YouTube for teachers: 10 ideas how to use it in the classroom (receptively)

Thinking back a few years, Youtube used to be the most bedeviled website by teachers after Wikipedia and before Facebook. It used to be banned in most – and still is in many – schools offering access to the internet all over the world.

Many teachers have taken up using YouTube in the classroom in the meantime, simply because it is a very simple to use website and can save an enormous amount of time. Before the advent of YouTube, when I wanted to show the News in school I needed to record them to tape or disk, which entailed waiting for the second showing, writing down the timecode for the start of a particular news item and so on. Nowadays all I need to do is go to YouTube, type in a query and then add the appropriate video to my “English class” playlist.

So here are 10 ideas what to do with YouTube in the classroom
  1. Using the news: you have always the latest news at your fingertips.
  2. Short clip for introducing a topic (starter, icebreaker)
  3. Description game: students face each other, so that only student A can see the video (e.g. Saint Patrick’s parade, pancake race, etc.). Turn off sound and student A has to dictate to student B what he or she can see in the video (actions, objects, etc.)
  4. Flipping the classroom: students have to watch the video at home and then have time for practice in the classroom. Demonstrated for maths by Salman Khan in this TED presentation.
  5. Study vocabulary: there are thousands of videos on YouTube that teach you vocabulary with animations: from basic vocabulary like numbers and colors to more sophisticated topics like business English and project management.
  6. Study memorization tasks with music. There are lot of memorization tasks like learning the names of the 50 US capitals and learning an alphabet that are much more fun when presented as a song. This makes repetition more than bearable.
  7. Using songs in combination with gap texts. Nothing new here, it’s just faster using YouTube than old fashioned music CDs. Besides, the music video collection on YouTube is likely to be larger than your personal one.
  8. Teaching media literacy skills such as analyzing TV commercials (which could be used for a variety of activities).
  9. Having students review and rate videos (music videos, commercials, teaching clips, etc.)
  10. Using online tutorials and screencasts to teach digital skills and Web 2.0 tools
Get some more ideas on

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