Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yippee, VLC!

Okay...I like to use video clips to enhance instruction and learning.  I have found pieces of Wall-E to be beneficial when talking about elements of culture and/or (dys)utopia.  The opening scene of the first Pirates of the Caribbean is spectacular for talking about creating mood in writing.  A lot of the Disney cartoons I own are spectacular for talking about genre, character, and/or stereotypes.  The list can go on because of all the science, social studies, and history concepts that video can target as well.  

However, as handy as YouTube is I sometimes can not locate the exact clip that I need for the specific skill and/or concept that I intend to target.  Not to mention that my memory can leave a lot to be remembered, and I may forget to grab the DVD I need on the day that I need it.  And so what's a techie to do when s/he need video on demand?  Well, a couple of Google searches, Tweets, and Skype Instant Messages later a solution was discovered.

My computer already had VLC Media player on it, but if your does not, you can download it here.  Because I was only saving one clip, about five minutes, it didn't take long at all for it to save to the computer.  After the video was saved in my Dropbox, I went to play it on my iPad.  Well...surprise!  When I clicked play, it was a black screen ☹.  Another Google search later I stumbled upon a recommendation on Apple that suggested I download the VLC Streamer app.  A few clicks later on both my iPad and PC (I had to download the helper for my PC) and I'm viewing the clip on my iPad!

Essentially, how the app works is that it connects to your PC over the wi-fi and allows you to access videos from your files.  But then, I had the question of what to do if I want to use the clip on my iPad when there's no wi-fi available.  Well, guess what!?!  All I had to do was press and hold the video in the app and it gave me the option to copy it to my iPad.  Voila!  A few moments later I clicked play and there it was ☺!