3 Tools for Youtube in the Classroom


Youtube is probably one of the best educational tools available to teachers now. The #Education channel has over 10 million subscribers, with just the top 3 (Khan Academy, Howcast & SuperSimple Songs) chalking up almost 7 billion views between them (from Socialbakers.com)

How do you make use of this amazing, vast, FREE resource in your classroom? Here are three tools which can make video content more engaging, relevant and convenient for your setting.1. Viewpure – This simple web app removes related videos, ads, comments and all popups to provide a distraction free viewing experience. This is really useful in the classroom, as so often, comments or related videos can have inappropriate imagery or language. What I really like about this tool is that you can install a ‘Purify’ button directly in your browser. It means that you can make a video suitable for classroom sharing with a single click!

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Comparison of youtube and viewpure

2. TubeChop – This is an easy to use website which allows you to crop youtube videos to share with students. Often, educational videos have long unnecessary introductions or they are simply too long. It is much better to show meaningful short clips, rather than a long repetitive video which would cause students to zone out.

The output can be shared with students via URL or embedded directly into your LMS. Why not try turning your link into a QR code to easily share on a display board or attached to a task card.

Here is an excerpt from the wonderful (and terrifying) video – The Internet is on fire | Mikko Hypponen | TEDxBrussels.

3. Zaption – The beauty of the tools above is in their simplicity. They do what they do very well. If you are looking for something with more features, then Zaption (and Zaption presenter) may be what you are looking for.
After creating an account you can crop video, record audio over sections of the video (to personalise for your class perhaps), add multiple different question types, including students drawing on video. Zaption can be accessed via their web app or by downloading their iOS or Android apps. This can be shared with students who watch the video and interact with it as you have setup. This makes it perfect for a Flipped Learning environment.

What is great about it is that no student login required, so you can use it immediately. If you require long term analysis of response from students you can be set these up of course. Zaption Presenter allows you to use the tools more effectively in a conventional classroom setting. You can show a video on the project and students can interrupt (using their devices) and ask questions at any time. This method reduces strain on bandwidth as only one device is streaming the video at a time.
Zaption also offer premium accounts which provide more options for questioning and more detailed analytics. It is also possible to create playlists of video excerpts which can be mixed together to create lessons to share with your class.

Know of any other great tools to use alongside youtube, let me know in the comments. I recommend you give these a try in your classroom.

Toolkit by Brian Ejar from the Noun Project, adapted by TheTeachGeek

4 thoughts on “3 Tools for Youtube in the Classroom

  1. Thanks for this really useful summary. I have used tubechop and view pure but not zaption but now planning to give it a try. Thanks for sharing it!


    • Hi Claire, thanks for the feedback! Zaption is definitely worth the effort of setting up an account. It can do everything you need really quite easily. Just need to find/make videos perfect to help the students!


  2. Wow…great to have these because, yes, the ads are often inappropriate for my younger students AND distracting! There are many great uses of YouTube, even short videos that are not “instructional” can be useful as writing prompts or synonymous to “reading” informational text for background knowledge (different science videos, old news casts, etc.)

    One controversial issue in the US is that of homework; and that of a flipped classroom. YouTube can definitely be used for flipped classrooms in ways that one may not have conceived, i.e. the teacher isn’t the one creating a purely direct instruction video. I commented on this on a different blog: http://www.balefirelabs.com/apps/the-role-of-homework-in-the-flipped-classroom/
    This is especially useful for families who do not have access to the internet. Most families do have smart phones and these videos can be accessed through smart phones.


    • Hi Rene, thanks again for the comment! I love Viewpure for that reason and it is SO quick and easy with the Purify plugin (one click so can easily be done ‘on the fly’) I agree that today a ‘text’ can include different types of media. I’m Scottish, and when I trained in the curriculum for Excellence I was delighted to see that they defined a text as, the medium through which ideas, experiences, opinions and information can be
      communicated. Which includes:
      novels, short stories, plays, poems, reference texts, the spoken word, charts, maps, graphs and timetables, advertisements, promotional leaflets, comics, newspapers and magazines, CVs, letters and emails, films, games and TV programmes, labels, signs and posters, recipes, manuals and instructions, reports and reviews, text messages, blogs and social networking sites, web pages, catalogues and directories.
      Homework is and always will be controversial I guess, especially with Mr Hattie’s research! Zaption is a great tool to enable flipped learning in a manageable way and can add supplementary notes and commentary to a pre-existing video. Obviously, this works on any device so solves problems of access too


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