Using YouTube with Students

Why YouTube?

YouTube can be an incredibly beneficial resource for students trying to learn something new. Often, as adults when we need to figure something out, we'll "YouTube" it for a how to video.

Kids enjoy the same kind of research when it comes to their interests as they pursue things like coding, Minecraft, and even finding alternative strategies for doing math problems. Many teachers create their own content and put it on YouTube to share with their students.

Here are a few strategies for making sure kids are finding the best possible information.

Have students turn on "Restricted Mode" (even though we have filters)

Preview videos first!

This is a bit of a no-brainer, but watch the videos you plan to share with students first, all the way through.

Embed Videos in Schoology

Schoology: Embed Videos in Pages

ViewPure - Scrub out the stuff

Are you worried about the ads and the suggested videos or comments students might see? You can scrub that stuff out by using a site like ViewPure. All you have to do is copy and paste your link into their site, and you will get a new, viewer enabled link.

Create Playlists to Share

It's nice for kids to be able to explore, but helping kids find quality video can be as simple as creating a playlist of teacher approved videos for them. Create playlists of teacher approved videos or songs and share those playlists with students. Students can save playlists as shortcuts on their iPads or in their bookmarks.

Not sure where to start - search Teacher Approved Playlists on YouTube - there are tons.
YouTube: Creating, Saving To & Sharing a Playlist

Teach kids to evaluate YouTube videos

Not all YouTube videos are great. Have students evaluate YouTube videos for quality based on some of the following things:
  • Who uploaded it? Was it uploaded by a reputable news site, school, company or teacher?
  • When was it uploaded? If students are trying to learn how to use an app or find information about a current event, it will help to have something that was uploaded within the last year at least.
  • How many views or likes does it have? The more views and likes is usually an indicator of how helpful the video is.
  • How long is it? This is a bit of a personal preference, but sometimes kids don't have time to watch longer videos. Encourage them to look for videos under 10 minutes


You will also want to show students how to identify and skip ads.

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Share these tips with kids

YouTube for Students