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This past pandemic year I have come to appreciate the increasing role that YouTube plays in my life. Sometimes it provides me with a smile. Other times, it is the most resource for providing a tutorial on how to do something (e.g. fly a drone or use a coffee basket in my new coffee maker)!

There is good reason that it has placed number 1 in Jane Hart’s Top Learning Tools for the past five years. Jane Hart’s informative Guide to YouTube provides a wealth of information about YouTube that I did not know.

Let me explain briefly  (via a screencast I just made and stored on YouTube !) what I mean (click here)

I am now in the process of pulling together all the videos my students and I made and stored on YouTube and Vimeo. Here is a teaser:

And here is another:


Things I Did Not Know (or Forgot!) about YouTube:

  1. Its History (When it was developed and by Whom)
  2. A simple introduction to YouTube for absolute beginners.

As I work on improving my WordPress skills I am going to work my way through all the tools in Jane Hart’s latest list. Going through Jane’s list almost makes me want to return to teaching or at least create a course or two!


Below are some earlier thoughts I had about YouTube as a teaching tool and the thoughts of one of my former student assistants. 


Tonight I am “rediscovering” teaching/learning tools: specifically Skitch (for screenshots and annotating screenshots, Screenflow for screen casting, and YouTube).


How do you use YouTube? How might it serve as a learning resource in your job? What are its unrecognized or under-utilized capabilities? 

Here is what student research assistant Lizzie wrote when I asked her how she used it.

Uses of YouTube

YouTube is an internet source that has multiple uses. Personally, I use YouTube a lot when I am working at Dr. Simpson’s office for background music. YouTube does not only have music on their site, but educational videos, silly videos, podcasts, etc. Since my time being here at Carroll University, I have had multiple professors’ post YouTube links in their slide shows and assign YouTube videos as assignments for student’s to watch at home. When I struggle using a certain software, I am able to go to YouTube and search what I am looking for in the search bar. Multiple videos will pop up on the screen that go through step-by-step instructions on how to do the task I am looking for.

YouTube is useful for posting videos as well. Dr. Simpson has posted videos in the past with his student research assistants and discussing certain issues. I have had to watch podcast of others on YouTube that are discussing a certain issue we are dealing with in class or about a certain software we are trying to use, such as SPSS. In class presentations, 90% of the time students are required to post a visual image or video in their slides. YouTube is very useful in this circumstance. One is able to find certain media coverage of an issue on YouTube as well as scenes from past TV shows, news broadcasts, radio shows, etc. A great example of how YouTube is useful in my field, psychology, is research. YouTube has multiple videos of famous studies that have been done in the past, such as Pavlov’s, Little Albert, and the Bobo Doll study. All these videos are accessible to people, like us, on YouTube.

YouTube is a great source, not only for education, but also for others to express themselves. There are many podcasts on YouTube of people’s life stories. Some of them involve people dealing with issues such as cancer and mental health problems. However, there are podcasts of people discussing their experience sky diving, cliff jumping, in a different city, making covers of songs, etc. People in the 21st century are becoming “YouTube famous” because of their podcasts on YouTube. Many famous singers like, Justin Bieber, became famous by starting on YouTube and working their way up. In addition, people will post weekly podcast updates of their lives on YouTube and have millions of fans because of this method. An example is a couple named, Cole and Savannah, who have a YouTube channel and post videos every other week of what is happening in their lives.

YouTube is an amazing media source. YouTube allows one to find what music they are interested in, express talents that they want to show the world, show others their life stories, gives education to people, helps people stay up to date on certain issues going on in the world, etc. I would highly recommend YouTube as a source that everyone should look into and explore the different options that it has to offer the public.