YouTube Work Around for Broken Google API in Blackboard, Blame Poor Cooperation

Currently Google, who like many of the other larger technology companies is forcing everyone’s hand with NPAPI, but a lot of you probably didn’t know that they changed YouTube’s API 2.0. This in turn broke plugins and Building blocks in a lot Learning Management Systems along with other web sites which were using a form of Mash Up. This includes the YouTube Blackboard Mash Up. While Blackboard does have instructions to work around the problem it has been over a year without a patch and none in site, While I understand that writing a patch or a building block is hard, either we are going to fix it or not, The directions provided  by Blackboard work, but to me are not the easiest to follow and provide no picture. Below is the method I prefer with illustrations. I want to make it perfectly clear that the problem is with Google, not Blackboard that the MashUp is broken. While Googles statement on their Blog states:

The YouTube Data API (v2) has been officially deprecated as of March 4, 2014.

They state later on that it would continue to work until they made some other changes (April 20th, 2015.) they actually made the changes before that which is why there wasn’t already a patch from Backboard. I’ll give in to the point that it shouldn’t take a year to write a new Mashup using the API 3.0.

All the major technology companies believe it is in our best interest to change things behind the scenes without vetting it with the vendors that are using their hooks to do cool things with Googles product. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Maybe Google should be communicating more with Vendors, working with them to write something that may get them started on the right track quicker. You just don’t deprecate something without helping those who are using it to try to fix it first. The same can be said for Oracle and Java. They took it upon themselves to move Java to high security, breaking quite a few web sites, including links to a lot of important sites..Not all sites were able to do their due diligence to get their sites updated to the latest and quite often buggy Java. This led to a lot of SysAdmins to start writing JAR files, setting up special installs of java that did not phone home and staying with an older more stable version until they could properly test the JAR with the new version and the affected web sites.

In the long run, there is too much power in the hands of too few companies and most users have no clue or care as long as it works. I appreciate that the users ask us to make it work, but I would prefer not to have to test multiple work around’s until I found the one that worked, Though it does keep me busy, I would really like to be doing something else that enhances the learning of the students in our schools instead of fixing something that Google broke..

These directions will help you add a YouTube video to Blackboard without using the Mashup Feature. Itt’s not really 18 Steps, the pictures are taking a step. There is 10 steps to add the video, which is a little more than normal, but it is effective and you can use the other features of the text editor to enhance the video. I hope that these steps are of use to you and I look forward to the day I can add the patched Building Block into Blackboard.

  1. Log into and select the video you wish to use.
  2. Select Share Below the video you wish to use.
  3. yt
  4. Select Embed
  5. Copy the text in the box that appears, it should look something like the wording highlighted in blue in the picture above and the example below.
  6. <iframe width=”560″ height=”315 src=”…&#8230;.
  7. yt2
  8. In Blackboard in your content area Click Build Content > Item
  9. YouTube
  10. In the editor section select the HTML icon
  11. YouTube 1
  12. Paste the Embed Code you just copied from YouTube into the HTML Box
  13. YouTube 2a.
  14. Click Update from the bottom right of the box
  15. YouTube 2b.
  16. The window will close and you will be back at the Item Content creation Window. Inside the window you will see a Yellow Square that is the embedded video. Don’t worry, that is normal.
  17. yt3
  18. Complete anything else you wish to do in this window and click the Submit button to save your work.