3 Tools to Take YouTube and Multimedia Literacy to the Next Level

In 2017, literacy is no longer considered being able to just read and write text. The Media Literacy Project describes media literacy as, “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media. Media literate youth and adults are better able to understand the complex messages we receive from television, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, books, billboards, video games, music, and all other forms of media.” In this post, I will focus on the video part of literacy with 3 tools to take YouTube and multimedia literacy to the next level.

Why videos? Videos have become such a powerful learning tool both in and out of the classroom. There have been a number of reports that YouTube is the second largest search engine, and that doesn’t surprise me. I know that as a tech coach, the first thing I do when trying to teach myself how to do something is search for a video. Students are not only drawn to videos too, but I have actually seen a number of state ELA tests that show a video to students and then they have to answer questions… no reading passages involved.

But, like many technologies, our students know how to use video for personal use very well but not necessarily for academic use. At the Indiana GAFE Summit, I learned about two of these new tools to help students with video literacy through YouTube from Chris Craft.


Any of the three tools would be helpful when pairing videos with Hyperdocs (check out my post about using Hyperdocs here for more information on a Hyperdoc), but DocuTube is especially helpful with using videos with Google Docs because it keeps students from getting distracted on YouTube with other irrelevant videos by playing the video right inside the Google Doc (in a pop-up window). I also just wrote about DocuTube in my post 8 Essential Google Drive Elements to Create Hyperdocs. Watch the short video below to see DocuTube in action.


TurboNote is an incredible extension that allows you to take notes while you watch a video, and it automatically timestamps the notes. You can save the notes as a PDF (with hyperlinks to specific timestamps in the video) and share them like any other document in Google Drive. There is also a “Watch Together” option, which allows you to invite other people to watch the video from their own device, syncs the video play time with everyone viewing and time stamps any notes made in the chat area between all participants. Hello, amazing!

VideoNot.es is another popular one, but it hasn’t worked for me in over two weeks. Thanks, Greg Gilmore for suggesting TurboNote as an alternative!

Brief Tube

BriefTube is a Chrome extension that will instantly summarize, create a transcript and table of contents, show you a word cloud of common words mentioned in the video and more. Simply install the extension, then click it when you are viewing a YouTube video and voilà: there is your video summary. This is a freemium service, so with the free version, you are limited to the first half of the video. The paid version starts as low as $3 per month (at the time this post was written).

What other tools do you use to help with video literacy?

Tech To You Later!

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