EdTech Trend: YouTube in the Classroom

By Monica Burns 07.14.2014 blog

Using videos to grab the attention of students is not a new concept. Whether you are kicking off a Social Studies lesson with a news clip, showing a rap video that introduces math vocabulary, or creating your own content, there are plenty of ways to hook students. The days of running to a VCR to record a television program and unwinding tangled video clips are long gone. Today you can search on YouTube for tons of studentt-friendly clips to enhance your lessons and use the site to host content you’ve created.

Finding quality content

Searching YouTube for content to share with your students can often feel like a daunting task. Of course you can always look for a video using keywords, similar to a Google search. However when looking for high-quality content you may also want to consider searching by users and channels. Many video providers have their own YouTube channel that makes it easy to find content created by reputable sources. For example, if you’re looking for a clip from Shark Week take a look at The Discovery Channel‘s YouTube channel. If you want to find a tutorial for a Common Core English Language Arts or Math lesson check out LearnZillion‘s YouTube a Channel. There are also some fantastic YouTube teachers that have uploaded content they’ve created or curated. As you dive into YouTube looking for the perfect clip for your students, follow users you come across who have great clips so that they’ll be easy to find later.

Hosting your own creations

Many teachers are starting to create their own videos that they want to share with students. These could be iMovies, screencasts or animations. YouTube let’s users set up free profiles where they can upload content to share with others. Many screencasting apps let you create content that can be instantly linked to your YouTube account. You can also upload a video file on your computer instead of emailing a large file to a student or colleague.

Sharing with students

YouTube is a great place to put your videos since it makes it very easy to share with students. You can embed a YouTube video in a Google form you’ve created, attach the link to a QR code, or place it in an Edmodo assignment. Make sure that your YouTube channel only contains content that you want students to see since anything you upload will be tied to your user profile. Family videos can be added to your personal YouTube account and all of your educational videos (created or curated) should be tied to your professional YouTube account. If your school limits access to YouTube, Vimeo is a great alternative for hosting video lessons.

Have you found content on YouTube that you’ve shared with your students? Share your experiences below!

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.


  1. eric

    this app is so awesome

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