Several weeks ago I re-tweeted Mashable.com's "12 Fun Hacks for Getting More out of YouTube." Today I learned about EmbedPlus, a web/flash based tool that lets you do many of the things listed in that article in one easy location.
Simply copy and paste a YouTube URL and then choose start and end points if you want. You can create your own sub-chapters within the video and also add your own annotations. Once finished you can embed the updated video to any site (or generate a unique link). The EmbedPlus player has a few extra features such as zooming, quick replay, chapter navigation (if you created sub-chapters) and related comments (from Twitter and YouTube).
Here's a quick video I made of WIlco's Nels Cline playing a guitar solo.
This would be a great tool for students and teachers because it is so easy to use and to add annotations. A teacher can assign kids to watch a video on YouTube and to create their own annotations and to highlight scenes that they find interesting. When adding sub-chapters and comments, the video is available in view for pausing and rewinding making it almost feel like a video-editing program.
Given the events unfolding in Egypt, exploring this tool might give students the chance to get a sense for the type of on-the-ground reporting that has emerged during the unrest.
Cinchcast is a service that allows you to call and leave a voicemail message on a machine which will then get automatically posted to a website. Text and an images can be added to the post afterwards. This service is similar to GCast (which I can't find anymore!) but one of the nice features is that the setup is front loaded. You set up an account, register your phone number(s), and generate a public URL. Once that is setup, you simply call the Cinchcast phone number and leave your message. There are no special PIN's or robo-menus to navigate. Below is a test recording (there is an option to embed recordings on other sites).
This tool would also be great on field trips. Students could 'call in' notes or comments and have them available for others to share. Cinchcast also has an iPhone app but I haven't checked it out yet.
Header photo by Robert S. Donovan