The Tech Ninja frequently gets questions about how he gets video from popular video sharing sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video, Eyespot, GodTube, Internet Archive – Movies, or teacher related video sites like TeacherTube, and SchoolTube and then embed them into Notebook.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the how, there are a few issues that the tech ninja would like to touch on. First, just because the video is up on a video sharing site and you have the ability and the know how to get said video doesn’t mean that you should. This is the part of the presentation that the Tech Ninja reminds you about NETS Stardard 4a that says:

4. Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices. Teachers:

a. advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources.

Yeah, I know copyright is a bummer, but it is something that we need to be weary of, if for no other reasons that to keep ourselves out of trouble. Secondly, there are many different ways to get these videos and put them in Notebook, I am going to share the way that I find the easiest.

To get the video and to embed it you will need the following software:

  • Firefox web browser. I really like the new version 3.o. If you aren’t using Firefox, the Tech Ninja recommends this. You can get it at Firefox’s website.
  • A browser plug-in called Video Download Helper VDH).
  • Of course you will need Notebook.

Got everything installed? Good.

Step #1: Finding and Downloading your Video

When you are looking for a video to use for one of your lessons, you will need to use the Firefox browser. Double click the Firefox icon. If you are familiar with Firefox, you will notice the addition of a new icon in Firefox after you download and install Video Download Helper. The icon is seen below.

Video Download Helper

If you don’t see this icon, the Video Download Helper isn’t installed, go back to the site linked above and install the plug-in.

When the plug-in detects a flash video on the website that you are viewing the icon will become animated and begin spinning.


To download the flash video (.flv) click the down arrow next to the Video Download Helper icon. The menu that comes up will list all the media on that webpage that is available to download.

Video Download Helper menu

Click the video that you want to download. A Save dialogue box will come up. Choose the place you would like the movie to be saved and click the OK button. VDH will begin the process of downloading. Remember where you saved it.

Step #2: Now what?

If you want to use the movie file in a Smart Notebook file you are lucky, Notebook can handle the .flv file that you downloaded without any extra fuss. In your notebook file, go to Insert -> Video File… and navigate to where you saved the video file. Select the file and choose okay.

Insert Video File

The video should appear in your Notebook file.

Video in Notebook - Controls closed

Near the bottom of the video will be an arrow pointing to the right. Click it to access the video controls like play, pause, volume, and mute as seen below.

Video in Notebook - Controls open

In order to drop this video file into some other kind of presentation or to just view it on your computer without using Notebook, you will need some kind of conversion tool. For our purposes here today, I will just deal with free solutions. The Tech Ninja recommends Media Convert because he doesn’t like waiting for an e-mail that might get caught in some kind of spam filter. Media Convert will allow you to upload and wait to convert and download it immediately. Another nice solution is Zamzar. They offer free and for pay solutions, however you will have to wait for an e-mail to let you know when your file has been converted and ready for download. Once that is completed and depending on what type of file you created, you can view it on your computer, drop it into a PowerPoint (the ninja suggests .wmv) or Keynote (the ninja suggests .mov) presentation or drop it onto a video iPod, iTouch, or iPhone (the ninja suggests .m4v) or any other multimedia device.

That’s all there is to it! Share the videos that you find with ease!

If you have a question that you would like to ask the edTech Ninja, leave it in the comments or e-mail the edTech Ninja:

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