Note: This post is often updated due to changes that occur in YouTube.
LAST UPDATED: November 9, 2020
YouTube. We're so grateful to have a platform where we can share our work, and the platform also helps (partially) with supporting our work so we can continue to create. A while back, we wrote a post about tips for viewers using YouTube to watch edu videos. We wanted to update and expand on that based on what we've learned over the years.
1- Captions/subtitles on edu videos have so many benefits.
Click that "CC" button at the bottom right to turn them on. Captions not only increase accessibility, but they can also be useful if you are in an area where you can not play the sound. They can also be a nice tool to see science words spelled out. Find a typo in our captions? We have a form on our contact page so we can get that fixed.
2- Captions/subtitles on edu videos can be available in different languages!
Many times this is thanks to our amazing contributors using YouTube's community contributed subtitle feature! Check out the screenshot video below for more info about how to see subtitles in different languages.
Important Update: On September 28, 2020, YouTube removed the feature that allows the community to contribute new subtitles. This affects all YouTube channels. However, any previously created subtitles that were published before this date will remain! If you are interested in volunteering to translate our subtitles, please visit our Google Form.
3- But also: transcripts!
Maybe you knew that most YouTube edu videos offer captions. But did you know that you can also access the video transcript? Just click the three dots at the bottom right of the video---and then "open transcript." Screenshot below! After opening the transcript, you will see it open at the top right. Click the three buttons next to the word "Transcript" and you can also toggle the timestamps on and off as well!
4- Ads on YouTube that you don't want to see?
While you'll find ads on many Google services, including edu YouTube videos, did you know that you (the viewer) can have more control over ads you see? You can turn off ad personalization or update preferences on your Google account: https://adssettings.google.com
5- Time stamped table of contents?
Many edu creators create a time stamped hyperlinked table of contents. Sometimes it's in the video details (just click "show more" when reading the video description to see them) or as a pinned comment. The time-stamped table of contents can help you navigate the video easily.
Update: If a video has a table of contents, now it will also immediately show as chapters on the video progress bar!
P.S. Just to add, if you make a YouTube comment that has a time in it (ex. 1:00), it turns it into a hyperlinked time stamp.
6- Too fast? Slow it down!
Sometimes those edu videos may go a little too fast! Did you know you can slow it down? (Or speed it up?) The video speed is an option when you click the gear at the bottom right of a video.
7- Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to stop and skip!
As an educator, Pinky found those keyboard shortcuts so helpful when needing to pause the video to ask questions or skip back or forward. If you're a teacher, you can even consider having a wireless keyboard so that you can control the video in the back of the room and start discussions from anywhere. Edu videos with engaging graphics (in our case, cartoons!) can make great discussion starters.
8- So many ways to share...
It's important to know how to share YouTube videos by using the YouTube link (or using the YouTube embed code, which is enabled on many edu channels)! Most are familiar with YouTube links, but if you want a nice, streamlined look with a YouTube video on your class website or LMS, you may want to look at the YouTube embed feature, which will be available on videos if the channel enabled it. Just click "share" underneath the video, and click on "embed." You can also embed entire playlists so you could embed our entire learning playlist! YouTube embeds still feed from the YouTube channel itself. Need more detailed instructions on how to embed? Check this out from YouTube.
9- Expand those video details---and the pinned comment (if there is one)!
Many viewers may not realize the huge amount of information in a lot of edu video details (video descriptions). By clicking that "show more" underneath the video description, you can expand to see everything the edu creator has placed there. In our videos, we include references, further reading suggestions, our music credit, and additional links about our content.
A pinned comment is a comment that the edu creator has placed at the top of their comments. In many cases, it may be a comment from the edu creator themselves. The comment may have a clarification or important video note.
10-Explore "YouTube Learning Playlists!"
We're so excited to be a part of the beta launch of YouTube Learning Playlists that started in the summer of 2019! There are a lot of YouTube learning playlists that you can explore here, and this is our biology learning playlist. Learning playlists include objectives and a dedicated space without suggested videos. We're excited to see how it evolves.
Update: In November 2020, YouTube removed the "chapters" feature from the learning playlist so now all videos are placed together numerically.
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