5 Guidelines for Teachers Using YouTube Videos in the Classroom

5 Guidelines for Teachers Using YouTube Videos in the Classroom

5 Guidelines for Teachers Using YouTube Videos in the Classroom

Mark Williams is a internet expert, teacher, and author of many books on the how-to of teaching.

Many students look to YouTube as a primary source of information for the studies and assignments they have to do. However, it is important that students recognize that not all videos from the streaming network are of class. Here are some rules of thumb that students should know when using YouTube in class.

Source of Videos

The most common source of videos used by teachers is YouTube. Unfortunately, all videos are not created equal. However, most videos are created either for a commercial purpose such as a high school graduation video or just for fun.

What Types of Videos Are Used by Teachers

Video essays, lesson plans, and student essays are all the most common sources of videos that teachers view. This makes it easier for teachers to run short classes, since they can use short or medium-length videos rather than have to choose between 15-minute videos.

Teachers can use YouTube’s spotlight feature to add their own expertise to a video and post it for a limited time. The Teacher Spotlight feature allows teachers to put their own name, face, and logo next to a video that they believe will be helpful to students.

Whether or not teachers choose to do this, they should at least feature their own image in their videos. This will provide a connection between teachers and students and show that they are just as smart and creative as students.

YouTube Contests

Another way of incorporating videos is through competitions. With school and state competitions now common in many states, it is good to set up contests for students in their schools.

For example, the John Deere Middle School in Deerfield, Indiana has set up a YouTube challenge for its students. They have set a goal of uploading a video every 30 days with a short “teachable moment” they have seen within their school.

Students can submit videos during school hours and after school hours for the contest. As always, students can submit to teachers via YouTube to start their own classroom video projects.


It is always good to interview students to explain concepts to them. This helps teachers get students to think in their own language rather than simply delivering ideas through written words.

Not all students are interested in sitting for an interview at the same time, however. To help this, teachers can prepare questions they think the students would like to see. Teachers can also select video clips from other videos so that they look more credible.

Interviews using YouTube can be done at a wide range of grade levels. Just make sure that interviewees are from a broad range of professions and backgrounds to not just be biased.

Video Venting

Students often just end up venting their frustrations in class. This is a waste of time since it doesn’t really help. However, teachers can use YouTube as a therapeutic video-venting tool.

As a teacher, it is important that students know that they are welcome to vent their frustrations in class. However, instead of posting their complaints on Facebook, teachers can create a YouTube channel where they can ask students questions in video form. They can then respond to these questions using YouTube videos.

Not all students will agree with every point that the teacher makes, which is part of the point of the whole exercise. However, students should understand that teachers are human and can get frustrated at times. Teaching in a way that helps students reflect back on their own thoughts and learning is an important part of the educational process.

Types of Videos

YouTube is a great platform for educational videos. However, there are many different types of videos that YouTube contains. For example, as mentioned above, other types of videos on YouTube include lesson plans, classroom observations, and interviews.

Learning Videos by YouTube

There are many types of learning videos available on YouTube. Students can look for simple videos, such as those that teach students how to brush their teeth or how to shave, to study at work.

Teaching videos, on the other hand, are videos that teachers create in order to help students learn or answer questions that may arise during a class. Such videos often include videos that go over concepts or even go in depth into a subject.

Teachers can find videos on YouTube that can help students learn and enjoy learning. However, not all videos are created equal.

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