You upload the video in any form you want and YouTube does all the converting for you (you just have to wait a while for it to be available). You can embed your video right in a web page or blog with ease. When you couple this with easy to use cameras this will be a killer app in education.
The video from my digital still camera or cell phone are not as good as from my mini-dv camera, but both are far easier to deal with. With my still camera or cell phone, all I need to do is plug the camera in (or pull the memory card and put it in my card reader) and copy over the file I want. For cell phones you can even email it to yourself.
I can film a short demo in class and upload it to YouTube in just a few minutes and the video should be available to watch by the time my students get home. Of course YouTube is not the only option, but it is one that your students are very familiar with.
Related videos (or ads) may be inappropriate:
Sometimes good videos link to videos we'd rather not expose our students to. One way you can lessen potential problems is you embed the video of interest in an different site or blog. The only links that will be there will be ones you put there. However, at the end of the video they typically link to related videos. You can remove these recommendations from the embed code. Just click on the "Customize" button next to the embed code and uncheck the offending box.Beta Channel:
The embed code can now be copied and used and you won't have to worry about recommendations that might not be appropriate.
The new YouTube Beta Channel allows you a lot of control over the presentation of your content. You can choose to show comments or not. The only link to other content comes through clicking a link to the usual YouTube page for the video that is being shown.
The other bonus is that the url for your channel will be www.youtube.com/username. I'm not a system administrator, but I've been told that it is possible to block www.youtube.com while specifically allowing www.youtube.com/username. This would mean students could have access to your videos, but not the rest of youtube.