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Could social video sharing meet your needs?

February 18, 2010 by Jonathan Klein

Do you have a video to share with a friend, your class, or the world?  
A social video sharing website like YouTube, Vimeo or TeacherTube may be a good option because the sites are free, easy to use and loaded with features to enhance education.  Before you log in and click the upload button, here are a few considerations to ensure the site you choose meets your needs.   
Features that enhance learning
While YouTube, Vimeo, and TeacherTube all offer features typical of a social video site, there are a few notable ways each can extend the educational impact of a video. 

For example, an annotation feature in YouTube allows users to place on-screen text.  Annotations provide a simple way of supplementing video content and can even be set to link viewers to other pages within YouTube with a simple click. 

Further, YouTube is helping improve accessibility by automating the process of closed captioning a video.  With a relatively new automatic caption timing feature, users can create and upload a simple text file with the words spoken in a video and YouTube's speech recognition technology figures out how to time the captions.

TeacherTube, the only video sharing site devoted exclusively to educational videos, lets users post supplementary files alongside a video.  For example, if you video capture a lecture and want online viewers to have access to a handout or slides, TeacherTube can make it happen.   Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Adobe PDF's, and .mp3's are just a few of the popular file formats.
Vimeo is unique because it features mostly original videos.  It is uncommon to find commercials or redistributed content.  As a result, Vimeo's active and enthusiastic user base can be a great resource for getting constructive feedback on creative work.  

Vimeo also enables offline viewing by giving users the option of making a video downloadable.  

Each site provides optional privacy tools to limit access to a video.  For YouTube and TeacherTube, you can grant access to users registered with the site.  Vimeo provides an option to password protect a video.  Just provide your viewers the link and password and they can view without the hassle of creating an account.
Being aware that each site has slightly different requirements for a video upload can save you time by ensuring the video isn't rejected.  YouTube limits a video to 10 minutes in length.  In contrast, Vimeo has no duration limit and instead limits a user to ten file uploads per day (or one HD video) and a total of 500 MB per week.  See the attached chart  for a side-by-side comparison of features and specifications.   Faculty and instructional staff who need assistance compressing video to meet file size requirements are welcome to contact the LSS video resource center at 299 Van Hise.

  Vimeo YouTube TeacherTube
Duration Limit Duration limited only by file size 10 minutes None specified
Upload Limit 10 files per day (1 HD video) Unlimited Unlimited
File Size Limit 500 MB a week 2 GB None Specified
Privacy Controls Yes. grant access to select users or password
Yes (allow access to up to 25 YouTube users) Yes
High Definition Yes Yes No
Compatible Formats asf, asx, avi, divx, dv, dvx, m4v, mov, mp4, mpeg,
mpg, qt, wmv, 3g2, 3gp, 3ivx and 3vx
.WMV, .AVI, .MOV, .MP4, .MPEG, .FLV, .3GP (cell
phones), .MKV (h.264)
.WMV, .AVI, .MOV, .MPEG, .MP4 and .FLV
Commenting Control Two Options. 
(1) Allow anyone to comment 
(2) Allow approved comments
Four Options. 
(1) Allow all comments (2) Allow 'friends' comments (3) Allow approved
comments (4) No comments
Three Options. 
(1) Allow all comments (2) Allow no comments (3) Allow approved
Rating Viewers have option to 'like' a video Optional, 1-5 star rating system Optional, 1-5 star rating system
Embed on website or blog Optional Optional Optional, must give a link to TeacherTube
Preferred Resolution 640x480 (4:3), 853x480 (widescreen), or 1280x720
640x360 (16:9) or 480x360 (4:3) 320x240
Notable Features Allow viewers to download local copy Annotations for accessibility Educational community, post supplemental files

Video_Sharing.xls20 KB
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