As you know, YouTube is a wealth of resources for professional learning, for fun and to learn how to fix your broken gas dryer (ninjas like to fix their own things after all). Using YouTube in the classroom with your students is also a powerful tool (assuming you are allowed to)! Schools and districts who block YouTube are living in the wrong century! To us, it would be like banning a library.
As a teacher it is an invaluable tool. There are so many things you can do. Remember you need to be signed into your Google account first.
1. Subscribe to Channels – There are people out there (with lots of extra time on their hands) who have their own YouTube channel where they post videos they have created. There are channels on everything you can imagine from pasta to poodles. When you are in YouTube you can click on the red Subscribe button just below the video when you find a channel you like. This allows you to easily access all their videos at once. Some examples of Education Channels are TEDEducation, Google Education, Discovery Education and Sheila Jane Teaching.
2. Create playlists – You teach the same subject year after year and want to support your teaching with videos, just create a playlist! When you find a perfect video that shows, for example, a chemistry concept that would be too dangerous to do at school (you wouldn’t want to run the risk of burning the school down after all), add it to a playlist by clicking on + sign where it says ‘Add to’ you can add it to an already existing Playlist such as Chemistry or create a new one.
3. Create your own channel – You and/or your students have made some stunning and breathtaking videos on Lattice Multiplication and you want to share it with the world, upload it to your own YouTube Channel. Make it private or make it public for the world to see but it’s a great way to share ideas. Ninja Note: If you are uploading videos of students, make sure that you are allowed to or you have received permission from parents. Check the rules to follow in your school or district.
4. Assignments – As a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) school we can easily access YouTube and we use it frequently. You can assign a YouTube video to watch to your students through Google Classroom and provide them with an assignment to accompany the video. Ninja Note: You might need to teach them how to learn from a video before you assign the work.
5. Digital Citizenship – We understand that allowing students on YouTube can be problematic but it is also a perfect opportunity to teach students about digital citizenship. How do you search things properly (search terms)? What do you do when you encounter something inappropriate? How can you gather information from a video? How do you reference something you find on the Internet? And let’s be honest, how many kids already access inappropriate things at home? All valuable lessons in today’s world that will serve them well.
It’s also a opportunity for extending learning. For example, we have been studying Aboriginal Peoples of Canada and our students showed a great interest in learning about the traditional dances of different groups in Canada. Using student interest we started to explore dancing through watching YouTube videos. Why not?!
How do you use YouTube in your class? What other sources of videos do you use?