ltr: Vol. 50 Issue 2: p. 12
Chapter 2: User Uploads and YouTube One Channels for Teaching, Learning, and Research
Julie A. DeCesare


YouTube and Vimeo are excellent resources for online video. These sites are very different in their offerings for user upload. Length of video, audience, and tools available vary. Chapter 2 of Library Technology Reports (vol. 50, no. 2), “Streaming Video Resources for Teaching, Learning, and Research,” will also cover some excellent open-access, statewide, and institutional online video initiatives, as well as interdisciplinary sites with large online video collections in a range of categories and topics.

Video-Sharing Sites: Vimeo and YouTube

According to the 2013 Pew online video survey1 and the 2011 video-sharing sites report2, video-sharing sites, mainly YouTube and Vimeo, have been a major driving force in the increasing percentage of online adults who post, watch, and download videos. The percentage of online adults who use video-sharing sites grew from 33 percent in 2006 to 71 percent in 2011.3


There are major differences between Vimeo and YouTube that online video searchers and users should be aware of. Even though it is a popular site, Vimeo is still primarily a community of filmmakers, so comments are often more constructive and professional. The limitations on video length are more open than YouTube’s (which limits videos to ten minutes). Vimeo has a cleaner layout, and there is more focus on the video. It also doesn’t have advertisements, which is a huge difference between the two sites. Another difference is that the uploader can assign a password to a video. Instead of setting the video to Private and prompting a login to the individual’s account, the unique password can be shared with an invited viewer regardless of that person’s account status on Vimeo.4

In addition to the main site, Vimeo also offers Vimeo Video School, a great collection of video tutorials and best practices, as well as Vimeo on Demand, which includes a selection of full-length films and a directory of channels. Vimeo Enhancer allows uploaders to modify the looks of the video and add music and audio. In addition to the browser-based Enhancer tool, Vimeo has also partnered with Getty Images to provide a platform for B-roll submissions from Vimeo filmmakers.

Vimeo Video School

Vimeo Enhancer

Vimeo + Getty Images


YouTube (which is owned by Google) is a massively popular video-sharing website where users can upload, view, and share video clips. Videos can be rated, and the average rating and the number of times a video has been watched are both published. Unregistered users can watch most videos on the site; registered users have the ability to upload an unlimited number of videos.

The site also has various functions that provide the ability to comment, annotate, and subscribe to content feeds for particular videos. The video player allows for sharing videos through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, but also provides shortened URLs and embed code for use in content and learning management systems. YouTube also offers closed captioning and options for transcripts on most videos. For users uploading content, YouTube offers a built-in editing tool as well as options to add captioning and transcript syncing to your personal videos. YouTube also has a TestTube site for tools and functionality open to user testing and feedback.

YouTube Video Editor

YouTube TestTube

I provided a detailed outline of Google search shortcuts in chapter 1. Google shortcuts can be used to efficiently search YouTube content as well. Here are a few examples:

  • As mentioned in chapter 1, use quotation marks to search for a specific phrase. A minus sign (-) can be used to exclude a word or phrase.
  • The intitle: command searches for words in a video’s title.
  • Adding HD to your search query will return high-definition video results, and 3D will return three-dimensional videos.
  • To narrow down to more recent content, add the terms today, this week, or this month to your search string.
  • Adding the words channels or playlists to your search will return results of user channels and playlists.
  • If the length of a video is pertinent, add the term long to search for videos longer than twenty minutes and the term short to return videos shorter than four minutes.

These terms and shortcuts can be seen in YouTube filter options (see figure 2.1), but adding them at the search level is the fastest way to begin narrowing down and controlling results.

YouTube One Channels A–Z

YouTube One channels are public profiles and playlists of videos from the same provider or individual. All users with an account have the option to have a channel, but this chapter lists a small selection of channels useful for teaching, learning, and research from a variety of sources—some scholarly, some entertainment. It is certainly not exhaustive. Users can subscribe to channels as a way of being alerted to new content and videos:

The YouTube Time Machine is a really fun tool that allows users to create a historical playlist of videos with a certain date.

