Can you download YouTube videos?

One of the questions I am asked all the time is “Can you download YouTube videos so you don’t have to stream them in class?”

In a recent post I introduced you to YouTube EDU, a fantastic resource for finding great videos to support your lessons.  The problem is that often after finding a great video, we go to show the video in class and the internet is too slow or is down altogether.  There is nothing worse than being part way through a video and having the buffer symbol come up!

To eliminate this problem, teachers have turned to third party software to download YouTube videos onto their computer so they don’t have to worry about the internet connection.  But many wonder if this is legal or not.

Section 5 of YouTube’s Terms of Service provides the answer.

Section 5 of YouTube's Terms of Service

Sp, if you are asking ‘can you download YouTube videos’, the answer is yes.  If, however, you are asking can you LEGALLY download YouTube videos, the answer unfortunately is no.

It is illegal to download YouTube videos even if you are not changing, selling, or claiming them as your own.

There are plenty of people who argue that you should be able to download YouTube videos because the people who uploaded them have made them public and are not trying to sell the video.  Others will argue that your computer downloads the file to your computer anyway as it is buffering so technically you are downloading the file.

Whilst all these arguments are valid, the Terms of Service relating to whether you can legally download YouTube videos is quite clear.  If you would like to read the terms of service you can see THIS LINK (refer to section 5, part B and C).

I would love YouTube to devise some sort of licensing agreement where teachers could download YouTube videos specifically for educational purposes. However, this would probably create a litigation nightmare, so is unlikely to happen.

So this leaves teachers with a dilemma:

Do we download YouTube videos anyway? What are your thoughts?


Every teacher has used a lesson plan at some stage in their career (even if it was just while you were being assessed) but very few teachers have a teaching plan for the coming year where they identify 2 or 3 main areas and that they need to improve in


UTB Newsletter 2020 – Issue 3

Flying through March and super excited to be bring you the latest updates, tips and tricks.
As always, we’re delighted that you choose to read our newsletter each fortnight – thank you! We hope you find something useful in each issue.

You Can be 100% better in 70 days

How to become 100% better at something in 70 days

I love how you can apply mathematical principles to your teaching and school improvement plans. This principle when applied to school improvement can make a massive and sustainable change to your culture and practise.

Here is how you can make large scale changes and reduce resistance to change.


LearnBytes episode #6 – Michelle Bowditch: Do these 4 things when facing uncertainty or frustration

Samantha is joined by Michelle Bowditch, the founder of Door 20A and a Tech Lover, Educator Connecter & Advocate for Executive Assistants.

In her race against the clock, Michelle shares the 4 things you can do when facing uncertainty or frustration – even with little things like tech problems! We also hear some great podcast recommendations & a handy tip for planning your podcast listening.


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In 2018, Using Technology Better designed and delivered a two phase post-migration training program for this New Zealand based graphic design firm. The initial goal of the training program was to reduce frustration with G Suite, with the long term aim of facilitating a change in culture and collaboration that can lead to transformative practices

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