Using YouTube in Learning and Teaching

YouTube strip

With over a billion users across the globe YouTube has become the go to place for finding, watching and sharing videos. YouTube was founded in 2005, and sold a year later to Google for $1.65 billion. The infographic below captures the incredible growth of YouTube. It is hard to believe it is only 10 years old.

300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Contrary to some people’s belief YouTube videos are not just about cats! There of course fun videos a plenty, however there are also many educational uses of video. The prolific growth of smart phones has meant that anyone can create a video and upload to YouTube with just a few ‘clicks’. The videos can be shared via social networks and embedded into blogs, websites and virtual learning environments.

You can also edit and customise videos using the YouTube Video Editor.


With the Video Editor, you can:

  • Combine multiple videos and images that you’ve uploaded to create a new video
  • Trim your uploads to custom lengths
  • Add music to your video from a library of approved tracks
  • Customise clips with special tools and effects

You can get to the Editor at

Using these tools, you can put together clips to create new videos and publish them to YouTube with one click.


10 Ways to use YouTube in your Teaching

  1. Ask your students to create ‘About Me’ videos and share with the class
  2. Create a playlist of videos you are going to use in lessons
  3. Encourage your students to subscribe to relevant subject related channels or playlists
  4. Showcase student work by creating a course channel
  5. Use TED talk videos (or other relevant videos) as a focus for discussion
  6. In place of a face to face presentation ask students to screencast* their presentation with a voice over
  7. Create how to guides to introduce new concepts
  8. Produce video summaries of assessment briefs and the marking criteria
  9. Use video to give students feedback (this could be a screencast with voice over)
  10. Ask students to reflect on this feedback as a video and embed in their digital portfolio

*A useful screencast tool is Screencast-o-matic and allows you to capture whatever is on your screen with audio. This can then be uploaded to YouTube (as well as other spaces).


YouTube channels for Educators

Here are a selection of educational channels:


Some interesting YouTube statistics 

  • YouTube has over a billion users – almost a third of all people on the Internet – and every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos and generate billions of views.
  • YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
  • The number of hours people spend watching videos (aka watch time) on YouTube has increased by 60% y/y, the fastest growth seen in 2 years.
  • The number of people watching YouTube each day has increased by 40% y/y since March 2014.
  • The number of users coming to YouTube who start at the YouTube homepage, similar to the way they might turn on their TV, has increased by more than 3x y/y.
  • 80% of YouTube’s views are from outside of the U.S.
  • YouTube has launched local versions in more than 70 countries.
  • You can navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages (covering 95% of the Internet population).
  • On mobile, the average viewing session is now more than 40 minutes, that’s an increase of more than 50% y/y.
  • The number of hours people spent watching videos on mobile has increased by 100% y/y.
  • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.

(via YouTube)


YouTube – The 2nd Largest Search Engine (Infographic)

Created by Mushroom Networks

Header image: Pixabay (public domain licence)

About Sue Beckingham

A National Teaching Fellow, Educational Developer and Principal Lecturer in Computing with a research interest in the use of social media in higher education.
This entry was posted in Visual Communication and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Using YouTube in Learning and Teaching

  1. Youtube and other social media today has been used as medium in teaching. And yes, it’s a great help to encourage student to learn more because they are more attached to digital technology these days. Thanks for exploring more of it and sharing all your ideas in this post of yours.

  2. Mervin E. Chisholm says:

    YouTube is an interesting resource and it certainly offers many videos that might be used in the classroom. I find it is best to provide focus questions for students as I use videos in my classes.

  3. Isaac Pev says:

    This blog has changed my traditional approach of teaching in Nigeria. I have employ the YouTube resource in most of my Agricultural Science lessons and discover that my students are motivated and remain focus throughout the lesson. It is a real captivating teaching resource for the 21st century learners.

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