YouTube Terms

I have a question for my readers (see below).

I’m currently working alongside someone who is creating an online course. He is employed by a college and the course will be their first foray into online distance education. I will provide pedagogical/technical advice and guidance as the course evolves. It will be based on Moodle 2.

The work is making me consider ‘stuff’ I’ve not delved into before. For example, we all know that embedding YouTube videos into our Moodle courses is pretty much ok because we are not taking the video from YouTube and provided that we use the YouTube player and/or link it’s ok. After all we’re driving traffic to that video clip and unless the clip’s author has specifically forbidden embedding of his/her/their video it’s not a problem.

But, and here’s the rub; what if the course is behind a paywall?

This may only be a technicality I’m not sure, because most college and university Moodle courses have to be logged-into by registered users. The video clip comes straight in, learners and teachers view it – no problem. But what if the users (the learners in this case) are paying to access an online, distance course? Do the rules change? I’ve been and looked at the YouTube terms and believe the following lines raise issues:

  • you agree not to access Content or any reason other than your personal, non-commercial use solely as intended through and permitted by the normal functionality of the Service, and solely for Streaming. “Streaming” means a contemporaneous digital transmission of the material by YouTube via the Internet to a user operated Internet enabled device in such a manner that the data is intended for real-time viewing and not intended to be downloaded (either permanently or temporarily), copied, stored, or redistributed by the user.
  • You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.

So my question is:

Does anyone have experience in this area? How do you deal with it?

And furthermore, as universities begin to ‘charge’ up to £9,000 per annum, how will the above impinge on their embedding of YouTube (etc.) video clips?

#sugsnip – 200 days – the story so far

I’ve just scheduled the 200th consecutive day of #sugsnips (due to be published on Tuesday 19th July). Here’s a special foretaste for readers of my blog:

#SugSnip The 1967 Welsh Language Act required another Act (1993) to put the language on equal footing with English

I last wrote about #sugsnips back in April, after I’d made the 91st daily posting to Twitter. Since then, I’ve passed the half way point (day 182), at which time I’d made over 200 individual postings – one per day PLUS bonus #sugsnips made especially during ‘named’ or ‘special’ weeks.

#SugSnip That’s 26 weeks done. 6 months. 200 specially researched tweets. Just half way! Thank you all for the RTs and the Papers 😉 BONUS Via Hootsuite

I posted my raison d’être back in January Essentially, this was to create a daily Tweet, which contained some snippet of researched and verified information that could/would be of use or interest to anyone reading it.

Limited as we are by Twitter’s 140-character set-up, the initial challenge was to condense essential information into the Tweet along with relevant links. Research eventually led me to find, which not only shortens links but bundles them together: Further research led me to, which not only bundled but allowed short descriptions of the individual links contained – these could be used for instruction to readers (learners?) I still use because of its power. I don’t necessarily use it to its full extent in this exercise, but have done so with other, paid, work.

It’s worth noting here that Xtensis, who have hosted the NLN Materials for many years now, are working on a powerful URL aggregator that has all the potential to knock out of the water. – why not register and play? Let Rod and Robin know what you think.

I’ve also tested several Tweet Schedulers during my first 200 days. has a nice interface and for a while was my first choice – but it missed the odd tweet, meaning that I had to ensure I read my Tweets every day just to check. Ditto: – not reliable. I have eventually settled on to schedule my #sugnsips. Hootsuite has not (yet?) let me down and presents me with a nice interface for creating and viewing my ‘pending’ Tweets.

#sugsnip readers have been very kind and many have been re-tweeted (RTd) or re-published in one of several, especially during ‘special’ weeks. Already researched and ready to go (I have to have a minimum of 50-60 ready for ease of mind) is a ‘Coats’ week (probably over summer!) and a ‘Materials’ week (probably mid September). I’m working on a ‘Wine‘ week too. Each is designed to show how teachers might bundle such short, sharp bits of information for learners to access. 🙂

Higher Education Technology: Clickers in the Classroom

Guest Post

Regular readers will be aware that I have occasionally presented ‘Guest Posts’ on behalf of colleagues.  I’d like to introduce yet another Trans-Atlantic contribution.

This time by Lenore Holditch [see by-line below].  We would both welcome your comments to this special Guest Post.

Higher Education Technology: Clickers in the Classroom

Clickers- they’re not just for television anymore. In fact, clickers are being used by students in the university and college classroom as a part of a classroom response system with the potential to encourage student attendance, participation and engagement in class. Let’s take a closer look at what we’re discussing, shall we?

Original courtesy of Kevin Hickey: Are Clickers?

Clickers are handheld tools given to students that allow them to respond electronically when the professor poses a multiple-choice question relevant to the lecture at hand, according to Carnegie Mellon, a global research university in the United States renowned for its technology programs.  The clickers serve as remote transmitters, collecting the students’ answers and immediately feeding them back to the instructor. The instructor then has the opportunity to analyze the data for his/her own purposes or immediately display the data on a screen in front of the class to discuss the answers provided.

A Few Uses of Clickers

The clickers have several uses. For example, prior to exam reviews, professors can use the classroom response system to pose upcoming exam questions to see how many in the room are grasping the material. The answers delivered via clicker reveal to the professor the areas he/she would do well to focus on in his/her upcoming exam review.

Another example would be a literature professor requiring students to click in their answers to questions posed on the most recent assigned reading at the start of class so the professor can get a feel for the students’ understanding of the passages they read.

A philosophy professor might poll the class on certain questions relevant to the class, such as “Do you believe in God?” or “Do people have free will?” and get an immediate response from the class displayed on the screen for how much of the class leans which way. This provides great material for philosophical discussion based on the answered delivered.

