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News and Events Helping teachers use YouTube to engage and educate their students

By James Sanders and Will Houghteling

History Teacher, Kipp San Francisco Bay Academy and YouTube EDU

We’re excited to welcome James Sanders, middle school history teacher at KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy, to the YouTube blog. In his classroom, James uses technology to engage and educate his students more effectively. Today James shares the impact YouTube has had on his students and helps us announce an exciting new resource for educators worldwide.

When I started teaching in Los Angeles five years ago I was surprised by how little the classroom experience had changed since I was a middle schooler myself eighteen years prior. The world around us had gone through a dramatic technological boom but classrooms had stayed nearly the same. In my classroom, I made a commitment to incorporate technology. I started a class blog and participated in an experiment with Chromebooks. What was the one tool I found most useful as a teacher and most engaging for my students? YouTube.

I’ve used YouTube in my classroom in countless different ways. I use videos to spark classroom discussions, increase instructional time by assigning videos as homework, and create playlists for each lesson so students can dive deeper into specific areas that interest them. I also found countless educational videos on YouTube that energize and excite my students about a number of topics, such as medieval history.

This summer I was delighted to join the YouTube team to help develop resources for teachers. This past July we organized the first-ever YouTube Teacher’s Studio, a workshop for teachers from around the world to train them on using YouTube in the classroom. Award-winning teacher trainers Jim Sill and Ramsey Musallam led workshops on “Finding your inner Spielberg” and “FlipTeaching,” and I taught about using YouTube as a powerful educational tool.

While it was an amazing experience for those gathered, YouTube is all about its global reach and universal access to great content. In that vein, we’ve worked to build these trainings (and more) into a site we’re launching today:

This site is a resource for educators everywhere to learn how to use YouTube as an educational tool. There are lesson plan suggestions, highlights of great educational content on YouTube, and training on how to film your own educational videos.

This site was written by teachers for teachers, and we want to continue that spirit of community-involvement. We’re creating a new YouTube newsletter for teachers (sign up here!) and are asking teachers to submit their favorite YouTube playlists for us to highlight on YouTube EDU.

Finally, I know that not every teacher is lucky enough to have access to YouTube in their school. The YouTube EDU team is hard at work on a solution that will make educational content more easily discoverable for teachers and the site more easily integrated within schools, so stay tuned!