The popular video-sharing site has numerous uses in the academic classroom, even for videos that are not directly related to the content (or ones that "deliver" the content themselves).

Ideas for Using YouTube

  • Introduce a subject: pique curiosity or frame the context of your next topic
  • Case study / Apply a principle you just taught
  • “What does the video get wrong?”
  • Spark debate/controversy; problematize a principle you just taught
  • “Authentic materials”: show the reality of a different culture
  • Show an experiment
  • During the showing: Avoid “the television response” by requiring some student activity
  1. “Focus questions” should be discussed beforehand
  2. Viewing worksheets
  3. Pause: predict the next action/response on screen
  4. View with Mute button
  5. View with Audio but not Video
  • Post Video activities
  1. Journal / reflective writing
  2. Discuss problems raised by the video
  3. Plenary discussion, solo work, partner discussion, mini-group discussion
  • Student-created videos (to replace project reports/PPT)

Embed YouTube in PowerPoint

To avoid having to leave PowerPoint or simply drop a link inside PowerPoint, display the YouTube video directly inside your PPT presentation (you will still need an active Internet connection for it to work).

  1. Open PowerPoint and locate the desired slide. Find the Developer tab up top (if it’s not there, click the colorful Office icon (a circle) in the top-left and select “PowerPoint Options”, then click to display the Developer tab). In the “controls” box of the Developer tab, click on the tool icon (bottom-middle).
  2. A new window pops up. Scroll to Shockwave Flash Object, highlight it, and click OK.
  3. The window disappears and your cursor has changed. You are now supposed to draw a box where you want the video to go; left-click (and hold) for one corner of the box, and drag out the box until you find the right size, and then let go. You can resize the box later.
  4. Find the URL of the youtube video you wish to embed, and copy this URL.
  5. On the PowerPoint slide, right-click on that box (now looking like an envelope) and select Properties.
  6. The field labeled “Movie” has a blank spot next to it; paste the URL into that blank space. Use the arrow keys to move to the middle of the URL and replace the “/watch?v=” segment with simply "/v/". An example would be

Further Reading

Bonk, C. "YouTube Anchors and Enders"


Faculty Spotlight View Other Award Winners

Adele Richardson
College of Arts and Humanities Adele  Richardson On the first day I stepped into my own Composition classroom, I enthusiastically thought I was going to teach freshmen how to write. By the end of that same day, I came to realize how shortsighted my assumptions were. And so my own education as a teacher really began. Students don't need to be shown how to ...

Regina Gresham
College of Education Regina    Gresham My responsibilities are plentiful as I seek to inspire my students with a desire to learn. I consider education to be invaluable. I find the establishment of a positive, caring learning environment, one that encourages students to "believe in yourself with dedication and pride" to be priceless. It is an envir...

Graham Worthy
College of Sciences Graham  Worthy During my 22 years in academia, I've tried to excel at teaching, research, and service. I love interacting with students and mentoring them to achieve more than they realize they're capable of. As an undergraduate student, I was known to walk out of a lecture if l didn't think I was going to get s...