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Take notes and navigate videos with

May 28, 2013

UPDATE: 29 Oct. 2015. This service was down for a time and is now back up and running. is a tool that lets you take notes while watching a video. It’s Google Drive App that works on all browsers and was designed for students and educators. Your notes are saved in Google Drive, so you need a Google account to use The tool works on Mac, Windows, and Unix, but it’s not iPad friendly (yet). The software was created by UniShared, a French startup supported by Silicon Valley ed tech accelerator Imagine K12.

How it works

  1. Load a video on the left side of the screen by entering its web address
  2. Type notes on the right side. Each entry is synced to the point where the video was playing (or paused) when it was entered.
  3. Give your notes document a title and save it.
  4. Share the notes online or use them in class. Click a note to move to the point in the video where you made the note.

I tried the product myself and here’s my example, with notes on Kirby Ferguson’s Everything is a Remix. The video below, produced at Emporia State, provides an excellent overview of

Five Ideas for Applying in a Course

  1. Annotate a captured lecture or create a table of contents
  2. Create a video viewing guide for students with prompts like
    • Note ‘X’ here – why is that happening?”
  3. Build an assignment with instructions like:
    • Find a spot in the video where ‘X’ happens and do ‘Y’
    • Make a note where you see ‘X’ and apply it to ‘Y’
    • Insert two questions based on our discussion of ‘X’
  4. Use it to help navigate class presentations of documentaries and other long videos.
  5. Take advantage of the sharing features of Google Drive
    • Share your notes with students
    • Ask students to share notes with you
    • Have groups collaborate on notes

More Details

I could not find a definitive list of compatible video sources, but they include YouTube, Vimeo, TED, Khan Academy, Coursera, Udacity,and EdX (there seems to be a connection between and MOOC providers). I tried a random QuickTime stream hosted on our campus and it didn’t work. It must require a certain type of video stream, but there’s no documentation to tell you what that might be.

view VideoNoteI used to create a set of notes in Chrome and didn’t have to install anything. Then I moved over to Firefox to view a public set of notes; I had to log into Google first, but then it looked as if something needed to be installed. All I really needed  was select “Open with >”. In the end, it worked fine in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari on my Mac.


Right now, the website is in beta form. I expect it will evolve quickly, though, since it is bound to become a popular tool. Every time you open the app it creates a new document, whether you enter something or not, so you may end up with several “Untitled Documents” in your Google Drive space. There’s no “who we are” page, not even a “what is this?”  I found that would not connect with my institutional Google Drive account; but our IT people are fussy about security. Finally, there’s an odd quirk where the Google sharing screen lists a Unishared address as a collaborator. If you delete it, other people can access the notes via Google Drive, but can’t open them using the folder icon in

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2016 11:03 pm

    There is an alternative chrome extension TurboNote, which can just take and share time stamped notes in video page. Support lots of video sites and mooc sites.

  2. Chris Clark permalink*
    October 29, 2015 10:00 am

    It’s back up!

  3. Chris Clark permalink*
    October 26, 2015 1:29 pm

    I agree that it appears to be gone. That’s two in one week! The other was a timeline service.

  4. Kate permalink
    October 26, 2015 10:06 am

    Video Notes seems to be down or gone. Have you heard anything about it?


  1. These are a couple of lesson plans – Emily Weed
  2. Resources added to Diigo (weekly) | Beth Holland
  3. EdPuzzle for interactive video assignments | NspireD2: Learning Technology in Higher Ed.
  4. Use Remind101 to keep students informed | NspireD2: Learning Technology in Higher Ed.
  5. Take notes and navigate videos with
  6. Take notes and navigate videos with
  7. Take notes and navigate videos with

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