YouTube Unblocked!!!

I’ll give everyone a moment to find a way to get around their school’s filters now that my site has probably been blocked for posting such a headline….

On a more serious note, far too many school district’, including my own, take a hardline stance against allowing access to websites like YouTube and other video sharing sites (can’t get to Google Video at school either). I understand why such websites are blocked for students, and for the most part I agree with blocking some of the more distracting elements (dude, check out the video of this car catching fire!), it’s unfortunate that our staff doesn’t have the ability to access some of the great teaching materials and examples that can be found on YouTube. For instance, our high school Tech Literacy teacher began teaching a new class this year about digital movie making. Having never taught such a course before, she started looking for examples of other student work on the internet and found dozens of perfect student projects on YouTube.

Of course, thanks to our filters, she couldn’t show those valuable resources to her students at school, and there’s the rub. We as teachers know valuable AND appropriate resources when we see them, but too often non-educators block us from using them at school. No more!

Zamzar boasts as a completely free (one of my favorite words!) online file and URL conversion tool. Meaning all of those wonderful YouTube videos that are blocked can be converted into any use-able file (up to 100MB) and then sent to your e-mail in order to be downloaded. A HUGE range of files are supported, including image, document, music, video, and more. Which means when you go home and find those perfect YouTube videos (or other videos from sites that are blocked), you can convert them to Windows Media Files, Movie files, or whatever your computers at school support, and then send them via e-mail to school where they’ll be waiting for you to use. Special thanks to Jim Wenzloff, a technology-guru from the east side of Michigan, for posting this find. Jim even includes a basic step by step process for using Zamzar’s special “Convert It” button in your web browser to convert YouTube videos:

The basic steps are:

  1. Add the Zamzar Convert It button to your web browser. You only need to do this once.
  2. Go to and find the video you want to use in the classroom.
  3. Click on the “Convert with Zamzar” button on your toolbar.
  4. You will be taken to Zamzar’s web site. The url of the YouTube video will be included.
  5. Follow Step 2 – Choose the format to convert to: (mov or avi are good choices)
  6. Follow Step 3 – enter you email address. Note: if you don’t want to share your school email address go to Yahoo or Google and set up a new account just for web sites like this.
  7. Click on the convert button.
  8. A link to the file will be e-mailed to you. Put it on a flash drive or burn it to a CD and take it to school.

-A New Adventure, by Jim Wenzloff


  1. Congratulations on finding such an invaluable tool. I learned of it over the summer, and shared it with my teachers this year. They are loving it. What I don’t understand (aside from the fact that IT wants to stick their head in the sand about many issues) is that with logins and privileges, why are all the adults and professionals blocked if we are trying to keep kids safe? Log in privileges surely can include blocking depending on how you log in…I know that when i am working with a student who has logged in, i can’t add printers or change the desktop, or other simple computing tasks that I can do as a teacher. Why can’t the blocks JUST be for students?? Along that same line, now that EVERY person in our school has an individual log in, why can’t we just monitor the sites visited or activities done on the workstation, and start singling out the offenders instead of making everyone suffer. i recently read a statistic that said only 20% of a student body does not follow the basic rules and expectations. Isn’t it a shame the other 80% have to suffer for it. I know though that until we convince our school’s governing bodies to make a change, it will continue top be this way. Thanks for sharing–I hope many others will benefit from you blogging about Zamzar.

    1. all of the schools blockers are gitting smarter now in days we have got to find A way to beat the blockers not just for us but for every one!!

  2. There’s probably a good reason for your school blocking YouTube in the first place, Daniel. First and foremost, it’s required by the federal government that they filter in order to receive funding for technology. That, and most of the time students just want to get to YouTube or MySpace to mess around, which can be found, but very unproductive.

    You can always find videos to watch over at TeacherTube or chat on Ning is those aren’t blocked.

  3. Yea, at my school, they just upgraded the blocking. They Made it so there are no desk top items and we can’t right click any more.
    Its almost impossible do do anything. Oh, and get this, if we change our backround, it is changed back the next day.

    What i do is i have a Unregestered Hypercam 2 and i record videos and what ever i need, so when im bored, i can just pop in my flash drive and BAAM! I got videos.

  4. Kai: Same thing at my school; no desktop access, little right click control; I feel like a student on some days. Thankfully yes, we have Google Video, which is great for my kids’ recent Kidpedia project.

  5. my school wont let us onto bebo, does anyone know how to unblock it without the school finding out ? (:

  6. Das Internet bietet zahlreiche Möglichkeiten Videos aller Art und Musik herunterzuladen und wiederzugeben. Das Angebot variiert von Fall zu Fall stark, denn die Vielfalt und die Qualität der gewünschten Videos und Musikstücke sind sehr unterschiedlich. Und die Gebühren sind überhöht, wenn man die entsprechende Auswahl betrachtet. Hinzu kommt, dass die Videos und die Musik zwar mehr oder weniger einfach abgespielt und heruntergeladen werden können, aber oft durch ihr Format nicht mit IPod, Computer oder Mobiltelefon vereinbar sind.

    Diese neue Internetseite ermöglicht nicht nur den Download von unzähligen Videos und Musikstücke, sondern verschafft dem Problem der Kompatibilität Abhilfe. Die gewünschte Datei wird schnell und mit einem nur minimalem Qualitätsverlust vom Originalformat in ein brauchbareres Format wie mpg, mpeg, wmv oder flv umgewandelt. Online Videos aus den Seiten YouTube, Myspace, Megavideo etc. können ab sofort auf dem Computer, Mac inbegriffen, dem IPod und den Mobiltelefonen gespeichert und immer wieder angeschaut werden. Der Dienst ist kostenlos, doch die Videos tragen ein kleines Logo des Anbieters. Dies beeinträchtigt in keiner Weise die Qualität, doch ConvertTube bietet auch eine logofreie Version an. Dazu muss man sich auf der Seite anmelden und bekommt für nur 5 Dollar im Monat, Videos ohne vorgeschriebenes Logo, die man selbst gestalten und verwalten und gegebenenfalls mit dem eigenen Logo und Markenzeichen versehen kann. Das Benützen von ConvertTube ist einfach, schnell und immer erfolgreich. Also, einfach auf video convert downlaod Site – gehen und es gleich ausprobieren.

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