open your video in your web broswer and copy the web address. Then open Keepvid and paste this address into the URL bar and click download. After a few moments, you will get a popup asking you if you want to allow a KeepVideApplet from Java to run. Click "Run". Keepvid will then give you a number of formatsfor saving your video. To run in Smart Notebook, choose "Download FLV low quality" and right-click "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" and navigate to where you want your video to download to. Sfter the video is downloaded in Smart Notebook, select Insert Flash Video File and you should be done. All you have to do is resize your video for your page (by dragging the corner handle) and lock it in place (using the drop-down menu on the top right corner of the video) and your video will play automatically in Notebook.
- A much faster method which was recently added by KeepVid is to drag a KeepVid Bookmarklet from the KeepVid homepage onto your Bookmarks bar. This will add a "Keep It" link. While watching a video on YouTube, just click Keep It and it wil automatically open a KeepVid page with options to save the video to your computer in the various formats.
- Go to Tools.
- Go to Internet Options.
- Under Browsing History click Settings.
- Select View Files. This will open all of your Temporary Internet Files.
- You should sort by type and look for "ShockwaveFlash" and "FLV Files". There will be a little try and error to find the right ones. Look at the Internet Address and Last Accessed columns to limit your choices and find the correct files. Then just copy each file and paste it directly into Smart Notebook. If it's the right file, it will play directly in the Smart Notebook program.
As always, please share with me your feedback about how useful this blog post is in helping you download and install Flash Video and Shockwave Flash files into your Smart Notebook presentations.