This year many of us are using YouTube videos more than ever before in our classrooms. A few questions from readers in the last few weeks reminded me that there are many “hidden” features of YouTube that you should know how to use. These features are good to know when you’re using YouTube to host your own videos and when you’re using YouTube find and share lessons with your students.
Settings and Features When Sharing Your Own Video Lessons
- YouTube makes it easy to create a transcript of your video lessons. You can even use the timestamps in those transcripts to direct students to a specific portion of your video lesson. Here’s a video about how to do that.
2. You can make your videos unlisted and still share them in Google Classroom or any other learning management system that you choose to use.
3. You can and probably should disable comments on the video lessons that you upload. By doing this you avoid the hassle of dealing with YouTube spam comments. I post my videos in Google Classroom and let kids can ask questions there.
4. Add a cover image to your video to let students know what the video is about. Doing that also avoids using the still frame that YouTube selects at random for your cover image. That function and more are covered in this video (you do need to verify your YouTube account before you can add a thumbnail image).
5. If you use a recording of a Zoom or Google Meet as part of a lesson that you upload to YouTube, use the blurring function to hide the faces of students who don’t want to be in the video. That feature is demonstrated in this video.
Settings and Tools When Sharing Videos You’ve Found on YouTube
6. It is possible to collaborate with another teacher to make a playlist of educational videos. This is a good option for those who work in teaching teams. Here’s a video on how to collaborate on a playlist.
8. Put videos into Google Slides or PowerPoint and that will let you share videos with your students without forcing them to see the sidebar content from YouTube. A bonus aspect is the option to specify a start and end time for a video in a Google Slide.
9. Put video links in Wakelet collections or on Padlet walls to share videos without having to make students see the sidebar content from YouTube. Here’s how to do that in Padlet. And here’s an overview of the process in Wakelet.
10. Create a lesson from an existing YouTube video by using EDpuzzle. EDpuzzle lets you add questions into the timeline of a video. Students have to answer the questions in order to advance to the next section of the video. My complete overview of EDpuzzle can be seen here.