Website review by Common Sense Editor, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2021


Massive, essential video site requires teacher support

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 4 reviews
Privacy rating
69%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Creativity

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5 images

Pros: Endless, updated content. Captions and playback adjustments.

Cons: Ads and inappropriate content. Algorithm can lead viewers astray.

Bottom Line: There's no escaping YouTube, and with some curation, tweaking of privacy settings, and media literacy prep, it can provide infinite learning opportunities.

YouTube isn't just a video site; it's the second most popular search engine in the world. This means that everyone -- including students and teachers -- goes to YouTube to get a handle on any topic. It's just a fact of life (as much as it might irk some educators). Of course, one the biggest challenges with YouTube is sorting through the never-ending stream of content -- much of it not necessarily appropriate for classrooms or ideal for learning. One thing teachers can do to make YouTube work better for learning is to curate playlists for students, vetting content ahead of time and saving students from going astray. Host these playlists on a class site. Tech-savvy teachers should also consider creating their own YouTube channel and hosting instructional materials there. This will give students (in their classroom and possibly from all over the world) a place to learn class content wherever they are.

To help students navigate YouTube, teachers will want to do some media literacy work, encouraging students to check sources, verify information, and examine a variety of credible perspectives. Students should also practice active viewing: taking notes, pausing, rewinding, and rewatching videos. Also, make sure to point out the closed-caption and playback speed adjustment features. Finally, teachers and students should dig into Google and YouTube's privacy settings, and perhaps even turn off Watch History to partially escape the algorithm.

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Overall Rating


An endless stream of videos enthralls users of all ages, sometimes well past their bedtime. It would be hard to overestimate YouTube's popular appeal.


Having students take an active role in research may help them learn to investigate their interests. There are often multiple videos on a particular topic, so it's possible for students to find a style that suits them best.


Help videos and FAQ pages are very thorough. However, younger children may still find it difficult to navigate this large, adult-focused site. Users actively network via the site's social media features.

Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

(See all 4 reviews) (4 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jose d. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
autoaprendizaje, aprendizaje hibrido, asincronico aprendizaje en el aula y mucho más
En mi opinión cada alumno aprende a su ritmo a utilizar como docente videos de clase o como un alumnos que hace sus videos de sus aficiones subir combinar imágenes o algunas, para poder compartir online, cpn amistades o amigos al tenr un canal hay beneficio es gratuito, también de útil a la hora de ver un video.
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Profile information is shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Users retain ownership of their data.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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