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YouTube for schools even better in itslearning

At the end of 2011, YouTube announced something that the educational community had wanted for years: YouTube for schools. A specially filtered YouTube site with thousands of educational content, it has a great deal to offer; but you still need a good learning platform to make sure the videos apply directly to students’ learning. Here are a few ways to do just that.

YouTube for schools offers teachers the opportunity to enliven their teaching with video, without the fear of exposing their students to inappropriate content. Simply put, the channel only contains age-appropriate educational material – hundreds of thousands of videos, from science experiments and lectures to historical documentaries and news footage. And you can tailor it to your institution.

As a teacher, you can log in and see all available content – and you can then create playlists of videos that will be available to students at your school. All comments and related videos are disabled, and search is limited to the YouTube for schools site. You can even suggest videos that you’d like to be included on the educational YouTube site.

This is a great resource, but it still requires a good learning platform if you want to make the videos directly relevant to your students’ learning.

Using videos to enhance teaching

itslearning allows you to embed videos from channels such as YouTube directly into you teaching resources (if ‘embed videos’ sounds scary, don’t worry, it’s as easy as cutting and pasting text in a Word document) which means you can relate them directly to the task that the student is doing. What does this mean in practice?

Giving students extra help with homework

When setting homework assignments, one maths teacher embeds a video from the mathTV.com YouTube channel that explains the topic (simplifying radicals, for example) along with the assignment description. This way, when students start working on the assignment, they can get a quick refresher of the concept before they begin

Using videos with tests to track student understanding

One itslearning user asks her students to prepare for classes by watching instructional videos online (she creates her own videos, but there are plenty of ready-made videos available on YouTube). She then uses the itslearning test tool to check how well they understood the concepts in the video before the students come to class. Here’s how she does it.

The teacher embeds the videos into digital tests and the students have to answer concept-check questions after watching each video. Her student can then see if they have understood the video or if she has to watch it again – and the teacher can see which areas have caused problems for her students – and can prepare her classroom lessons accordingly.

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