YouTube can be a powerful educational platform if used effectively.  It hosts tons of educational video content that is readily accessible and for free. As teachers and educators, we can not but embrace the educational potential of this platform and do our best to leverage it in our instructional practice. 

In this post, I share with you some practical tips to help you  make the best of YouTube in your teaching and learning. So instead of using it to procrastinate and kill time, you can use YouTube to optimize your students learning, access professional and personal development video content, create and share your own video content, and many more. 

Here are some helpful YouTube tips for teachers and students

1- Search with your voice

You can search YouTube videos using voice input. You only need to grant YouTube access to your microphone. This feature is also helpful for students with special needs. 

2- Use YouTube search filters

When searching for video content on YouTube you may want to use filters to hone in your search queries. You can search for videos by upload date, type, and duration. You can also filter out your search results using features such as Live, HD, Subtitles/CC, Creative Commons, VR180, and many more. 

3- Remove distracting YouTube features

Here are three good tools to enhance your YouTube watching experience:

     A- ViewPure
ViewPure allows you to remove distracting features and inappropriate content. These include distracting comments and sidebar related videos.

      B- Turn off the Lights
Turn off the Lights is  a Chrome extension  that provides you with a cinema-like viewing experience. When activated Turn off the Lights makes the whole page fades to dark allowing you to watch the videos in theatre mode. 

      C- Safeshare TV
SafeShate TV is a website that allows you to watch YouTube and Vimeo videos in a clutter and distraction free environment. SafeShare removes all distracting features from videos including links to related videos, inappropriate ad prerolls, and annotations thus providing a safer watching experience.

4- Share specific portions of YouTube videos

You can share a specific portion of YouTube videos using the following tip: Open the YouTube video you want to crop, click on the Share button located under the video and check the box next to Start at and specify the start time then copy the generated link. The video will start from the specified timeframe.  

5- Smart Chips

Smart Chips is a handy feature that works on Docs and Slides. When you add YouTube links to Docs or Slides,  you hover over the link to preview the video without leaving the page, or you click on Chip to have the link of the video replaced with its title.

6- Restricted mode

Restricted mode is used to screen out inappropriate content on YouTube. Here is how to activate it: Open YouTube and click on your profile picture in the top right corner, select Restricted Mode, and click on ‘Activate Restricted Mode’.

7- YouTube Keyboard shortcuts

Here is a list of some handy YouTube keyboard shortcuts to help you make the best of your YouTube watching and navigating experience. The screenshot is taken from YouTube Help.