If you've been directed to this page, we are trying to use a YouTube card feature to remind you to please check our pinned comment underneath the video for an important note.
Most of our videos DO have a pinned comment.
[YouTube does not yet have the ability to put the note within the card itself]
As lifelong learning amoebas, we find a lot of value from feedback. Feedback helps us grow and improve. Sometimes, it's brought to our attention that we need a clarification note. Sometimes, it is brought to our attention that there is a mispronunciation or mistaken sentence that needs to be corrected. Sometimes, there is updated information. Sometimes, we learn something new and really think it's important to add that detail or exception.
For this reason, we utilize pinned comments. Pinned comments allow us to put important notes about our videos!
To learn more about how we try to make edits on or videos, please check out this post here!
Our most frequent need for a pinned comment though tends to be due to the many AMAZING exceptions and details that we find are difficult to address in such short videos of under 10 minutes. We do like to pin comments about those amazing details and exceptions, and sometimes our description additionally has further reading suggestions where you can learn more about them too!
LAST UPDATED: October 15, 2020
News for October 2020: We have contacted Nearpod to ask if we can create activities for this program. While our Unlectured Series features slides that could be used in Nearpod or Google Slides or any program that takes .ppt slides, we are also hoping to explore additional features this program specifically offers. We will update soon. Please take a look at our frequent questions below during this time!
What items do you have for free?
Links to FREE Items:
Can I post your videos on my PowerPoint, Google Slide, Google Classroom, LMS platform, teacher website, etc?
If linking to the video on YouTube or using the YouTube embed code, yes! By the way, Google Slides automatically is using the YouTube embed code when you go to "Insert->Video->and paste in a YouTube video link. (Google owns YouTube!) But please do not download our video files and then upload the video file online somewhere or take a screenshot video of our video and post that somewhere. This is not only very harmful to full-time YouTube creators, but it also violates our licensing agreements and YouTube's terms of service. More info here.
You can also consider using our learning playlist link which has our videos organized by "chapters" where students can see an entire sequence of biology videos.
Can I post your handouts, comics, and/or GIFs?
Speaking of handouts, your handouts are PDFs. I want my students to write on them though since I'm teaching remotely?
The reason our resources have been in a PDF format are because (A) they can be viewed and not distorted in any type of device and (B) PDFs are more protective of our images and work.
However, there are options for being able to have students use these remotely!
A) If you prefer for students to write on the PDFs electronically and turn in to you, there are some tools that work in Chrome that can help with this. While we are not affiliated with these tools, some of the Chrome tools we mention on our handout page are DocHub and Kami. These tools allow for annotating and writing on PDFs. Additionally, if you do a web search "DocHub for teachers," there are some articles written by teachers about how that tool can be useful with students! Many LMS systems will actually allow you to write on PDFs. A quick search online for "How to annotate on a PDF in ____" with the LMS system you use may provide additional options besides these extensions.
B) If your school or district permits Google forms to be used, consider creating a google form. If you just create one google form, it can work for all your students and for multiple handouts! An screenshot of an example form is shown BELOW. It can list names of Amoeba Sisters handouts (so the same form can be used multiple times as you can sort by handout name), and a space for students to write in their answers when they look at the handout. They are very easy to make and use, and they can be an easy way to collect responses for evaluation. Here are the instructions from Google about Google forms: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/6281888?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
You have on your website that a school device and/or network filters can be set to allow certain YouTube videos to show and block all other YouTube videos?
Google (who owns YouTube) explains here how entire channels can be approved OR even specific videos on a school device or network https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/education/more-ways-for-schools-organizations-to/ They have an additional help page: https://support.google.com/a/topic/6206681 . In addition to the above, or as an alternative to the above, if a district has student assigned devices (some schools are now 1:1), the district can set up "restricted mode" on the devices they give out. YouTube Restricted mode hides comments and filters out many inappropriate videos from the search. https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/174084?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
How can I: change the video speed, see video subtitles or a transcript, change the language, see a table of contents for your videos, etc?