Benefits of Clickers

The benefits of utilising such a system are numerous as well. For instance, clickers encourage classroom attendance when instructors require students to “click in” their presence in class as they enter the lecture hall.

Along with this, a New York Times article pointed out that requiring students to make use of the clickers throughout the class essentially forces students to pay attention. After all, if a student is focused on responding to his/her professor with the clicker, he/she likely isn’t napping in class or text messaging a friend on a cell phone.

Also, just like pedagogical strategies that emphasize active learning, use of clickers encourages engagement in class by helping to keep students constantly thinking about what the next question might be. It is something else to add to a professor’s toolbox for keeping students thinking about class while in class.

Last, clickers encourage participation because of the anonymous nature of their recorded responses. Take the philosophical question described earlier, “Do you believe in God?” Some students might be too timid to raise their hand and respond to this controversial question if the professor were to ask for a show of hands and they feel like they are in the minority.

Adult Education Applications

For older adult and nontraditional learners (24 and up, working adults, parents), such technology would be an effective active learning tool for instructors, particularly considering such classes for adult learners that are not delivered online are often offered on nights and weekends. At the end of a long workday or workweek, adult students with jobs and family obligations nagging at them need all the motivation possible to stay engaged in class.

By providing immediate feedback through the classroom response system, promoting learning from peers, and encouraging the sharing of experience, the use of clickers supports adult learning styles. After all, adult learners often want to pick the brain of the other adult learners surrounding them, and the response system allows them to do that quickly.

Finally, digital literacy is of the utmost importance to older age groups, and will be needed by those who wish to retrain for another career.


This guest contribution was submitted by Lenore Holditch, who specializes in writing about top online colleges. Questions and comments can be sent to: holditch.lenore @


I’ve known about Wordle for a quite a while now, but over recent months I’ve learned to respect its power and versatility more and more. For those of you who have not seen it yet, Wordle allows you to create pictures out of words.

I began to recognise Wordle’s real potential during the work I carried out at Blackburn College in March. I had shown the site as part of my Mobile Learning and Web 2.0 presentations there. During these I showed the Learning Apps (ex-Xlearn) Text Wall, which features a Wordle link that presents a picture of any words sent to the Text Wall.

One teacher in the room immediately voiced the potential for Wordle as she saw it. She taught law and suggested that she could first ask learners to text their understanding of a particular act to the wall and she would then create a Wordle image of those texts to begin discussion of that act at the beginning of her next class.

Later, in Cheltenham, teachers became enthused once more with the power of Wordle. Assignment briefs would be headed by a Wordle image; lessons would be introduced via a Wordle image highlighting essential aspects of the forthcoming lesson. Today in Newcastle under Lyme, other ideas included reminders of induction sessions (equality and diversity?) via Wordle images; students creating their own images from their understanding of such (or other) sessions and most interestingly, the review of personal statements for UCAS via Wordle image. An English teacher considered taking a poem, reducing the word-count in Wordle (easy enough to do) and then asking the class to consider THE most prominent words and to create a new poem using those.

(original movie via Screenr at:]

In each place it was Wordle that the majority of teachers took away with them to create change. This always signals success for me and the work I do, as this is always intertwined with reminders of and closer looks at Bloom’s Taxonomy. By using Wordle effectively, learners can be encouraged to analyse, synthesise and evaluate pieces of work whilst ‘creating’ (HOTS in original and revised taxonomies).


I know it’s an old saw (sore?), but how odd would it be (in fact how downright unsafe, unprofessional, irritating and gridlocking would it be?) if car manufacturers sold vehicles that needed updating all the time, especially if they ‘needed’ updating whilst on the move, or when an inexperienced driver was behind the wheel. I’m not talking about ‘whoops we’ve got it wrong despite thousands of hours of testing recalls, but cars that are released knowing they are so not ready for market and that the updating needs to happen on a weekly basis?

We wouldn’t be happy would we? We wouldn’t buy such rubbish would we?

Then why do we put up with computer software (both paid for and free) that needs constant, often daily, updating?

I have my Mac set to update OSX 10.6(.7) on a Sunday afternoon and if it ever happens, I am rarely bothered by it. My Windows computer however, seems to need updating every time I turn it on (which admittedly isn’t usually more than once a week) – so to be fair, Microsoft Windows may be victim of my ‘I don’t like Microsoft Windows any more’ attitude to computing. But they cannot be blamed for Adobe’s sheer incompetence at getting anything right first time. I’m not entirely sure why I use Adobe Reader because it updates so often you’d think it was an exclusive piece of software (which of course it isn’t: there are so many other .pdf readers out there they should be very careful) but I do – sadly on both Mac (with Windows 2003 available via Parallels) and PC (so I have thrice the weekly pain!). It’s not just the updating, it’s the fact that it doesn’t happen in the background, the fact that it often wants to restart my machine and the fact that it couldn’t give a damn whether I’m working on a document, giving a demonstration to hundreds of people or just sitting mumbling in the corner.

And while I’m ranting about Adobe – let’s not forget the Flash player updates, the Shockwave updates and the updates to updates. These are doubly irritating in educational institutions because the ‘update now’ capability will have been disallowed by the innovation prevention department – leading to all round fear and disillusionment of and for teaching via technology.

Come on guys – get it right, test it, get it right again and THEN release it!

It’s getting a little bit the same with iPhone/Pad Apps. i sort of ‘get’ them updating as the iOS settles down but I’m constantly having to turn off 3G, open up my WiFi, enter my iTunes password and leave the device to update. I know I can still work on the device, but some Apps make me click a button to say I’m 18! [e.g. CaskMarque Pubs] What’s that all about – if I was 12, I’d still click the button, surely age-aware Apps should be dealt with via the iTunes registration?

Rant over.