YTTM: YouTube Time Machine

Interdisciplinary Video and Multimedia Sites

There are some multimedia initiatives and platforms too large to break down into subjects. These are content creators, digitizers, or online video repositories and resources that hold a variety of different subject areas.

Library of Congress Films, Videos

The Library of Congress and its Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division acquires, catalogs, collects, and maintains physical audiovisual collections and now provides online video of historical films and clips. The LOC player provides embed code when embedding is permitted by the rights and permissions of the video. A full listing of all titles, tagged film, and video in the LOC collection is available. Resources can be refined to film and video titles available online.

LOC films tagged “film, video”

Origins of American Animation from the Library of Congress—Animation 1900 to 1921

Through early animation (1900–1921), the Library of Congress’s Origins of American Animation collection reveals many of the social themes and feelings in America at that time. An excellent example of the use of early animation techniques and processes—such as clay, puppet, pen, and cut-out drawings—is represented.

Library of Congress American Memory Collection

According to its mission statement, “American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.”5

American Memory Motion Picture Collections

PBS Video

PBS Video is the Public Broadcasting Service’s video-on-demand portal. It is free, but there is advertising content, and not every title is available in full on the site. PBS Video recognizes your IP address to pull in local content and availability, but you can switch the zip code for availability based on geography. The Boston area member station, WGBH, produces more than two thirds of nationally distributed programs on PBS and is a leader in developing accessible technologies around video content.6 PBS Video includes not only recent programming, but also historically broadcast materials and series. For example:

PBS LearningMedia

PBS LearningMedia is an excellent resource that provides teacher resources browsable by grade level, format or media type, language, subject, and lesson format (guided or self-directed). In addition, educators can browse based on accessibility (closed captions, transcripts, and control flexibility) and usage rights. Resources are categorized based on the rights to stream, download, share, and modify. Functionality to embed or download depends on the rights associated with the resource, and the user must agree to the terms provided before downloading, sharing, or modifying. An account and login are required, but it is a free resource and provides very worthwhile resources for educators and librarians to explore.

WGBH Open Vault

WGBH Open Vault describes itself this way: “We provide online access to unique and historically important content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH. The ever-expanding site contains video, audio, images, searchable transcripts, and resource management tools, all of which are available for individual and classroom learning.”7 Note facets for additional browse and search functionality.

WGBH Teachers’ Domain

WGBH’s Teachers’ Domain offers educational videos enhanced for accessibility. Set up a free account, or take a “test drive.”

Internet Archive: Movies

The Internet Archive’s Moving Images is a library of free movies, films, and videos. This library contains thousands of titles, which range from classic full-length films to daily alternative news broadcasts to videos of every genre. Archive users can upload content, and most titles are available for download in a variety of formats. Internet Archive collection examples:

Annenberg Media Video-on-Demand

Annenberg Media Video-on-Demand is a large collection of high-quality streaming videos covering subjects such as math, the sciences, the humanities, the arts, and teaching and education. This is a highly valuable, user-friendly online resource of documentary series. Annenberg Media’s multimedia resources help teachers increase their expertise in their fields and assist them in improving their teaching methods. Many programs are also intended for students in the classroom and viewers at home. An account is required, and there is a request for purchased licenses in order to download and host videos on a separate server.8 Key titles:

  • American Cinema
  • Art of the Western World
  • Death: A Personal Understanding
  • Democracy in America
  • Economics USA
  • Voices & Visions
  • The World of Abnormal Psychology

TED Talks

The TED Talks division of the TED site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public for free. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared, embedded, and reposted.

TED Talks is a division of TED. TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment, and Design,” and it is a nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” TED began as a conference in 1984 to unite the best thinkers from the worlds of technology, entertainment, and design. TED Talks are recorded presentations from the TED Conferences. TED’s scope has become ever-broader, and the quality of the videos, speakers, and content has grown, as has TED’s popularity. Its core mission is to spread ideas that “change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.” TED Talks is considered a “clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”9

Along with two annual conferences—the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, each summer—TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize—all of this in addition to TED Talks.