Last Updated: October 15, 2020
YouTube. We're so grateful to have a platform where we can share our work, and the platform also helps (partially) with supporting our work so we can continue to create. A while back, we wrote a post about tips for viewers using YouTube to watch edu videos. We wanted to update and expand on that based on what we've learned over the years.
1- Captions/subtitles on edu videos have so many benefits.
Click that "CC" button at the bottom right to turn them on. Captions not only increase accessibility, but they can also be useful if you are in an area where you can not play the sound. They can also be a nice tool to see science words spelled out. Find a typo in our captions? We have a form on our contact page so we can get that fixed.
2- Captions/subtitles on edu videos can be available in different languages!
Many times this is thanks to our amazing contributors using YouTube's community contributed subtitle feature! Check out the screenshot video below for more info about how to see subtitles in different languages.
Important Update: On September 28, 2020, YouTube removed the feature that allows the community to contribute new subtitles. This affects all YouTube channels. However, any previously created subtitles that were published before this date will remain! If you are interested in volunteering to translate our subtitles, please visit our Google Form.
3- But also: transcripts!
Maybe you knew that most YouTube edu videos offer captions. But did you know that you can also access the video transcript? Just click the three dots at the bottom right of the video---and then "open transcript." Screenshot below! After opening the transcript, you will see it open at the top right. Click the three buttons next to the word "Transcript" and you can also toggle the timestamps on and off as well!
4- Ads on YouTube that you don't want to see?
While you'll find ads on many Google services, including edu YouTube videos, did you know that you (the viewer) can have more control over ads you see? You can turn off ad personalization or update preferences on your Google account: https://adssettings.google.com
5- Time stamped table of contents?
Many edu creators create a time stamped hyperlinked table of contents. Sometimes it's in the video details (just click "show more" when reading the video description to see them) or as a pinned comment. The time-stamped table of contents can help you navigate the video easily.
Update: If a video has a table of contents, now it will also immediately show as chapters on the video progress bar!
P.S. Just to add, if you make a YouTube comment that has a time in it (ex. 1:00), it turns it into a hyperlinked time stamp.
6- Too fast? Slow it down!
Sometimes those edu videos may go a little too fast! Did you know you can slow it down? (Or speed it up?) The video speed is an option when you click the gear at the bottom right of a video.
7- Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to stop and skip!
As an educator, Pinky found those keyboard shortcuts so helpful when needing to pause the video to ask questions or skip back or forward. If you're a teacher, you can even consider having a wireless keyboard so that you can control the video in the back of the room and start discussions from anywhere. Edu videos with engaging graphics (in our case, cartoons!) can make great discussion starters.
8- So many ways to share...
It's important to know how to share YouTube videos by using the YouTube link (or using the YouTube embed code, which is enabled on many edu channels)! Most are familiar with YouTube links, but if you want a nice, streamlined look with a YouTube video on your class website or LMS, you may want to look at the YouTube embed feature, which will be available on videos if the channel enabled it. Just click "share" underneath the video, and click on "embed." You can also embed entire playlists so you could embed our entire learning playlist! YouTube embeds still feed from the YouTube channel itself. Need more detailed instructions on how to embed? Check this out from YouTube.
9- Expand those video details---and the pinned comment (if there is one)!
Many viewers may not realize the huge amount of information in a lot of edu video details (video descriptions). By clicking that "show more" underneath the video description, you can expand to see everything the edu creator has placed there. In our videos, we include references, further reading suggestions, our music credit, and additional links about our content.
A pinned comment is a comment that the edu creator has placed at the top of their comments. In many cases, it may be a comment from the edu creator themselves. The comment may have a clarification or important video note.
10-Explore "YouTube Learning Playlists!"
We're so excited to be a part of the beta launch of YouTube Learning Playlists that started in the summer of 2019! There are a lot of YouTube learning playlists that you can explore here, and this is our biology learning playlist. Learning playlists include objectives, chapters, and a dedicated space without suggested videos. We're excited to see how it evolves.
