YouTube annotations (on edupunk video)

YouTube now allows you to add annotations to your uploaded videos. It's very easy to do (to go back to my previous post, another example of lowering the 'cost' to the user). So, I took my edupunk video, and added some annotations, see below.

What adding comments does is potentially transform any video into an educational one. Much of teaching can be seen as providing commentary, analysis and interpretation on the world. YouTube annotation allows this second order decoding. If you combine that with the discussion permitted by comments and you've suddenly got a pretty compelling learning application. At the moment (I don't know if there are plans to change this), you can only add annotations to your own, uploaded videos. It would be much more powerful for educators if you could add annotations to other videos.

So here is my edupunk video with annotations. By adding these comments it changes from being a jokey nod to some of the people involved and edges closer to being an edupunk 101, ie you could use it to introduce the concept to novices now, in a way you probably couldn't with the original. You have a comparison now, the original unannotated version on and the annotated version on YouTube. I prefer it without comments, since any humour that may have been present in the original is destroyed by explanation. But the latter is a better teaching device.

[I've just tested this and despite what YouTube says, the embedded version seems to lose the annotation – click on the vid to go to YouTube where the annotations do work]



  1. I don’t think so AJ – like adding the ability to annotate other people’s vids I think there is a whole layer of extra usability they need to add in.

  2. Nice annotations.
    Not sure if this is a criticism or not :) but never having heard of edupunk, I found your non-annotated video completely incomprehensible. However, the annotated version made everything clear, including what edupunk is itself. I guess the original works for those “in the know”, the annotated one for ignoramus’s like me. Educational indeed…

  3. Adding annotations to other peoples videos is a BAD idea, and will never happen. Having them full-text searchable though? Yep, that will definitely happen.

  4. Adding a layer of shared annotation is not a bad idea – you just want to avoid making them permanent ie actually embedded in the file. If you could turn them on and off (and maybe have different groups share different annotations) then it doesn’t detract from the original and allows a more subtle form of commenting. I’ll bet Youtube or competitor does it within 2 years

Leave a Reply