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Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Handful of Ways to Display YouTube Videos Without "Related" Content

Advertisements and "related" videos in the right hand side of a YouTube page can contain some content that you don't want to accidentally project when showing a video to students. Here are some ways to project YouTube videos in your classroom without showing YouTube's sidebar content.

Watchkin is a service that allows you to watch and project YouTube videos without seeing the related sidebar content typically seen on YouTube.com. Watchkin can be used in a few ways. You can enter the direct URL of a video into Watchkin to have the sidebar content removed. You can search for videos through Watchkin and have family-friendly results displayed (if a video appears that is not family-friendly Watchkin has a mechanism for flagging it as inappropriate). Watchkin also offers a browser bookmarklet tool that you can click while on YouTube.com to have the related content disappear from the page.

View Pure is a simple little tool that strips way all of the distractions of related videos, comments, and promoted videos. To use View Pure just copy the link of a video into the "purifier," click purify, and your video will be displayed on a blank white background. You can also install the View Pure bookmarklet to accomplish the same goal.

Quietube is a handy little browser extension that removes all the clutter from YouTube allowing you to view only your selected video. Quietube removes all advertising, sidebar content, comments, and ratings. Installing Quietube requires nothing more than dragging the Quietube button to your toolbard. Then anytime that you're on YouTube click the Quietube button to remove all of the clutter and just watch your selected video. Quietube works for Viddler and Vimeo videos too.

SafeShare.tv makes it possible to view YouTube videos without displaying the related videos and associated comments. To use SafeShare.tv simply copy the url of a YouTube video and paste it into SafeShare.tv. SafeShare also offers browser bookmarklet that eliminates the need to copy and paste links.

Embedding YouTube videos into Google Slides, a blog post, or wiki page will also allow you to show videos without displaying the sidebar content that is typically found on a YouTube page.

Send a Letter to Your Future Self Through FutureMe

Future Me is a service that lets you write an email to your future self and have it delivered to your email inbox at a time that you schedule. It's easy to use Future Me. To use Future Me just type your email, select the date you want it to be delivered on, and then enter your email address. You can choose to keep your letter private (default setting) or make your letter public (anonymously) and have it placed in the gallery of public letters.

Applications for Education
When I learned about Future Me my first thought was that it would be great to have students use Future Me at the beginning of a school year. Students could write about what they hope to learn that year, what they do or don't like about school, and goals that they have for themselves. Then at the end of the school year students can read their letters and see how they've changed over the year.