youtube in the classroom

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How (and why) you should use YouTube in the classroom

YouTube is blocked in many schools. There’s no denying the fact that many school administrators want to avoid having students watch things that are, well, less than educational. Unfortunately, this push to keep students safe leaves many of us at a disadvantage. How do you leverage the power of YouTube in education without having access?

Long story short, it’s time to start lobbying for access to YouTube in the classroom. If you’re looking for some ammo for your argument, this post is for you.

See Also: Your essential guide to YouTube playlists

Before we get started, don’t forget to check out YouTube For Schools, a potentially white-listed way to bring hours of useful videos into your classroom. It’s basically an education-oriented version of the mega-video site that features guides, lessons, and a lot of supplementary content perfect for most lessons. Looking for teacher-centric videos? Check out for a great set of playlists for any teacher.

Why It’s Time For YouTube In The Classroom

School leaders, teachers, and parents should consider either unblocking or at least trying out YouTube For Schools / YouTube For Teachers (see links above) because it’s a free way to make lessons come alive. The price is right and all you need is a wi-fi connection and at least one device. Basically, a Chromebook, a projector, and wi-fi is all you need. That’s a lot for most classrooms to be sure … but perhaps it might be time to invest in a Chromebook, iPad, Chromecast, Apple TV, or some other piece of hardware that’ll make your students more engaged.

In any case, here are some bullet points about why YouTube rocks the classroom:

  • Students are more engaged through visually-stimulating videos and presentations (e.g. TED Talks)
  • Educational lessons are easily shared across the globe, Students can upload their own videos to demonstrate understanding
  • Students or the whole classroom (or groups) can create video replies to each other
  • Videos can supplement lessons for students
  • Teachers can spend more time focusing on students and less time explaining complex topics
  • Teachers will have a library of free information to help explain just about anything

How Teachers Are Using YouTube Right Now

What better way to explain the benefits of YouTube than by using a video, right? This one showcases how Mike Christiansen, a 9th grade social studies teacher at Kent-Meridian High School in Kent, WA, uses the video to build exciting learning opportunities.

Key Ways To Use YouTube In Education:

Download YouTube Videos

Want to download YouTube videos for offline use or to bring into your classroom? We aren’t recommending breaking any rule of any kind here. Just simply pointing out that you can download videos using YTD – the creators of this fabulous visual you see below.

Using Videos In A Flipped Classroom

You can use video to build a flipped classroom with ease. Check out this handy guide below (about halfway down the visual) to see what I mean.

How To Discover The Best Education Videos On YouTube

Be sure to actually watch a video all the way through before you show it in your class! Even if you download it for offline use, it’s important you aren’t surprised by what’s being displayed. Also, don’t plan on replacing your lesson with a video. Plan on using it as a supplement and identify videos (through creative searching and profile reviewing) that are short and offer insight that you wouldn’t normally be able to provide. In other words, choose a quick video that adds some spice to your classroom mojo and adds some information that supports your lesson.

How Do / Would You Use Videos To Enhance Learning?

There are a ton of ways to use YouTube in your school, share your best ideas with us by following @DailyGenius on Twitter or add a comment on the Daily Genius Facebook page!

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Jeff Dunn

Jeff is an education and technology lover who has worked in far too many industries to count. Okay, like maybe 5 or 6. Jeff can indeed count that high but it’s not recommended. Jeff also likes to write bios in the third-person.


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