To be quite transparent, I did not want to create an account on a new social media tool. If you read my first post, you’ll know that I only have one social media account, and I’m perfectly happy with that. I do not want my name attached to any other type of social media like Snapchat and certainly do not really feel comfortable leaving a digital footprint or compelled to do so just to see what’s up.  That’s just how I roll. I  do recognize that a social media tool doesn’t always have to just be the aforementioned apps. So, I thought I’d do some digging into YouTube.  Surely it’s a social media tool; plus, my kids are really fascinated by it (actually obsessed), and I’m not so sure it’s appropriate for them as all three are under 10 years old.  Enter my research. I read some really great articles, especially this one .

Here are my thoughts:

  • Playlist function is great –
    • As an educator I can save the videos I need for the multiple subjects I teach
    • Saving videos is also a great option
  • Excellent for educators to access movies/clips for the classroom without having to purchase anything
    • there is an option to purchase entire movies for a cheaper price that can often be paid for by one’s department
  • Live streaming
    • Pro: access to events if cannot attend
    • Con: can be used incredibly inappropriately, potentially causing harm for viewers
  • Free music streaming
    • ad-free for purchase
  • Content sharing of all kinds – literally everything an everything can be shared
  • Closed captions are always a bonus
    • transcripts are also available – it’s not perfect, but I think it’s a great option if needed.
  • Great to learn skills like breadmaking (shoutout to Larry)
  • Tutorials for pretty much anything
    • I think “YouTube It” has become proper verbage
  • Offers problem solving videos and great visuals for understanding complicated terms like the polyvagal perspective for trauma or intersectionality. 
  • Pretty much any subject being taught has information and tools to help people understand like “Dad, How do I?”
  • Don’t need an account to use it or share it.
  • Kids:
    • access to all the things (nudity, sex, violence, profanity, and general inappropriate videos and ads) for curious kids
    • Predators are there lurking and ready to take advantage of naiive children.
    • Microphone option for kids to search for things instead of typing
      • This can be used as both an advantage and disadvantage
    • Millions of videos uploaded every day, so are they really screening all things perfectly and monitoring content appropriately?
    • Option to control access to content for kids…for the most part
    • Youtube kids is an option for younger kids
    • Nothing is 100% safe. This is a great article that helps explain how to keep things safe on YouTube.

At the end of the day, I think YouTube is an awesome tool to help educators, parents, and all of society, but, as always, we need to be aware of the risks and continue to have the conversations about how to be responsible with it. Recently, I became aware that my 9 year old was searching for videos on inappropriate topics for his age.  Kids (all humans, actually) are curious, and, frankly, I wasn’t doing my due diligence in assuring he was being monitored.  For now, because one of my jobs is to protect my children, I’ve blocked YouTube until I feel like they are able to be responsible with it. I’m not naiive in that he can access it with friends and other places, but for now, while he’s at home or on his tablet, YouTube is not an option for any of them. There will  be continued discussions and frequent monitoring, but I’m okay with that. My oldest is 9, and I think that’s still a little too little to have free reign with the second most visited website in the world (Gonzales, 2023, “Which are the most visited websites in the world”).

I think it’s clear how amazing YouTube is for access to learning on so many different avenues, but I’m not convinced it’s appropriate for younger kids unless there are parental controls applied and frequent monitoring occurs.



  1. Christina Puscus

    Laura – much of your post resonated with me! I also was hesitant to create a new social media account, and I also feel very similar to your thoughts about how children shouldn’t have “free reign” of the internet, which is full of things that a 9-year-old shouldn’t see. I think it’s important that society doesn’t go too far in the direction of letting young kids explore these digital spaces with no boundaries or restrictions in the name of freedom or learning or whatever the reason! I think about myself around 9 and am continually thankful that social media wasn’t really a thing and that even internet was new and a lot more…sparse than it is now.

    Anyway, thanks for a thoughtful post and your breakdown of the positive and negative features of this platform. I enjoyed reading very much!

  2. Laurie

    Laura, thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading your article and can also relate. I didn’t realize that you can make playlists on Youtube. This is an extremely helpful tip for me.

  3. Raegyn Fulmek

    Laura, I appreciate your thoughts and comments! I also appreciate how you do not want to be tied to social media and your name/face does not need to be all over the web. I really resonated with that piece. Further, I have never created a playlist on Youtube but I think this would be great for when we listen to music in class while working, thanks for the suggestion! Have you ever tried Edpuzzle? It is through Youtube and is a way to engage learners and ensure they are paying attention along the way. Let me know if you do try it and I would love to help out if you have any questions!

  4. Mike Gerrior

    YouTube has become my go to social media. A lot of my favourite podcasts have video versions and I often rely I have to do something new (garden, repairs, electronics).

    I also use it regularly in my classroom. As you noted there are inappropriate videos out there, some of which start with something innocent. I always make sure to watch the video first before screening it in my class. There are some reliable content makers out there, but it takes a while to harvest them through the vast amount of videos out there.

    While YouTube isn’t 100% safe I have found that it is more reliable than many of the new sites that pop up. I have had multiple lessons with my students on what to avoid and the dangers of interacting on those sites, but kids are curious and I have caught a few interacting in dangerous ways.

    One little trick I discovered recently, if you have a VPN and you make YouTube think you are from the states, you can do picture in picture on your phone. Nice to have when you are multitasking. For some reason that feature is disabled in Canada.

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