YouTube videos and Blackboard

I thought I would start out with a video I quickly recorded the other day for helping staff embed videos from YouTube in Blackboard. But I seem to have gone into more depth.

I use YouTube to host all of my videos and Blackboard to deliver teaching and teaching resources to students.  I also place videos on web pages for collated support for larger groups of people.  
The reason I use YouTube is two fold. Firstly it's free. We have access to Google apps for education and after registering a UK mobile number (to prove you're not a robot I guess) you can upload longer videos (last time I looked it was a 24hour or 24Gb limit). Secondly it is accessible from most devices and it encodes to multiple formats allowing poor connections to still access the videos.

If you were to look at my YouTube channel you would see I only have a few videos. This is because most of what I film / produce / host for others is of either a sensitive nature or shows skills techniques that we wouldn't want others to attempt to undertake without further knowledge and training. I even have some videos of student exams as this was the best way of delivering the footage to the students and external examiners.

The only time this setup fails is in the NHS. Someone there seems to think that if staff are allowed to look at YouTube they'll forget to look after patients and only use it for looking at cats falling off things.  I should say that not all NHS trusts take this approach, but most I deal with do. In these cases I have to upload a poor quality (so it's a smaller file size) for clinicians to download.

So there are many ways of delivering these videos and it depends on their security settings.  In YouTube you can set your video to:
Private - only you can access the video plus you can share it with chosen individuals who also have Google accounts. This is the highest security setting.
Unlisted - Anyone who has the video URL (web address e.g. can access the video. The video can not be found in the search engine so is relatively secure as long as you trust the people you give the link to.
Public - This setting adds your video to search engines and to your public YouTube channel. Everyone can access your video.

There are other settings for videos but I'll save those for another post.

The majority of the time my videos have a setting of unlisted.  This allows me to put them into Blackboard for staff and students to access, but the general public can not search and find them.

This video demonstrates how to embed an unlisted video from YouTube into Blackboard 9.1 SP13 (this is the version in use at Keele University as of 20th October 2013). The advantage of embedding the video is that it allows the user to play the video directly from within blackboard.

If your video is public this process is simpler as you can use the tool in blackboard and search for your video.

A final alternative is to just post a hyperlink (clickable link to a URL) to the video.

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