If you’d like to tear through YouTube videos at a faster pace (right arrow) – or if you’d like to pause (space bar), rewind (j), or restart (o) – take a minute to master a few of these keyboard shortcuts. They come in handy when you’re showing clips to a class and want to be able to back up a few seconds or skip to the end.
Another way to keep the videos – and not the comments or suggested videos – at the forefront of your YouTube experience is to download Turn off the Lights – an extension that dims everything but the video when you select it – or Hide YouTube Comments – an extension that simply removes comments from every YouTube video you view until you feel like you’re missing out on what the keyboard warriors are saying and you delete the extension. 😐 😁
If you plan to include links to YouTube links to your study guides (or to any handout!), consider asking your students to add the DocuTube extension. Once installed, this program will offer students the option to view the YouTube videos you’ve linked in a pop-up window so that they don’t have to leave Google Docs. To get the add-on, students need to go to Google Docs –>Add-ons–>Get add-ons and then search for “DocuTube.” Try it out by adding it to your Chrome browser! It’s pretty handy.
We all know that the comments section under a YouTube video is a dangerous place. If you’re showing a quick video in class, here are three ways to ensure that your students’ attention is focused on what you want them to see – not words you don’t want them to learn in your presence.
Toggle YouTube Contents is an extension that gets to work when you open up a YouTube video: the comments section will not automatically show. You CAN read comments, if you wish, by clicking “Show Comments.” The great thing about this extension is that you don’t have to remember to turn it on – it will always engage when you pull up YouTube.
Turn off the Lights darkens your screen so that only the YouTube video (or any video!) is easy to see. This is a slightly more robust app, though, as you can select an option to have this feature on all websites you visit – so if you want your students to focus on just part of the Parts of the Frog website you’ve pulled up, you click where they should focus and dim the rest of the site.
Other sites exist that will only show the video – and none of the other nonsense surrounding it. One is Clean Video Search – type your request into the search box, and when your video appears, it plays with a blank background. This is a good one for sharing YouTube links with your students to view independently.