The TED Talks website began in 2007, and as of this publication, there are 1,500-plus speaker videos available. According to the site, TED Talks have been viewed more than one billion times. Indeed, the reaction has been so enthusiastic that the entire TED website has been reengineered around TEDTalks, with the goal of giving everyone on-demand access to the world’s most inspiring voices.10

Videos can be browsed by length, language or subtitles, dates, subject, or overall emotions the audience can expect (inspiring, thought-provoking, challenging, funny, etc.). TED Talks uses Google’s speech recognition technology for closed captioning, but this technology is in beta and in its infancy. Closed captions are available not only in English, but also in as many as twenty additional languages. Also available in these languages are interactive transcripts, which allow you to click on a phrase to navigate the video. By utilizing its Open Translation Project and translation style guidelines, TED has developed a system that allows participants around the world to translate their favorite talks into their own language.11 This approach is scalable, and—what is important—allows speakers of less-dominant languages an equal opportunity to spread ideas within their communities. To seed the site, a handful of talks were professionally translated into twenty languages, but all translations going forward will be provided by volunteers.

A full, searchable spreadsheet is available on the TED Talks site and a simple Ctrl-F on the spreadsheet with the word teach or research yields interesting results. TEDTalks now provides curated playlists by experts and leaders representing a variety of voices in different fields, occupations, and geographies. TED Talks are also available in a wide range of formats, including TED DVD on Demand. Users can order up to six talks per DVD, with subtitles.

TED Talks Google Spreadsheet File

TED Talks videos are available for download, and a TED app is available for iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch). TED is available through podcasts through the iTunes store and for Android mobile devices through Google Play. Sizes and quality can be modified for viewing and embedding optimization. A quick list is available for download information. There is a specific option for embedding in a WordPress site, as well as permalinks available for all videos. Subtitles are available and optional for embedding (see figure 2.2).

How Do I Get TED on My Mobile Device?

Downloadable TEDTalks

Web of Stories

Web of Stories is dedicated to collecting for posterity the stories of the great thinkers, creators, and achievers of our time. The people whose stories you see on this site are leaders in their fields, whose work has influenced and changed our world. Interviewees tell their life stories—upbringing, memories, education, career—and the interviews are all available as documentaries or chapter-ized clips for bite-sized viewing (see figure 2.3).

Open-Access Courses and Resources

This section includes examples of institutional open courseware initiatives, as well as resources and directories for open-access video and multimedia content.

Academic Earth

Academic Earth is an organization founded with the goal of extending high-quality academic opportunities to people around the globe. Online courses and video recordings from Harvard, Stanford, and MIT are included.

VideoLectures.Net is a portal and open-access video repository of academic and scholarly video content. Content can be searched by keyword and browsed by subject. There are also facets to limit results by year, language, and type (lecture, event, keynote, etc.). There are over thirty-two contributors to this site, including MIT OpenCourseWare.

MIT OpenCourseWare

On its About page, MIT OpenCourseWare describes itself as a permanent and open web-based publication of almost all MIT course content.12 The Advanced Search page allows users to limit a search to video lectures. Embed and link code is available, as well as the option to download videos via iTunes University and Internet Archive.

MIT OCW Advanced Search

Open Culture

Open Culture is one of my favorite sites. Ever. Not only is it kept up-to-date with excellent open-access resources, but it provides exhaustive “Free Movie” and “Intelligent Video” lists. While these lists were produced several years ago, the links are in great shape, and they have been updated since the original post and can lead to many more video resources.


OpenLearn is a portal to open educational resources of the Open University. To find the video portal page, go to Start Here, then click on the Watch link. This opens up an advanced search portal based on formats and additional criteria of the resources.

The Open University

OpenLearn Advanced Search Portal

Statewide Video and Multimedia Initiatives

Here are some great examples of statewide multimedia initiatives, either in creating repositories or in providing statewide access to multimedia content through the state library organizations.

Utah Collections Multimedia Encyclopedia

The Utah Collections Multimedia Encyclopedia is a digital collection of items related to Utah history and culture, such as maps, videos, audio recordings, and special collections.

OhioLINK Digital Resources Commons

OhioLINK provides statewide access to electronic resources, including many digital media titles. In addition to member-restricted content, there is a public databases portal available through the OhioLINK Digital Resources Commons. One of the databases is “Foreign Language Video Instruction,” which includes 270-plus video interviews of native speakers discussing their countries and cultures.

