Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Search for Video Content

As part of my preparation for an upcoming class in Jewish Diversity I decided to assign my students to review articles and videos that highlight the different Jewish communities of Israel.

Information about some of the communities is easy to find. Ethiopian Jews, the B'nai Menashe community, the Iranian Jewish community....these are all topical issues and there are numerous film clips that provide an overview of these groups.

Finding videos about other Jewish ethnic groups, especially those which have been integrated into Israel's society for longer periods of time, has been more challenging. During my searches I decided to spend a little time learning about how to search for video content more efficiently. Here are some of the tips that I learned.

1.       Google offers an Advance Video Search tool that allows you to refine your search by more specified parameters. These include
a.       Searching for videos of a specific duration. This is especially important for my half-hour class period. I don't want the whole class period to be devoted to watching a video, nor do I want to divide the students into groups and have some students watching 20 minute videos while others are watching 5-minute videos.
b.      Searching for videos with subtitles -- many of the videos about Jewish communities in Israel are Hebrew-language videos, so I want to make sure that my American students will be able to understand them
c.       Searching for videos whose titles/descriptions include specific words or phrases -- it doesn't help me to have the history of Uzbekistan in my list of results when I want my students to learn about the Bukarian Jewish community

After typing your search query in the search box at the top of any YouTube page, hit "Enter" to see your first page of results. Then click the "Filters" drop-down menu below the search box. You can then refine your search by the filter that you need.
this is the page of initial video suggestions after I typed in my first search query "Ethiopian Jews." Now I can select a filter and refine my search. 

2.       Most people begin their search for specific video content on YouTube. There are, however, numerous additional platforms where videos can be found. This complicates the search and wastes time during the search process. Video Finder is a search tool that allows you to search for videos simultaneously on YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo and MuzuTV. You can sort the videos by platform, alphabetical dates or topics as well as by the latest top Google search keywords to get the freshest videos for every topic. The app is available at the Google Play store.
3.       If you're looking for a specific genre, search by YouTube channel. On the lefthand side of the YouTube homepage you'll see a "Browse Channels" button. Click on the button and then enter the general term for which you want to search on the "Channels" page.

In my case, I wanted to identify the history of various Jewish communities so I typed "Jewish History" into the search box on the "Channels" page and was immediately able to identify a wide range of videos about Jewish history.

 4.       If you find a YouTube channel which offers you valuable content, subscribe to the channel.  Not every person or organization that uploads content maintains a channel but many providers do organize their collections of video content into a channel. Simply select one of the channel's videos and click the "subscribe" button next to the video's name.

In the future, you'll be able to click on the "My Subscriptions" button which will take you to the channels that you've already identified,  making the rest of your search much easier.     

Educators are invited to join JETS' eCom eLearning Community for more tips and ideas about incorporating online tools into their classrooms. Each month centers on a different topic. Previous topics have included online games, Learning Management Systems and online posters.  Educators may join the asynchronous class at any time.  

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