AAC, AT, Families, Inclusion, Literacy, UDL

Downloading YouTube Videos for Education

by Samuel Sennott

YouTube is very likely blocked at your school. No the debate on viral video will not ensue. Instead we focus on application of YouTube in general and special education, specifically as a way for teachers of AAC users to help build background knowledge and to provide writing motivation. Let’s discuss both why we want to use YouTube videos in writing and how to download those videos in YouTube is in fact blocked where you are.

Students will be successful if they have a good accessible writing setup, writing strategy instruction, and the motivation to express themselves. YouTube videos can be a powerful way to engage students. Creating that feeling of “I just have to say something” may be elicited by the very funny videos of Gizmo Flushes or Eating Insects. Yet, others may be amazed by the Painting Elephant. Yet, others may be interested in sharing about the National Geographic Video Stream or the Discovery Channel’s. Maybe your more sophisticated students might like to email a friend about the Museum of Modern Art’s YouTube Video Stream. The goal of all of this is to provide fuel for the writer, inspiring them to pick up their pencil, click away at the keyboard, or use their alternative pencil.

So, check out some videos we have screened the old fashioned way, by watching them.

Here are the directions (with screenshots) for how to download YouTube Videos for free:

Download the PDF:downloading-youtube-videos

Goal: To create a library of downloaded videos that can be used to build background knowledge or be written about.

GECO Your Way to Downloading and Using YouTube Videos in Education

o Ex…

  • Enter the URL of the video you want to convert
  • Convert the video to your preferred movie format using

o We like .mpg for use with PowerPoint!

o Modify the template with a title, etc.
o Insert your video in the right spot. Resize as necessary.
o Make sure to cite the URL on the back page.

Here is a PowerPoint template that you can use for student to write about the videos you download.

Download the PowerPoint Video Connection Template: videoconnectiontemplate52908

So have fun and get motivated this summer with YouTube, even if it is blocked at your school!

Installation of Richard Serra’s sculptures at MoMA


June 4, 2008 - Posted by | AAC, Assistive Technology, AT, Literacy, Special Education, video, YouTube


  1. Hi Sam. Thanks for this helpful post. Have you tried TimeTube to search for YouTube videos? I just wrote a post about that this morning. I think TimeTube is a fabulous tool. ( –Paul

    Comment by Paul Hamilton | June 4, 2008 | Reply

  2. Paul, Thanks for the tip. That is very interesting, how it has the timeline. Amazing how people are harnessing information.

    Comment by alltogether | June 8, 2008 | Reply

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