OhioLINK: Publicly Accessible Databases


NJVid is a digital video repository service and provides a platform for faculty and instructors to upload their own media learning resources, but also provides a secure platform for subscription and licensed content for NJVid members. All nonpromotional, educational, and cultural content from state institutions, archives, libraries, and museums is welcome and can be uploaded to the system. There are over 3,000 commercially licensed films available.13 NJVid also provides very thorough support and help resources, including step-by-step instructions on utilizing media materials in learning management systems.

NJVid Support

University Channels and Collections

Unique multimedia collections are arising out of libraries, archives, and special collections from many higher education institutions. These are just a few examples.

Boston College Front Row

According to its FAQ page, “Boston College Front Row is a Web site that offers free access through streaming media to tapes of cultural and scholarly events at Boston College. Front Row is a service of Boston College Magazine and is produced by the Office of Marketing Communications in partnership with the colleges, schools, departments, and programs of the University.”14

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Image and Multimedia Collections

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Image and Multimedia Collections include government and educational comics collections, as well as several art and images collections.

University of Washington Libraries Moving Image Collection

The University of Washington Libraries Moving Image Collection includes digitized and preserved historical home movies, industrial films, documentaries, news footage, art clips, and interviews from the Pacific Northwest area.


MITVideo and Massachusetts Institute of Technology provide more than 12,000 videos. You can browse by channels (over 100), broken down by topic and provider as well as by type of video—community, news, history, events, etc.

University of California–San Diego Television: UCSD-TV

Covering a wide range of subjects, topics, and channels, the UCSD-TV videos are available for audio (.mp3) and video (.mp4) download and embed for academic purposes. There is also an option to purchase lectures on DVD. According to its About page, “UCSD-TV is unlike anything else on local television. UCSD-TV reflects San Diego’s rich intellectual and cultural diversity through television programs that are unique in their intent and scope. As a university based station, UCSD-TV has unusual access to people and events that impact both the campus community and the greater San Diego region. The station’s non-commercial status gives it the autonomy to create content based strictly on relevance, interest and merit and [it] is able to devote significant airtime to in-depth coverage of new ideas, key issues and emerging talent. After more than a decade of broadcasting success, UCSD-TV believes that enlightenment and entertainment need not be mutually exclusive.”15 One example channel is Grey Matters, which includes recent developments in brain and nervous center research.

Grey Matters

1. Kristin Purcell, Online Video 2013 (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, Oct. 10, 2013), 3,
2. Kathleen Moore, 71% of Online Adults Now Use Video-Sharing Sites (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, July 25, 2011), 3,
3. Ibid
4. Eric Larson, “5 Reasons to Choose Vimeo Instead of YouTube,” Mashable, May 30, 2013,
5. Library of Congress, “About American Memory: Mission and History,” accessed December 16, 2013,
6. Wikipedia, s.v. “PBS,” last modified December 10, 2013,
7. WGBH Open Vault, “About Us,” accessed December 16, 2013,
8. Annenberg Foundation, “Frequently Asked Questions: Video on Demand (VoD) and Broadband,” accessed December 3, 2013,
9. TED Conferences, “About TED,” accessed December 4, 2013,
10. Ibid
11. TED Conferences, “Translations,” accessed December 4, 2013,; TED Conferences, “Style Guidelines for Translators,” accessed December 4, 2013,
12. MIT OpenCourseWare, “About OCW,” accessed December 16, 2013,
13., “NJVID: New Jersey’s Digital Video Repository,” accessed December 3, 2013,
14. Front Row, “Frequently Asked Questions,” Boston College Magazine, accessed December 16, 2013,
15. UCSD-TV, “About UCSD-TV Overview,” accessed December 16, 2013,


[Figure ID: fig1]
Figure 2.1 

Example of YouTube search results filter options

[Figure ID: fig2]
Figure 2.2 

Example of TED Talks embed and language options

[Figure ID: fig3]
Figure 2.3 

Example of Web of Stories player interface and chapter options

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