The YouTube Generation: How Video Benefits Learning



It isn't a surprise that video accounts for 43% of online traffic. Today we use it constantly, whether whilst at work or relaxing at home we can pick it up and pause it whenever we please. Ipads, smart phones, laptops and TV are just some of the technological wonders that give us all access to a range of opportunities, and although many of us worry about the square eyes and less play, there is plenty of rich educational possibilities that video can bring to any classroom to benefit the younger generations. With YouTube & Netflix gracing our screens, we think it's about time that schools, universities and colleges consider all it has to offer...

Control Your Own Learning

The saying 'one size fits all' isn't necessarily a true one. When it comes to learning, children cope and take things in at different paces & at different lengths. Some will find education an easy and enjoyable task, where as others will not. By introducing different teaching techniques into the classroom, it opens more than one door. The traditional learning methods will always be valuable but if we can take technology and use it in our classrooms than why shouldn't we use it to our advantage? With the option to stop, pause and rewind, children can become more knowledgeable at a pace that's far more comfortable for them... Okay there are certain targets to be met at school and topics to be covered, but video offers time to access both inside and outside of the gates.

Flexibility is Key

Hello smartphones! An era that we as the older generation are struggling to keep up with, sigh. Of course they can be the bane of our lives when the kids have them smuggled under the tables in our lessons, but in general, they open up a range of educational opportunities for everyone to get involved with. Apps are constantly being created, take for example the 'Video Science' & 'See.Touch.Learn' that are ranked in the top 10 of the best 50 educational iphone apps and are completely free! Not only this, but lectures, notes and essay tips can be accessed from students phones all across the world, with many people taking gap years, or enjoying apprenticeships and work experience as part of their course, it is a fantastic way to keep everyone on the move and up to date at the same time, hassle free.

Creating an Experience

Lights, camera, action. Your classroom is finally peaceful and every eye is fixed on the screen. Creating a difference educational experience will help any child to stay focussed, we've all been there, the day is slowly coming to and end and your mind starts to wonder, so it's time to keep them hooked. Sensory experiences mean that your pupils are a lot less likely to switch off, it's easier to understand certain aspects of learning if you can encounter different environments, like amazing wildlife and moments in space. This goes for everyday life too, video shows different behaviours which teaches social interaction. If you really want to push the boat out you could even mix it up with extra activities like turning the volume down and asking your class to interpret characters' body language and facial expressions, the world is your oyster, go wild!

Media Can Motivate

For kids who have trouble completing homework or following through with chores, screen time can be motivating. Use it as a bargain tool between classes or as a 10 minute reward when a lesson has been completed (to a good standard). Pixar short films offer five minutes of fun with educational twists, or if these aren't quite what you are looking for YouTube is full of short and whacky videos that you can use to relate to your subjects. For us, anything that helps children to learn is a super cool tool, by pushing the norms and creating new opportunities and boundaries I think it's safe to say that we'll all become motivated, and if we can learn something new every day we are on to a winner...

Our Video Streaming/Publishing Favourites...


Anyone can set up a free YouTube channel, whether for home enjoyment or for school purposed.  It is simple to upload videos to this website and then share them with your school community, as well as adding your favourites to playlists that can be accessed on computer and phones. One word of advice would be to enable comment moderation and monitor their visits to protect your students from inappropriate behaviour.


SchoolTube is a k-12 specific video sharing platform. It is moderated by educators and therefore a bit more of a controlled environment. Teachers and students can post their work to SchoolTube so everyone's a winner!


In addition to having the same uploading, comment moderation, and sharing options as YouTube, Vimeo also allows users to organise content into channels and create custom viewing. There is also the option of interaction for members who share interests or may want to work on group projects.


Watch Movies & TV Shows Online or Streaming right to your TV via many devices. With your login details, Netflix also stores your favourite programmes and suggests options similar. With its range of documentaries and educational libraries, it is definitely worth a go!

Google Drive

With a Google account, video can be uploaded to Google Drive and then shared out to any designated audience either via a direct link or with an embed code.

 BBC iPlayer

Science, nature, food or just for fun, BBC iPlayer lets you catch up and locate exclusive content. With the Commonwealth Games dominating our screens, what better excuse than to incorporate it into the classroom?!