YouTube in the Classroom

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What is YouTube? 

YouTube is a free website with millions of videos that cost you nothing to watch. The website is funded through advertisements which usually pop up before you watch videos. Sometimes you have the option to skip the advertisement after several seconds, but sometimes you have to watch the entire advertisement. You can find videos on YouTube on virtually any topic. To be safe, it is advisable to view any video you show in your classroom before sharing it with your class. There is also another similar website created for education called TeacherTube. Both websites have their benefits, but for the purpose of this article we will focus on YouTube. An important concept in YouTube are that there are channels. Each account owner has their own “channel” to post videos from. A YouTube channel is sort of like a profile.

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Educational Uses

18-YouTube-for-SchoolsHow can I use YouTube in my classroom? YouTube is a great resource because there are many educational channels on YouTube. Most of the channels are dedicated to a specific content area, such as math, science or language arts. For example, NASA has a YouTube channel. This channel is great for teaching a variety of science related standards. There are many channels that have old Bill Nye the Science Guy  videos. In addition to educational channels, there are many news related channels. YouTube is a great resource for bringing modern topics into the classroom. Students hear about various topics in the news; YouTube allows you to bring short news videos into your classroom to share with your students. You can connect modern news topics into the classroom by asking students to discuss their thoughts/opinions on topics. You can ask students to discuss the perspectives of the different sides of news. Then, you can have your students write about these perspectives, opinions and thoughts – all of those touch on standards in language arts. Depending on the news topic, it can touch on additional content area standards. Further, YouTube helps to teach in a diverse way, touching on various learning styles, and the content of YouTube can be multicultural. (Image Credit:

Standards & Assessment

As mentioned above, you can use YouTube to teach all content areas, and likely any standard. As mentioned above, YouTube can be used to teach perspective and opinion in writing (W.3.1). YouTube can be used to help learn and explain what nouns, verbs, etc., are (L.3.1.a).

There is no built-in assessment tool with YouTube, but you can develop lessons around what students see on YouTube. From there, you can create assessments.


Upside: YouTube is a free source that teachers can use to teach virtually any content area and standard. YouTube can be used to teach modern-events/news and be used to help teach in a multicultural way. Students can see all around the world, and not have to leave their classroom to do this. This can help to open up the minds of students, teaching about places that they never imagined, or could not otherwise truly appreciate without seeing. You can also choose to only use a portion of a video, which can help to speed up the learning process as many videos are long, while others are very short.

Downside: There could be some copyright issues with YouTube, depending on the content being viewed, and various legislation that could go into law. Since YouTube is a free site that anyone can upload to, there is a lot of content that is not appropriate for the classroom. It is a smart idea to watch any video you plan to share with the class before sharing it. There are also advertisements on YouTube that may or may not be appropriate for students to view, so setting up the video beforehand is a good idea.


YouTube is a great free website that can be utilized in the classroom. While there are some items to consider when deciding whether or not to use YouTube, and what video you choose to use, there is more upside than downside to the website. YouTube is a website that should be used in balance with other media options in the classroom. YouTube – the modern day educational video site.


9 thoughts on “YouTube in the Classroom

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