Well, it’s almost review season. Final exams, EOCs, and more are approaching! We like to help with that.
In 2017, we made a biology GIF review for class discussion. We still think it’s pretty awesome; you can check it out here.
In 2018, we made a video designed for students with some study tips.
But this year, 2019, we’ve really extended ourselves because we will be releasing a MEGA REVIEW VIDEO on Sunday, April 14th! Yes, it’s called Stroll Through the Playlist. While it’s way longer than our regular videos---as our regular videos are never over 10 minutes---it is a great way to refresh your memory of major concepts and vocabulary. It can also be a great indicator of whether you may want to re-watch the full content video for a topic or do some more in-depth studying.
One thing that is especially exciting is that we’re going to try using the YouTube Premiere feature! This means that if you join the video link at the exact time that the video premieres (4/14/2019- Sunday- at 7:30 pm CT), you’ll watch it live with us, and you can participate in the live chat typing window if you’d like.
This graphic has some info about YouTube Premiere:
A few additional things to know:
Keep in mind this is our first time to try out the new YouTube Premiere feature. We love trying new things, and we’re sure there may be some unexpected hiccups along the way. But, of course, that’s how we all grow. :)
Hope to see you on April 14th at 7:30 pm central on our Amoeba Sisters YouTube Channel!
[Additional text added March 2019]
We have a lot of gratitude for YouTube. As edu creators, it allows us to publish our video content and reach others. It allows us to build a community. And it allows others to contribute subtitles in different languages.
There are some challenges we face as edu YouTubers though. EDITING. Sometimes, after we publish a video, we receive helpful feedback that a clarification- or even an error- needs to be addressed. We are really grateful for this kind of feedback, because it helps us grow as educators. We make mistakes, but we have worked hard to cultivate our growth mindset so that we can learn from those mistakes and get even better!
And we want to model that for high school kids too, because we think that is an important life skill. Which, is why, fixing our mistakes is very important.
The only problem is that YouTube has limited ability to edit videos, and in 2016, they removed the ability to make new annotations (much to the dismay of many edu YouTubers). Also, on 1/15/2019, all existing annotations will be permanently deleted. The "cards" feature which was designed to replace the "annotations" feature unfortunately doesn't have the ability to make clarifications or address issues. So how do we handle this?
Most of the time, we are addressing a clarification or smaller scale mistake. It might be a typo. It may relate to the way we used a vocabulary word. It could be a single incorrect statement in the audio or the way we pronounced a vocabulary word. It may be related to an exception---science has a lot of exceptions! We consider something a clarification or smaller scale mistake if it does not affect the full video, but may affect a statement or component of the video that should be addressed.
So how do we handle those clarifications or mistakes? You will find it as a pinned comment! That means, it will show as the very first comment underneath the YouTube video. That allows it be front and center, and it is a popular method that many edu creators use to address those clarifications or mistakes. We remake videos every once in a while as our art and scripts improve. When we remake a video, we check the pinned comment of the old video to make sure to address those clarifications or mistakes from the past. And, don't worry, unless there is a major issue with an old video---we do not delete old videos. We want people to know how we have improved with lots and lot of practice!
[Added March 2019: YouTube now allows small clip-outs of video portions even on videos with high view counts. We have used this feature on a few older videos, and it's explained on the pinned comment for the video]
If you are an educator, we highly recommend checking out the "pinned" comment on our videos! Please also share this with students, because we want students to see that we do make mistakes. We want students to see how we handle mistakes, and we want students to feel empowered to keep going when they make mistakes too.
Unfortunately, if it's a major error that affects the main concept of the video, we remove the video and re-publish the video. It has been extremely rare, and it's definitely frustrating to do as a creator, because the link to the video is destroyed when you remove a video. We take a lot of effort to try to avoid this by double checking our facts before releasing a video. You can see our factual references in our expanded video details.
If there is no issue with a video (that we have been made aware of), we often pin supplemental information or links in our pinned comment.
As always, we thank our viewers for helping us grow as edu creators! :)
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