easy video tools for the language / CLIL classroom

This is a list of easy video tools I tend to use to prepare my classes and training sessions:

http://viewpure.com/ : Many times, YouTube videos include advertisements before (or even during) the video. Aside from being tiresome, they may sometimes be inappropriate for students.

To prevent ads from playing, copy the link to the video you want to share, then paste it on the search box. It will create a ‘purified’ link, sharing the video and the video alone.

On top of that, if you click on the settings button you can also select a start time and an end time; create customised links; or even, if necessary, create a password for the link.

https://www.clipconverter.cc/: To download YouTube videos (whole videos, or clips, selecting start and end times). It’s rather reliable. It doesn’t work with music videos, though.

Alternatively, you can follow this procedure: if you have a link like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRXFzM7-c8Y. Before “youtube” insert “ss”. So the result will be https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=gRXFzM7-c8Y. This will take you to a website that will allow you to download the video, even if it is a music one. Just bear in mind that it contains lots of advertising: this is exactly where you should click:

https://www.apowersoft.com/free-online-screen-recorder or https://screencast-o-matic.com/. There are some videos which are embedded on websites, and they can be rather tricky, time-consuming (or plain impossible) to download. What can be done is to record the part of the screen that we’re interested in, together with the sound coming from the computer (system sound). The free version leaves a watermark in the videos, but that’s fine with me.

  • Subtitles:

https://downsub.com/ Some YouTube videos contain subtitles (either uploaded subtitles or automatically generated). To download the subtitle file, copy and paste the link to video in the search box. Warning: the first and second time you click “download”, it will take you to different advertising websites. The third time you click will finally work.

If you’re happy with your subtitles, give the same name to both video and subtitle file, and keep them in the same folder. If you play the video with VLC player, it will play the video with the subtitles automatically. If not, you can always open VLC, then click on “subtitles”>subtitle track, and find the subtitle file you want.

If you want to edit your subtitles, or start subtitling from scratch, you can use one of these websites:

https://amara.org/en/: Copy and paste the YouTube link. If it already has some sort of subtitles, they will appear on Amara. Them, you can edit those subtitles if needed.

The result is a video which can be played with / without subtitles; a clickable transcription is also available below the video (if you click on it, it will take you to the point in the video where that sentence appears).

See an example here.

Another subtitling platform I really like is https://dotsub.com/. The process of subtitling feels natural to me. However, a downside now is that you can only transcribe videos on your connected YouTube or Vimeo accounts.

Finally, you can also try Kapwing. It’s a fast and easy way of subtitling, as it is basically designed for subtitling videos for social media. You can copy a YouTube video link, or upload a video file. Then, as you are transcribing, you can use sliders to select the start and end times. If you happen to have the subtitle file, you can upload it as well and edit it. The end result is a video with embedded subtitles.

You can find an example below (click on the picture):

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