YouTube: a tool for teachers and students

Young people use technology quite independently and often discuss the videos they watch on YouTube. Here are some ideas for using this free platform as a learning tool.

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As a teacher in a secondary school, I rub shoulders with young people who use technology quite independently. They often discuss among themselves the games they play, their exchanges on various social networks or the videos they watch on YouTube. Lately, I got interested in this platform. If I already use it in my teaching on an ad hoc basis to question the students or to vary the methods, I am convinced that I can go further. Here is the fruit of my reflection.  

YouTube channels

For those who do not know what a YouTube channel is, this platform offers the possibility for users with an account (it's free!) To record different videos and organize them in the form of custom playlists. You can use YouTube to make music, but also to make educational videos. For example, HelloProf has its own channel where you can find explanations for all types of content, in all subjects.

So, given that it's free and it's a platform that students use for entertainment, why not make it a learning tool? It is possible to share the videos one by one to the students, but it seems even more relevant to create your own channel that the students can consult at any time. For example, reading lists can be organized by themes addressed in a social universe or by skills in French (reading, writing, grammar, etc.). The students will then be able to access the videos to complete their learning.

Do you want to go further? Why not produce your own video content that you will then post on YouTube? You do not have the knowledge related to the different applications to use? Here are some interesting ones.


There are a multitude of tutorials available on YouTube to acquire new knowledge. Whether it is related to the use of an application, the programming of a robot or even knitting, you can find several tutorials that will guide you towards new learning.  

As a result, it is possible to distribute these tutorials in class or to use this educational content to learn and improve as a teacher and thus better support students.

Here are examples of tutorials related to the applications mentioned in the section on YouTube channels.

The inverted class

From the previous suggestions, it is possible to deduce that YouTube is a wonderful tool for taming and establishing some flipped classroom projects.

What is the flipped classroom?

It works as follows: Students receive lessons as online resources (usually videos) that they watch at home instead of doing homework. On the other hand, what was previously done at home is now accomplished in the classroom, hence the idea of an “inverted” classroom. In reality, we will especially take advantage of the time freed up in class to organize activities, group projects and discussions that will give real meaning to the academic content. Many variations are possible, but the goal is to move from a teacher-centered model to a student-centered model in order to meet individual needs.[1]

Based on this philosophy, the teacher gives the student access to resources (his channel or another YouTube channel) and, when necessary, to tutorials helping him to develop skills that will be necessary for a project. The latter learns at his own pace at home or in another context. 

Why not push your limits and try this experience?

To deepen your reading or for ideas of channels to follow, I invite you to go read this article.

Frame21 offers comprehensive training on the flipped classroom.


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About the Author

Laurie Couture
Laurie Couture
A high school French teacher and contributor to various blogs, Laurie Couture is passionate about writing and for the innovative aspect of education: how can you change your ways of doing things to improve your method? She loves to discover, discuss and develop about convincing practices related to technologies. Using digital technology, she aspires to set up projects and documents responding to current trends and proposing new approaches.

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