Categories: Video Hosting / Video Editing
Availability: Browser, iOS, Android
Uses: Creativity, Productivity, Reinforce Learning, Organisation

What is it?
YouTube is a free video sharing/hosting platform that is part of the Google suite of software. While largely known as a video sharing service, YouTube also includes editing tools so that users can upload, edit and share their own videos for free. Users can create playlists of videos, curating videos into collections to be viewed in particular order, and can subscribe to other video streams or “channels”. 

How can I use it?
Youtube can act as an open resource (or OER - Open Educational Resource) for students to access videos relevant to learning content which you would cover in-class. You can use YouTube to share these videos, for use in class or as revision tools, with your students. You can upload your own videos to your YouTube account and share the link with your students who can view and comment on the item if you wish to facilitate discussion. You can also ask students to submit their own videos as part of their class work. (If the video is set to private, the student can choose to share it with you by inputting your email address).

YouTube has a number of privacy settings that can be changed depending on the intended use/distribution of the video. Generally, you can make your video available to everyone (public) or to a select audience (private/unlisted). Private videos let you share the video with specific people, whereas unlisted videos let users access the video only if they have the direct link. More information on these settings is available here.

To get started:

  • Log into YouTube using an existing Google account or create a new account for free
  • Upload your video by clicking on the “Upload” link at the top right of the screen
  • Select your privacy settings (Change to “Unlisted” for now)
  • Go to the Creator Studio at and click the “Edit” button next to the video you want to edit
  • Apply your edits using the menu at the top of the video:

  • In the Info & Settings menu, copy the URL from the Video URL field to the right of the video and share this with your class. Only those with the link can access the video (if the privacy is set to unlisted).
Why should I use it?
Using video in the classroom has many pedagogical benefits. Offering learning materials as video can engage learners and help to reinforce learning and aid retention. “Homemade” videos of concepts or demonstrations can personalise and add context to the material for the learners who can then access this material on demand to learn at their own pace. Educators can curate relevant videos into playlists or channels in YouTube to provide additional resources for learners.
But videos can also be used by students to present research, case studies or group projects to facilitate a student-centred pedagogical approach. By creating and editing their own videos, students learn research skills, organisational, communication and problem-solving skills.

YouTube itself is a useful video tool as it provides free video hosting and editing capabilities. YouTube integrates with many LMSs, including Blackboard, to make sharing videos in an educational context easier. YouTube is also very responsive and accessible making it an ideal solution for learners who want to access content on the go.

Top Tip
YouTube is particularly effective for educators wishing to share screencasts with their students. For more information about screencasting, including steps for planning and recording screencasts, click here.

Where can I find it?
Unless otherwise stated, all reviews and recommendations are solely those of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning team and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organisation, including Cork Institute of Technology. The Department is not responsible for any inappropriate, offensive or illegal content viewed or accessed through the tools and products reviewed.