Month: September 2007

Total 41 Posts

The Digital Teacher’s Solution

Peter Rock comes closest to how this actually went down.

First, despite my fragmented description of the video, everyone seems to have found it, which is a good first step. Personally, I found it on MySpace video.

But what are you gonna do for two days? Keep that browser window open, hope for no crashes, no accidental closes, no speed issues, no district filter issues?

It’s all too much for a pessimist like me to hope for, frankly. In every case like this, I can’t sleep easy unless I have a copy tucked into my hard drive, which is what I meant by that extra credit prompt.

Fella named Tim Best who plays for Team Philly e-mailed me, said he tried to use the venerable KeepVid to save the video to his hard drive but that the utility balked. The same happened to me. (Ann suggests Zamzar which is great but requires that you’ve already got the file.) I also used Firefox’s Video Downloader plug-in but that returned the ‘net equivalent of a blank stare.


So, in what was certainly the most graceful pas de deux between my teaching and technology so far, I headed to Mininova, downloaded a torrent file, pulled the file down overnight, and in the morning had the video I wanted at around three times the resolution of anything you can find streaming online.

Awesome. Legally, morally, and ethically questionable, but awesome.

[Updated: The Infamous J points out that his link offers a Windows Media download, which could then be thrown into Zamzar and converted into something else if you’re on a Mac.]

The Digital Teacher’s Challenge

To all y’all digitally-literate teachers:

Let’s say you’re planning a lesson on exponents at your usual spot at your usual time (which is to say, ten hours before showtime) and you realize you really want to show this one movie, agh, what the hell’s it called, it’s the one IBM made back in the ’80s that zooms back from a picnicking couple all the way into space, showing you the effect of exponential increase.

What’s your solution?


  1. To all y’all digitally-literate intensely-concerned teachers out there, don’t fret on my account. This teaser’s coming out of my recent past, where it’s already been resolved.
  2. Any solutions which lean heavily on the resources of your colleagues or your library (eg. “I think someone’s got it somewhere on VHS … “) won’t, um, exactly stir our confidence.

Extra Credit: Extract the Video

[updated] On account of your district’s low bandwidth, you need to extract the video to your hard drive. How?