Apps Outside the Classroom – Amerigo Downloader – UPDATED 2/28/2014

The Internet can be a great tool, but many teachers are not confident enough in their ability to block out unwanted content. They avoid using the internet out of fear of something inappropriate popping up mid-lesson. This is especially common with regards to all the video content available on YouTube and other sites. Some teachers just don’t want to take the risk. Other teachers don’t mind the risk, but they worry about their internet connection stuttering or failing mid-video.

The solution? Find the videos during a planning period and save them to your hard drive with the Amerigo app ($4.99).

The way this works is very easy.

  1. Use the in-app internet browser to find the video you want to download (or mp3, PDF, image, document, or whatever).
  2. Start the video and look for the “Download” link to appear in the bottom right corner (see images below).
  3. Download the video then look it up in Amerigo’s file manager.
  4. Save it to your camera roll for use in your classroom. No need to worry about ads, pop-ups, or a slow internet connection.

Start the video and the download link will appear in the bottom right corner.

Browse to your download files (middle icon on the bottom) and then click the wrench icon to save to camera roll.

Don’t forget to delete it out of the in-app storage once you save it to your camera roll otherwise you will be taking up twice as much space on your iPad hard drive than necessary. You can delete the videos out of the app by clicking EDIT, then selecting the video, then clicking the trashcan icon on the bottom.

Another great use for this feature is to download background music for videos you create in Pinnacle Studio. At our school, we block the students from connecting their iPads to their computers and iTunes, so students are unable to transfer MP3’s onto their iPads to use for video projects. By using Amerigo, students can download music videos of songs they want to use in their video projects and insert the video into an audio-only track in Pinnacle, effectively turning it into background music. Just be sure to teach your kids about copyrights, public domain, and fair use.

Don’t want to spend the money on the app but still want to access YouTube videos without all the ads, recommended videos, comments, and pop-ups? Create a safe video link at SafeShare.tv (but remember, this won’t help you avoid a slow internet connection if that is a problem at your school).

* UPDATE – 2/28/2014 *

Since I wrote this post, Amerigo has undergone some groovy iOS 7 updates. Overall, the app looks much better now than in the screenshots above. The layout and flow of all the features are also more intuitive. This has made the app even better than it was before! I am not going to redo this post as the general information still applies, but new users will find it even more straightforward than ever.

VIDEOS SAVED AS A FILE FORMAT YOU CAN’T VIEW ON iOS?! We have a quick tutorial for converting them to a usable format.

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9 thoughts on “Apps Outside the Classroom – Amerigo Downloader – UPDATED 2/28/2014

    • LOL, a teacher isn’t going to get fired for a internet pop up. The teachers and students are allowed access to the internet, which means the “big guys” know the risk that comes along with that access. Sounds like an IT problem to me, and they should focus on blocking pop ups, in no way is it a teacher’s fault a pop up comes on the screen, no one would blame him/her either.

      • I wish what you say were true, but that is not the sad reality. Although you and I might realize that a pop-up is more the fault of poor internet filtering, an irate parent would not agree, and it takes just a few seconds on Google to find news stories about teachers and substitutes facing disciplinary action or being fired because of pop-ups, inappropriate advertisements, and other “IT problems” on school computers. As a teacher, it is important to remember that it is ALWAYS a good idea to take every possible precaution to protect yourself and your students, even with regards to stuff that wouldn’t be “your” fault.

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    • Personally, I have never had a download in Amerigo that took longer than a minute or two. Most YouTube videos are compressed and have relatively small file sizes. However, I did just check for you and yes, Amerigo completed the download in the background after I switched to a different app and even had a notification pop up to tell me when my download was completed.

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