Captivate your class with YouTube videos


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Search for a video using YouTube
  • Save or bookmark a YouTube video
  • Play a saved YouTube video in class
  • Enable Safety Mode


The following scenarios show examples of how educators use YouTube in their classrooms. 

Inspiring your class

At the beginning of her third year, Ms. Luo, a geography teacher in a secondary school, decides to experiment with how to maximize student engagement by starting lessons differently. She teaches four consecutive sessions of geography with four different classes of students, and she decides to open each class differently. She opens the first with a standard spoken introduction about what the students will learn. She opens the second class with a short activity where the students write about a topic. She opens the third class with a whole-class discussion on a controversial topic. Finally, she opens the fourth class with an inspiring video. All of the students know each other and talk about how each class is different.

Soon, all of her first three classes, ask her to start with a video followed by a discussion. Because of the enthusiasm and excitement, she stops the experiment and starts each class with a video followed by a discussion. Attendance increases in her classes, student questions double, and student discussions are twice as long. Ms. Luo stops the discussion to make sure the students practice class activities, and she is happy because it is a good problem to have.

Flipping your classroom

Ms. Pedrazione, a 6th-grade math teacher, spends most of her classes introducing new material and very little time having students practice math problems. The school assigns a technology specialist to help each teacher, and the specialist asks Ms. Pedrazione, “What is the best use of your classroom time?”

Ms. Pedrazione answers, “Helping the students while they practice problems.”
So, together, the technology specialist and Ms. Pedrazione find YouTube videos corresponding to each of her lessons for the next two weeks.

She decides to try an experiment in one of her two classes: she assigns students to watch the relevant video for homework so they get an introduction to the new material outside of class. The next day the students work on the problems (traditionally homework) with Ms. Pedrazione in class, where she can offer feedback, guidance, and extension suggestions to individual students. After two weeks and an exam, the experiment makes a huge difference: the class that watches the videos at home and does homework in class has a 25% higher average score on the unit exam.

Creating an educational video library

Mr. Brown, a secondary school history teacher, notices that students frequently have questions about the material on upcoming tests. He points them to the appropriate page in the history textbook. The problem is that students are not just reviewing, they are relearning material they forgot. So, Mr. Brown decides to produce multiple videos related to each 2-week unit and upload the videos into YouTube and create a playlist for each unit.

Now, when students ask him questions about the upcoming exam and need to relearn a topic, they can simply go to the YouTube playlist associated with the unit and watch the videos. The students love it because they can pause, rewind, and replay something if they didn’t understand. Mr. Brown also notices that even though they have trouble remembering history, they have no problem remembering characters in videos and movies, so he makes it as entertaining as possible which he finds easy due the numerous stories in history. The average test score increases by 7% in the first month.


Search for a video

This section provides step-by-step information about how to search for, save, and use captions for videos.

To search for a video:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Type search terms or video name or topic in the search bar at the top.
  3. Select a video you would like to watch. It will automatically start playing.

Save or bookmark a YouTube video

To save or bookmark a video:

  1. Find the video you want to save.
  2. Click the clock icon in the player to add the video to Watch Later.

  3. In the suggested video column, hover your cursor over the thumbnail of a video like the one below, and click the clock icon to automatically add the video to your Watch Later list.

  4. When a video is already added to Watch Later or has been successfully added to Watch Later, the clock icon will be replaced by a green tick:

Play a saved video

To play a saved video, select Watch Later in your Guide on the left-hand side of the page.

Enable Safety Mode

To enable Safety Mode:

  1. Scroll to the bottom of any YouTube page.
  2. Select the drop-down menu in the Safety section.
  3. Select On or Off to enable or disable this feature.

Note: Enabling Safety Mode on YouTube also enables Google SafeSearch, which is a similar filter for Google Search.

Learn more

Additional information about the topics in this lesson can be found here:

Google Educator Group Curriculum

Online Help and Tools


Part A. Provide your response to the questions below:

1. Search for a video called “Moon in Google Earth.” Enter the url below:

2a. Bookmark or save the video in order to “Watch Later.” Look at the picture below. Did the person watching save the video just like you did?

2b. How do you know?

3a. After you save the video to your watch list, go to your Watch List. Then click the “Moon in Google Earth” icon to play it. Look at the picture below. Did the person watching the video play this video from a saved Watch List?
3b. How do you know?

Part B. Practice safe video searches

Part C. How will you use YouTube in your classroom?

Please answer all questions in order to receive credit for this project.

Please answer all questions in order to receive credit for this project.