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YouTube as a Professional Development Tool
posted by: Ruthie | October 25, 2013, 04:58 PM   

Connected Educator Month
is almost over.  Hopefully, you’ve spent the month learning about different techniques and places you can use online to connect with other educators.  As we come to a close, I’d like to highlight one more option that often gets overlooked: YouTube.

When you think of social networking websites or places that allow you to connect to other teachers, you don’t often think of YouTube, and yet the internet’s most prolific video site can help you connect with educators and improve your own craft in a host of ways.


The very first place a teacher should go when poking around YouTube for professional development is their education channel.  This channel curates the best of their education videos.  Unfortunately, it does not distinguish between videos aimed at other teachers and videos aimed at students and does, in fact, heavily lean towards content area videos.  To go more in depth and find more pedagogically related videos, you need to move beyond this page.

This is easily enough accomplished if you know what it is you want to learn more about. Type in ‘close reading’ or ‘teaching fraction addition’ and up will pop a host of videos about how to teach this topic.  One of the great things about YouTube being so prolific is that you can find a host of videos no matter how niche the topic is.  Merely conducting searches or doing research will only use part of YouTube’s potential.

It’s important to remember that YouTube did originally start as a social network and is still designed that way.  Like with Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, you’ll get the most value out of the site by following the appropriate people.  There are many channels on YouTube that focus on teaching skills, for example the Teaching Channel, has its own YouTube channel.  You can get even more personal by following individual teachers, like Sprinkle Teaching Magic.  By following more people and watching more videos, YouTube will get an idea for the type of videos and channels you’re interested in, and will start making suggestions.

To get you started here are some of our favorite teachers on YouTube:

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