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October 23, 2014 / carlispina

Sync Your Notes With a Video Using VideoNot.es

VideoNot.es LogoVideos are increasingly common at almost every level of education from schools that use Khan Academy to teachers making use of the “flipped classroom” approach to individuals taking MOOCs on their own time. However, sifting through this video content to rewatch the relevant parts while preparing for a test or when reviewing concepts later in a course can be difficult. Different teachers might take different approaches to this problem, whether by breaking the content across a large number of short videos as on Lynda.com or by providing transcripts of the videos for later review. However, VideoNot.es is a tool that offers a way for each student to track for themselves the key portions of the video while taking notes. These notes can even be shared with or contributed to by others who view the video.

VideoNot.es requires users to first give the tool access to their Google Drive. Once you have done this, you can enter the URL for the video that you wish to watch and then take notes on the right side of the screen that are synchronized to the exact moment in the video at which you start typing. You can save the notes at any point during the video or you can open a prior notes document to continue taking notes in a single document if you would prefer. Once you have finished your notes, you can also export them to Evernote through a one-click process if you would prefer to use your notes through that application rather than through Google Drive. You can also set the sharing settings for your notes via a button at the far right of the screen. The sharing options are the same as for any other document on a Google Drive document, meaning that the members of a study group could all take their notes in a single collaborative document or a teacher could require that students share their notes with him or her as part of an assignment. VideoNot.es works with YouTube, Vimeo, Udacity, Coursera, edX, and Khan Academy videos, which means that it works with most of the popular educational video platforms. They also offer videos on how to use VideoNot.es with some of the most popular platforms to make the process even easier. I’ve found it to be very useful, though I have had trouble getting it to work in Chrome. It is also an open source project with code available on GitHub, meaning that anyone can choose to contribute to the project, so hopefully new features and added Chrome support will be coming soon. Whether you watch videos as part of your own coursework or want to offer this tool to teachers or students you work with, it is well worth checking out.

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