I love this Chrome extension! I was using SafeShare in the past, but DF (distraction free) YouTube is far easier to use. It allows you to watch YouTube videos without additional videos appearing in the sidebar, comments, or ads. Not all of the additional content that appears within YouTube is appropriate for students, so if you are having students use their tablets to watch an assigned video, or even playing a video for the entire class, DF YouTube is great add-on to keep little eyes from straying from ‘G’ rated content.
Annoyed by the ads that play before and during videos? Never fear! DF YouTube to takes care of those too. It removes all ads from videos and provides you with a distraction-free viewing experience. One of my favorite features of the DF YouTube extension is that it allows you to choose what you want and do not want to see.
This allows you to tailor the extension to ensure it is age appropriate. Fewer restrictions for older students and more restrictions for younger students.
Have you ever went to YouTube to watch a particular video, and then been sidetracked by sidebar videos and strayed from your original path? Students are just as easily distracted which makes this extension so valuable for use in the classroom.
Doing inquiry with younger students can be difficult, and it can be a long and tedious process to provide students with links to videos that have ads removed using other sites (i.e. SafeShare), and then subsequently having to create QR codes for students to access these sites. I talk more about this process in my “The Journey Begins” blog post. All that time and effort, just to ensure students are not exposed to inappropriate content. DF YouTube takes all of the work and provides the same results.
As with most free apps, developers do not provide them for free out of the goodness of their hearts. There is a give and take. We get the free extension, and they get access to some of our personal information and user data. Here is the privacy disclaimer associated with DF YouTube:
REGARDING PRIVACY I do not read, examine or track your browser history or any other personal information. The only permissions I ask for are "tabs" to insert the functionality and "storage" to store your settings. I am a strong believer in privacy. This extension is just a tool to help remove the distracting elements from YouTube.
DF YouTube and the SAMR Model
Does DF YouTube help create tasks that create higher order thinking and have a significant impact on student outcomes? I believe it has potential in this area. This makes it safer for younger students to engage in inquiry where teachers may have hesitated before. Quality inquiry leads to higher order thinking as it enhances student experiences by allowing the teacher to provide safe content but does not. I would place DF YouTube at the Modification level for this reason.
Do you see DF YouTube as a transformative tool or simply an enhancement?