Thursday, March 19, 2009

Use YouTube in the Classroom

By now, everyone has heard about YouTube. If you haven't, get out from under the rock you have been hiding and go check it out. YouTube has videos for almost any topic you can think of; some are silly and some are inappropriate, but many of them are fantastic teaching tools. Current event videos, informational videos, and especially (my favorite) software tutorials are among videos that can be used in your classroom. For example. . .

After Spring break, our Intro to Computers classes are doing a brief unit on computer hardware. Using YouTube, I was able to find three great videos for that unit. Computer Hardware in Plain English, What Components are Inside My Computer, and one on How to Install Computer Memory. I found them in less than five minutes. Not bad! Now I can talk about the concept of computer hardware with my students, and also show them a video each day to help them grasp the concepts.

Like some of you, I am very leery about just linking to resources on the Web, especially if I really like them. You never know when someone is going to remove information or change an address rendering my link useless. So, if I find a video to use in the classroom, I use a great Web site called KeepVid to let me download and save videos from YouTube or Google Video to my computer. That way, I always have them. If YouTube is blocked at your school, you can use KeepVid at home and then take the videos into school to use in class. You can download a free Flash video player here.

I have included a video below that I made with Camtasia to show how easy downloading a video off of YouTube can be. Enjoy.

Now head on over to YouTube, find a video to use in class, and use to download it. Good luck!


I love to learn new things! None other than Kathy Schrock just e-mailed to let me know that "The YouTube user agreement clearly outlines use of YouTube videos are to be embedded or used on their site. There is no provision for downloading locally."

Furthermore, Kathy has "been in contact with the YouTube team, asking about the fair use guidelines, and they agree that the best thing to do is to ask the person who created the video for permission to "rip" the video as you suggest and/or ask them to send you the original, since it is of better quality anyhow."

Another great lesson to use with our students when talking about copyright issues and online materials. Thanks for the information Kathy!


  1. Does your district do any filtering of YouTube? How do you keep students away from educationally inappropriate materials?

  2. did you know anyone can post? Are you going to moderate?

  3. The second video on your list, while decent enough, is a bit dated. Specifically, when it discusses the video card and mentions AGP. AGP is an older form factor that went out of production a couple of years ago. It has since been replaced by PCI-e video cards, and most of the new video cards are quite advanced machines themselves.

    PCI-e has also superseded the normal PCI bus in most commodity hardware, so the majority of add-on cards are now PCI-e based.

  4. John,

    Our district filters YouTube for students, but teachers have access. Most of our teacher however have thin clients at their teacher's station that don't do multimedia well. They are being replaced with regular boxes next year.

  5. Moderate? Good one! I will every so often, but outside of checking comments for specific questions I probably won't. I do have a day job. :) Please drop me an e-mail if you have specific questions though.