Tech Tuesdays: BriefTube–A Chrome Extension

As we move further into incorporating multimedia elements into the classroom, a new set of problems can arise. In the same way that we can have students who struggle to analyze and understand text, the same issues are present for viewing videos. Since embedding media into English Language Arts instruction and the idea of media literacy is so important, using the tool BriefTube can be a potential solution.

BriefTube is a Chrome extension, which means it works on any Chrome browser. It offers a variety of tools to help students as they are viewing videos in the classroom. Once installed through the Chrome Web Store, students need to create their own account. Their school-associated email is usually the best choice for their login. When a website is eligible for use with BriefTube, the extension icon will light up in red. A gray icon means it cannot be used with the page currently being viewed.


The best place to try this tool out is through a YouTube video. While it works with all videos, its best benefits occur when the video is on the longer side. Once you are in a video of your choice, you should click on the BriefTube extension. You will have several options, including Outline, Search, and Common Words, as well as the BriefTube Facebook support page and the community page where you can email with questions and support.


When you initially select the BriefTube icon, it will take a few seconds for the extension to recognize the video. The outline is the first resource to appear. It breaks down the video into different chapters with appropriately titled sections beneath them. The titles tend to come from the words mentioned at that particular moment in the video. The extension also provides the time for when this particular section of the video begins.


When users click on the individual sections, the extension immediately moves the video to that exact moment.

If the outline does not bring you to the exact moment you need, the “Search” tool can be used. When you click on this tab in the extension, you will see both a search bar and a more detailed transcript of the words spoken in the video.


In addition, you can also search for specific words or phrases within this tab. The extension will compile a list of times in the video where that word and phrase are stated. Similar to the outline, if you click on each instance where the phrase occurs, the extension will immediately transport you to that portion of the website.

BriefTube 2

The last category allows the user to create a word cloud of the most frequently used words in the video. The bigger the word in the word cloud, the more frequently it is used. This tool gives you a good sense of the main ideas of the video.

pasted image 0

BriefTube is a simple tool that allows users to interact with videos more easily than before. In the classroom, this tool would come in handy with students who need to find specific evidence in a video. Without having to rewatch a video over again from the beginning, students can easily look through the outline or search for specific moments. This tool could help with embedding multimedia research or completing classwork that uses videos. It is simple to use but extremely helpful with media literacy in the classroom.

New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, the New Jersey state affiliate of NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English

Tech Tuesdays: BriefTube–A Chrome Extension

One thought on “Tech Tuesdays: BriefTube–A Chrome Extension

  1. This would be really useful. I do have a question about how it works. Does the extension itself break down the video into sections in the outline? Can you control the process of breaking down the video into sections?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s