I know the knee-jerk reaction answer to this might be no. After all, there are millions of distracting videos to make students forget all about school.
Yet, I do believe YouTube has a place in middle school. While it’s full of distractions, it’s also filled with educational videos. When used for educational purposes, YouTube is an invaluable resource for students, parents and teachers.
Pick Out Videos Ahead Of Time
Asking students to just search for a video is a major mistake. I’ve been there. My advice is to find the videos you want students to watch. Give them the links or just show them in class to help get a point across. Middle school students love watching videos, so it’s more engaging to let them see concepts in action in a YouTube video. To them, it may be much cooler than their teacher. Of course, incorporating YouTube helps make you the cool teacher.
Show Concepts In A Fun Way
As you know, I’m 100% for finding fun ways to educate students. I’m always on the hunt for games and activities. YouTube is filled with those. Even if I don’t show them the video, I learn new ways to teach to better engage my students. It’s always amazing to me how people on YouTube are able to create such entertaining videos about things that most middle schoolers would consider boring.
Finding The Right Content
This is where I struggled most at first. After all, there’s a reason so many schools actually ban YouTube. I did have to do a bit of searching to find the type of content I wanted, but it was well worth it. I was thrilled to run across the Education category. It covered everything and set me on my way to finding unlimited resources for teaching middle school. The NEA has a great resource on using YouTube in the classroom, even advice on creating your own videos.
I could list numerous YouTube channels to help you get started, but this post simply isn’t long enough. Here are few sites to start your search:
Hi, I'm Ellie! I've been in education for 25 years, teaching all subject areas at both the elementary and middle school levels.