How to Use YouTube in the Classroom Safely

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I’ve been teaching subject-verb agreement, nouns and possessives, expanded notation and place values. Had you asked me last year if I thought I’d be doing this my answer would have been NO. Except here I am now and I’m learning day-by-day how to best teach my 3rd graders online.

Doing The Research For Youtube Use

I’m researching new tools, videos, songs and methods. I’m learning how they best learn online and how I can best access them, learn about them and interact to build a classroom community. It’s interesting because my education did not include classroom teaching techniques for online teaching or how to manage a classroom online or what tools to use or methods. I know how to teach but I’m also teaching myself how to be the best teacher I can online.

Pitfalls Of Youtube As A Teaching Tool

YouTube is interestingly been a great tool for me to utilize but there are some pitfalls when it comes to utilizing YouTube.

What About Those Ads?

Are the ads that are shown appropriate for children? It’s not always the case.

The ads can be inappropriate depending on the keywords that the user has used to describe the videos. Youtube is not perfect at choosing the best ads, and they do not always know when a child will be watching.

That is where things like the Youtube Kids App comes in. More on that below.

Suggested Videos Are A Trap

In addition, the suggest videos can be inappropriate and if you choose to share a video that’s a rap about verbs other not so nice rap songs can be suggested…not something you want a 3rd grader to be seeing.  Again, it is Youtube trying to suggest videos based on what you are watching – even just looking at the title, even if it is using the word in a different way to what you expected.

Tools To Help

I want to share YouTube content that can to enhance a lesson or teach something in a new way. I want to give my students examples using online video. So, I’m using a few tools to make YouTube content safe for me the teacher and my students.

Watch Know Learn:  This site has content that is from YouTube but it is all educational content that displays no ads or suggested video content. Just the video itself and you can filter the content by subject and age. If you find a video on YouTube or you upload a video yourself you can add a video to the site and make it safe for your students and other teachers to share.

Watch Know Learn for Using YouTube in the Classroom

Safe Share:  This site allows you to put the YouTube video link into their site and they take you to a safe view page to view just the video itself with no suggested videos or advertisements. A great example is a recent video on commas I saw and added to Safe Share, view it for yourself. You can also add some customization to change the theme of your viewing page and to disable or enable sharing of the video/page.

If you’re an educator or a parent that notices that teachers are sharing video content these are great resources to suggest or to begin using. Another great resource that breaks down tips for using YouTube for teaching is Edutopia.

youtube kids app

Youtube Kids App: This is a way that parents can really control what a kid is watching, and if you child is young, susceptible to Youtube binging or prone to watching without your control, you want to get hold of this. They are even making it more helpful of late, so it’s definitely on Youtube’s radar. They don’t want kids to be targeted or abused on the platform.

As a vlogger myself (I haven’t had much time to vlog but I hope to soon!) I’d hate to not utilize online resources but the key is to do it safely and protect my students! And as a parent I am sure you would want the same thing from both a teacher or if you are teaching yourself.

So, arm yourself with some experience and knowledge and try to squeeze it into your lesson plan if you can. After all, there is so much great content out there, it is a shame not to use it, right?

2 thoughts on “How to Use YouTube in the Classroom Safely”

  1. safe share is not working since a while, you could use this awesome alternative, it gives you several options to customize the video like cropping it, here’s a pure view to this useful tutorial “Finding the Center of Mass of an Irregular Object”

    I wish you advise all teachers to use this useful tool. Thanks

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