Helps Innovative Educators Transform Learning

Schools that have moved from banning and blocking to safely embracing tools like YouTube are able to empower their students to learn with real-world resources. If you’re like middle school history teacher James Sanders, you may be using YouTube to spark discussions, energize and excite students about various topics, increase instructional time by flipping the classroom, and create playlists for each lesson so students can dive deeper into specific areas that interest them.

Now is taking a more active role in supporting learning. They started last summer with The YouTube Teacher’s Studio. This is a workshop that brought teachers from around the world together to get smart about using YouTube in the classroom. Topics included “Finding your inner Spielberg,” “FlipTeaching,” and Using YouTube as a powerful educational tool. From there, YouTube took these workshops as a springboard to launch a new site called site is a resource for educators everywhere to learn how to use YouTube as an educational tool. There are lesson plan suggestions, highlights of great educational content on YouTube, and training on how to film your own educational videos. The site was written by teachers for teachers, and YouTube wants to continue that spirit of community-involvement. To that end, they are creating a new YouTube newsletter for teachers (sign up here!). They are also asking teachers to submit their favorite YouTube playlists for highlight onYouTube EDU where there is rich video content organized by content area.

If YouTube has yet to help you update your teaching practice, provides ten ideas for inspiration.

  1. Spark Lively Discussions
  2. Organize all the great video content you find
  3. Archive your work
  4. Allow students to dig deeper into a subject
  5. Get struggling students up to speed, and push strong students ahead
  6. Review for upcoming exams
  7. Create a YouTube center in your classroom
  8. Create quizzes to accompany videos for instant feedback
  9. Create Interactive Video Quests
  10. Flip your classroom

For schools that block YouTube, they are working on that too with a pilot a program with schools that will redirect all YouTube links to educational content on In addition, comments can be disabled and related videos will only be educational. This addresses two concerns in schools today. Schools interested in participating in the pilot program can sign up at

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in Huffington Post, EdReformer,Tech & Learning,ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning,The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.