What is YouTube?

YouTube is a website that allows people to find, watch, and share videos that have been originally created and uploaded by users. The website is also a distribution platform for advertisers.


YouTube Lingo

Although you can watch YouTube videos without an account, users who do sign up for an account can vote on videos they like and dislike and offer comments on videos that they watch. After watching a video, YouTube offers “suggested videos” that a viewer might like based on what they just watched. Some videos are part of a “channel” that users can subscribe to for updates when new videos are uploaded. If you have an account, YouTube will also recommend videos for you based on your previous viewing history. Users can share videos through most social media networks by providing a link to the video via TwitterFacebook, or another preferredsocial media network. YouTube also has an easy upload feature if you want to share your own videos with others.

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Ideas for using YouTube in the classroom

  • Find and incorporate a small video clip from YouTube into your lecture to help tell a story, illustrate a point, or provide some comic relief for your students. Short videos are a great way to vary instruction and keep students engaged.
  • Show a YouTube video relevant to your course materials to spark a large group discussion. Ask students to write down discussion questions as they are watching.
  • Have students create short videos as a class project and share them on YouTube. Videos can be posted privately or publicly depending on a student's preference.
  • Create a video channel or playlist for your students so that YouTube videos can be watched outside of class for homework alongside readings or other assignments.
  • Capture and save student or guest speaker presentations by recording and then posting videos to YouTube for future generations of students.
  • Ask students to find and curate interesting YouTube videos on your subject matter to share with the class through a playlist.



The preceding information was reproduced in the online format with the permission of Suffolk University's Center for Teaching & Scholarly Excellence. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-nonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.30 Unported License.