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Dr. Christie's Internet Safety Guide: YouTube and TeacherTube

What is YouTube?

YouTube Logo

YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. YouTube was created in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees. In October 2006, Google Inc. bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock. View the YouTube video: What is YouTube?


Before the launch of YouTube, there were few simple methods available for ordinary computer users who wanted to post videos online. YouTube made it possible for anyone who could use a computer to post a video that millions of people could watch within a few minutes. The wide range of topics covered by YouTube has turned video sharing into one of the most important parts of Internet culture. As of early 2007 YouTube was one of the top ten most popular websites on the Internet.

What is TeacherTube?

TeacherTube Logo

TeacherTube is a video sharing website that is very similar to YouTube in layout and function, with one crucial difference: it's entirely devoted to educational videos. The site monitors inappropriate materials, so it's safe to use in the classroom.


TeacherTube has thousands of videos, many of them student-made, covering diverse topics. Because anyone can upload videos to the site, the videos vary, and not all of them are straightforward educational videos. Some of them are student projects or classroom demonstrations, and many of them are amateur presentations. However, students and teachers can see what students around the world are working on.


TeacherTube is a website where you can:

  • Publish classroom-created videos (teacher & student content) for free
  • Upload, tag (add keywords) and share classroom-created videos worldwide
  • Integrate TeacherTube videos on your website, blog, or wiki (your own and others’)
  • Browse hundreds of K12-appropriate videos in a variety of subject areas uploaded by
    educators around the world. Share videos with students and peers.
  • Make videos public or private - users can elect to broadcast their videos publicly or share
    them privately with those they invite.

Pitfalls and Perils

Like most other social-networking sites, YouTube has been the focus of much controversy. Issues regarding sensitive political and personal topics have seen the site banned in several countries. Popular, controversial videos such as the Saddam Hussein hanging and Naruto anime have seen the topic of YouTube blocking raised again and again in public schools and libraries. Although YouTube bans the distribution of pornography, much questionable content is available on the site. Due to the non-text and ever-changing nature of YouTube, parental controls and filters are often ineffective at blocking specific videos or portions of the site.


Resources for Teachers