How To Make Your Classroom Work More Like YouTube

We’ve all seen the videos on YouTube. They’re funny, shocking, fascinating, and they get shared all over the place. But what’s stopping you from turning your class into a short, interesting, entertaining video? Many of our students do not know how to write a script. They have no idea of how to make a video, let alone edit it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few tips on how to make your class videos more interesting and shareable.

Our coursework today may be called “Reading Comprehension”, but across the country students are learning “How to Read YouTube”. How are teachers responding to the new technology-inspired needs of their students? Here are five ways to make your classroom work more like YouTube.

How to make your class more like YouTube

Terry Hake.

Every minute, more than 300 hours of new videos are uploaded to YouTube.

70% of YouTube viewers use the platform to solve problems, and 86% use YouTube regularly to learn new things.

Billions of hours of video are streamed every month. Billions.

Whatever mechanisms YouTube uses to publish content, they work. It is clear that the learning process is much more complex than the placement of digital media. What would happen if education experimented with some of the lessons that YouTube’s resounding success has taught us? What might these lessons be?

What works on YouTube?

To show your class on YouTube

1. Passive consumption

This is one of the most important factors in YouTube’s success. Since they are digital and collected in one place, everything is pretty easy to find. And instead of a stack of books that require a lot of reading and intellectual stamina, or a stack of magazines to flip through endlessly, YouTube makes more media available to you through Google’s search engine than you could ever hope to consume.

The user’s role here is simple: watch the channel and enjoy the show. While we always strive to make YouTube safer for kids, consumption is at the heart of its functionality.

Opportunities for teachers : Make processes and procedures as simple and transparent as possible. This does not mean that learning should be below the student’s optimal developmental level, but it does mean that procedural knowledge and confusing processes often obscure the view of what is most important in a lesson. If passivity is the absolute opposite of learning, then it does wonders for digital media consumption.

in the classroom, during critical input, to ensure that processes and procedures are not wasteful, are student-centered, and are focused on content.

2. Active selection

While YouTube is mostly passive, there are ways to actively participate, such as creating video responses or commenting on videos. This seems to contradict the idea of passivity, but the role of interaction here is limited in intensity and duration.

Opportunities for teachers : Model decision making with students. Give them a voice and a choice and hold them accountable to the power and responsibility that comes with that choice.

3. Auxiliary Detection

The suggested videos change everything. Imagine that every time you read a poem, based on a sophisticated mathematical algorithm, another poem that is similar in content, structure or some other important parameter materializes before your eyes and functions as a kind of socially suggested anthology. Game changer!

Opportunities for teachers : Consider thematic learning, where learning is based on a theme (What is design?) rather than on a few standards, a final assessment, or worse, one genre.

4. Interdependence

YouTube, owned by Google, is friends with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogs and all forms of electronic media. This seamless integration offers impressive convergence with all other parts of the Internet. Genius.

Opportunity for educators: Whenever possible, consider the interdependence of the entire school and/or district: How can a school improvement plan relate to the evaluation of standards in your classroom? How can a school’s website support communication with parents? Think about link building as often as possible.  Also try to use cross-curricular units (for example, combine social studies and English when you are exploring the relationship between literature and revolution).

5. Variety

YouTube offers a ridiculous variety of content, from informal, user-generated coverage of important social events to hilarious, satirical memes about delusional dictators. Between cinnamon sipping and Jean Paul Sartre, there’s no more than six degrees of separation here.

Opportunities for teachers : Consider shredding the content if you don’t need it. The Pythagorean theorem mixed with Occupy Wall Street. Civil rights mixed with SpongeBob. Yes, both ideas are definitely bad, but the concept is good: For students accustomed to an unfamiliar and often meaningless variety, repeating this strategy in class can initiate a new appreciation of the old material.

6. Speed

Despite the availability of feature films, YouTube’s strength is a quick series of videos that allow users to delve into their own experiences.

Opportunities for teachers : Kill the band. Switch to continuous, scalable classes. Use the minisection. Use projects and mini-projects. Encourage intellectual stamina and resilience, not through duration, but through embedded themes and enduring projects.

7. Selective social interaction

YouTube users have many ways to interact socially, but compared to other electronic media platforms, the YouTube experience can be as anonymous or transparent as the user wants.

Opportunities for teachers : Publish work regularly, but not just for the sake of publishing, because after 21 years. Instead, give students the opportunity to understand the processes involved in publishing. Why publish? For which audience? Through which form of media? Through which media channel will it be distributed?

And most of all, why? Offer optional group work with authentic reasons for working together – and have students rotate between classmates and groups based on their experiences, interests, etc. Independent work. Self-selection. (Hint: this kind of skill needs to be developed, not tried once and then abandoned because it didn’t work).

8. Non-conventional

Ignoring the status quo, YouTube is a haven for quirky and unconventional content.

Opportunities for teachers : Just like on YouTube, where content is king and arrogant formality is secondary, users feel empowered in their interactions. Give them what they need and get out of their way, even if you don’t immediately see the severity of the idea. See also no. 5.

That pretty much says it all.

9. Humor

People like to laugh, and YouTube makes it easy to find, share and comment on funny videos.

Opportunities for teachers : Our society is increasingly media-driven. Work with witty, satirical, ironic, or self-deprecating forms of media in all areas, especially those that don’t suggest it (students love this). is a good example of how this can be done consistently.

10. Cultural exaggeration

When you have billions of videos, it’s no surprise that YouTube has a diverse and impressive amount of content. It’s the extremes that grab our attention, whether it’s the subject matter (violence, humor, romance, etc.) or the context (a video with over 500 million views, for example). These functions allow the user to passively participate in a kind of cultural show.

The less it smells like school, the more you’ll listen to their opinions.

Opportunities for teachers : It starts with knowing the ins and outs of your degree program. Where’s the show? What might be of interest to non-specialists? What is often misunderstood? Think Mythbusters.

And the video below? Seven hundred and fifty-six million views (and still counting).


There’s something to be said for keeping your class off YouTube as much as possible. It’s a cesspool of non-academic, nonsensical, immature, and too-short reflections on culture. But remember, ignoring doesn’t change the fact that students have an opinion on the subject. It’s just a mirror (which can look like a circus) of society.

If you want to challenge YouTube, do it with high-level learning that promotes self-awareness, successful collaboration, and cognitive growth.

When that happens, YouTube – and all other forms of social and non-social media – will take care of itself.

Source :

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I use YouTube in my classroom?

YouTube is a great resource for students to use in the classroom. It can be used as a tool for research, as an instructional tool, or as a way to share information with other students.

How do I create a YouTube channel for my classroom?

To create a YouTube channel for your classroom, you will need to sign up for a YouTube account.

How do teachers make YouTube videos?

Teachers make YouTube videos by using a video camera, editing software, and uploading the video to YouTube.

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