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Enhancing presentations using YouTube

Tags: Social sciences | Multimedia – video | Primary | Upper primary |

Students at Somerville Intermediate School enhanced the presentation of their work about virtues using YouTube.

"In our school, the safe and responsible use of digital technologies is embedded in our curriculum programmes."
eLPF 2014

Focusing Inquiry

The classroom teacher was looking for new ways to integrate the use of social media tools to help support students’ learning in ways which were authentic and current. YouTube was used as an interactive presentation tool.

Teaching and Learning

As part of the classroom virtues programme, students were given the task of creating a quiz to portray their understanding of some of the virtues they had been studying.

The teacher introduced YouTube at the beginning of the learning sequence to demonstrate how they could make an interactive virtues quiz using YouTube’s spotlight tool. This tool allows students to place clickable areas on their videos which would take the viewer to another video based on their choice.

How it worked

The students used iMovie to film 13 videos that ask questions about virtues and uploaded them to the class YouTube account. The viewer watched the first video, then chose one of three options by clicking on the appropriate spotlight in the video. The spotlight linked through to another video, where the viewer was then asked a question with three more possible spotlight options to choose from.

In YouTube, the students added the spotlights using the annotation feature and then linked their videos together to create a complete interactive YouTube video experience. The steps the students went through to do this are explained in more detail below.

Blubbus mindmap

Mind mapping

The group initially used a mind map to create video pathways for a series of questions and possible answers.

The mind map was displayed in the classroom and also served as a checklist to show which videos needed filming and which ones were already completed. See example done in Blubbl.us .


Filming the segment

The students filmed 13 videos and also selected three other videos from Youtube that represented each of the virtues of integrity, perseverance, and respect. These bonus videos that the students chose were linked to the correct answers in the quiz giving the viewer a choice of watching an additional video.

Video editing in iMovie

Basic video editing was done using iMovie before the videos were uploaded to YouTube. The focus here was on selecting the best snippets from the raw video footage. The group decided to keep the bloopers in the final product for added comedy value.

Using YouTube’s annotation tools to add titles and captions to the videos

When the videos were uploaded to the class YouTube account the students used annotation features, accessed via YouTube’s edit video section, to add titles and captions to the videos. Available features include speech bubbles, notes, or title annotation. A variety of font sizes and text colours can be selected. Students used the timing feature to set when they wanted their annotations to appear in the video.

Using the spotlight feature to create multiple hyperlinks within a video

The spotlight feature - also accessed through YouTube’s edit video section via the annotations link - allowed the students to edit their spotlights altering their size and location within the video using drag and drop.

"What are some other online tools that we currently use, that could be manipulated in order to support our learning in ways that we haven't yet thought of?"

Educational outcomes

The following learning outcomes for students were noted:

  • Willingness to cooperate with others and problem-solve to reach a shared goal.
  • Increased awareness of the audience and the need to communicate ideas clearly and effectively.
  • Improved editing skills and ability to manipulate editing features to suit their own purposes.
  • Increased awareness of issues around digital citizenship.

Students discussed what kind of privacy settings they should set on the videos considering questions such as:

  • Were they comfortable with having their videos being viewed by everyone?
  • Should they allow others to comment on their videos?
  • Should they allow others to share and embed their videos?

They decided to set the privacy parameters to only allow those with access to the URL link to view the videos.

This also led to further discussion around the importance of students leaving a positive digital footprint for the future.

Exploring an everyday social media tool at greater depth led the students and teacher to ask the question: "What are some other online tools that we currently use, that could be manipulated in order to support our learning in ways that we haven't yet thought of?"

Student/Teacher Reflection

At the end of the process, students were asked to reflect on their learning by answering the following questions in a VoiceThread:

  • I think YouTube is a useful presentation tool because ...
  • The most helpful strategy we used in our planning process was ...
  • The most challenging part of the filming and video editing process was ...

The teacher included his own reflection on the VoiceThread as part of this process.