Utilizing Video in the Classroom Mary-Eileen Rufkahr




Most of us, of a certain age, remember the thrill of seeing our teacher wheel a movie or film strip projector into our classroom.  The sight of that now outdated technology meant that our lesson for the day was going to be presented differently than it normally was.


Today’s students have been plugged in since birth.  The click-click-click of a filmstrip presentation just won’t cut it.  These students know all about YouTube as a place to see the latest dance craze, friend’s postings and some videos that defy explanation.  However, as a teacher, you can tap into the power the site offers for educational purposes.


As with all educational materials, pre-screening is vital; so is teacher familiarity with the site before using in the classroom.  Once you are comfortable with your own YouTube skills, the site will offer thousands of resources to tap into.


Begin by creating a YouTube playlist as part of student assignments or recommended extra resources.  A playlist puts it all into an easy, well-organized format for student consumption.


For those who instruct at the high school or university level, record class lectures and save them for future viewing.  Students who are absent from class, or need a review, can link onto the lecture for further study.


Video instruction doesn’t begin and end with YouTube.  Many other quality sites exist as well, including:



TeacherTube is similar to YouTube in how it works and what it has to offer, except for being exclusively devoted to educational content. Browse videos by common core standards and individual state standards, and also check out its library of other types of content, like audio and photos.


Neo K-12

Neo K-12 has a large collection of educational videos for K-12 students in a variety of subjects, with an emphasis on science content. The website also includes games, quizzes, and other interactive activities.



Explore.org shares live animal cams so students get a glimpse into nature at work while sitting in the classroom. They also provide a number of pre-recorded educational films.


Zane Education

Zane Education is a resource for subtitled videos, making them especially valuable for any hearing impaired students, but also for any students that learn better when able to combine visual and textual learning.  The subtitles are also useful for our English Language Learners.  Students can access over 260 curriculum topics while improving their reading, literacy and English Language skills.