Easily Save YouTube Videos To Your Computer


Today’s tip is short because it is so easy! When I am browsing YouTube videos to use in my classes, sometimes I need the actual video file so that I can upload it to my LMS. I can create a link within the LMS, but I find it more reliable to have the video file instead of having to rely on the connection to the video. This is especially true in Adobe Connect. I download the video clips I need and upload them to my courses. That way, I don’t have to worry about the broken links or slow connection. Surprisingly, downloading YouTube videos is somewhat cumbersome. I found SaveFrom.net that does this job pretty well. Basically, you copy and paste the YouTube video link in savefrom.net and the site downloads it as a MP4 file. MP4 files are pretty universal so any media player can play them. I like it when a simple tool makes an annoyance go away.


Movie Maker and YouTube Tips

Movie Maker

Movie MakerMovie Maker is simple to use and contains useful features. I highlighted a few here.

  1. Under Home menu, you will see the Title, Caption, Credits buttons. This is where you can add the Title slide (at the beginning of the video) and the Credits slide (where you can wrap up the video).
  2. When you click on the clip you are editing, the Edit menu pops up. This is where you can trim the clips. You can trim the beginning and the end, as well as separate in the middle. You can trim and recombine them as you see fit.
  3. One cool feature that Movie Maker has is the transitional effects. It is under Animations. Just click on one and you will see the effect on screen. There are some fun ones to pick from.



Once you upload a video to YouTube, you will come to this screen. Here are a few things to check.

  1. At the top, you will see the Upload button. You can upload additional videos from there.
  2. You can create the Playlists to combine by topics, say Statistics or a course number. That way the videos will be grouped together and any additional video will show up in the same Playlist.
  3. To make searching for your videos easier for the students, I recommend including the tags. I use my course number.
  4. Including thumbnails will make the videos look more professional, when the students see the list of videos. I have one template that I use so that all my videos have a distinct look in the thumbnail mode.
  5. And once the video is published, you will get a link to your video at the left.

There is more to both Movie Maker and YouTube, but these highlights will get you going right away!

Creating Your Own YouTube Instructional Videos

YouTubeAs a teacher, I find YouTube to be an incredibly useful tool. I decided to tape my own lectures so that they are always available for those students who need to review the materials.

It’s really easy to make your own videos and screenshots. Here is the list of tools you need.

  1. Any camcorder and a tripod. The tripod I use is the Sunpak 620-020.
  2. A usb headset. I use the Plantronics Audio 478. Also recommended: Microsoft LifeChat LX-6000.
  3. On Windows, Windows Movie Maker. On the Mac, iMovie.
  4. For capturing a computer screen, Techsmith’s SnagIt.

The software tools above will let you upload directly to YouTube.

One note: by default, YouTube only let you upload videos that are 15 minutes long.  To upload longer videos, follow the steps in the page below.


You will be a videographer in no time!