Multiple sites exist for sharing video, including Machinima, Wikipedia has an ‘almost’ comprehensive list. Each has benefits and drawbacks, selecting the right one depends on your goal, there are special considerations when the focus is education rather than entertainment, though they are not mutually exclusive.
Of course YouTube is probably the most recognized, thus reaching a very wide audience. The drawback of YouTube is that it is firewalled in most K-12 Districts. Savvy teachers know how download video appropriate for instruction but most don’t. Another drawback specific to Machinima is that the quality of the video is not quite as good compared to other sites, for example the quality on Vimeo. Vimeo is a free site recommended by some Machinima artists I have spoken to inworld. The site is not blocked by my school district, a good sign, and does not allow gaming videos, pornography, or commercially produced video. I have located abundant beautifully created, amusing and educationally oriented Machinima on this site. The video quality does surpass the other video sharing sites I explored.
Teacher Tube and School Tube are both geared specifically for education and do not suffer the firewall dilemma, TeacherTube does, however, display a 30 second ad each time you pull up a video to play. Student and teachers can upload video to a free account and since the education community helps regulate posts, videos are likely appropriate. There was a limited number of Machinima posts on these sites. Recent searches on Teacher Tube yielded several videos on safety, mathematics, and Literature.
Metacafe is another easy to use, free video sharing site, though most of the Machinima I located on this site was related to gaming. The site does filter for adult content and it is not firewalled in my school district, yet. Again, you must sit through a 30 second ad before viewing the intended clip.
Screencast is a free video sharing site provided by the company that sells Camtasia and Jing, video capture software. The unique thing about this site is that a user can immediately, very easily upload and post captured video when using the free version of Jing, as a Flash file. This could be a useful method for students to share very short and un-edited work, relatively simply. Flash of course will not display on an iPhone or an iPad.
Blip Tv contains user-created video and free accounts. My search yielded many educational focused Machinima clips. BlipTV is not firewalled in my district (which is pretty strict) and it displays no ads before the video plays. The quality of the graphics did not seem as good as the Vimeo quality.
I have not had an opportunity to review the many other video-sharing sites and welcome feedback from my colleagues. Which to use? It depends.
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