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YouTube has been around since 2005, and since then countless people have created, posted, watched and shared videos. Lauryn Powers, a freshman studying music, uses YouTube for her classes at least once every other week.

“It’s easy to use and you can find almost everything you need on there,” Powers said.

Several classes at BYU-Idaho require students to make or watch videos. Some students simply watch YouTube to enhance their learning. Here are 5 tips students can use with YouTube to optimize their learning experience while attending college.

1. There is a Crash Course for Everything

For those who are struggling or have ever struggled with a specific math problem or a hard-to-grasp theory or idea, struggle no more. Jenna Ferguson, a freshman studying public health, has used crash courses before.

“Crash courses are videos that summarize a school subject in easy-to-understand ways,” Ferguson said. “I watched crash courses during school. They were mostly to introduce a new topic.”

Simply go to the YouTube homepage and type in crash courses, and it will pull up courses on philosophy, anatomy, psychology, biology and more.

2. Upload Videos and Make Them Private

“It’s nice to be able to upload videos to YouTube so they are stored somewhere we can always access them but still have the option to keep it private if we don’t want everyone having access to it,” said Emma Poole, sophomore studying exercise physiology.

To upload a video, you must first have a Gmail or YouTube account. Once the account is set up, go to the YouTube homepage. Up in the top of the page next to the search bar on the right side there is a little camera with a plus sign on it. This is the upload or go live button.

But before uploading, sign in to the YouTube Studio beta, and on the left menu pick videos. Go to the video you wish to make private and click on the pencil icon under visibility and choose “Private” out of the three options.

Once the video is ready, hit publish.

3. Edit Videos and Add Visual and Audio Effects

For those students who have to create a video for a class or just want to for fun, YouTube provides a way. Type in “Video Editor” in the YouTube search bar and it will pull up a video. This video explains the functions of the video editor, and underneath the video is a link that connects to the free software to download in order to use this product.

To add visual and audio effects, go to YouTube and find the upload button which leads to a drop-down menu. Click on “My Channel,” then select creator studio which brings up the video manager. Select the video you want to edit and click “Edit” and select “Enhancements” or “Audio.” There are several editing options like lighting, speed, contrast and many more to choose from.

“From what I’ve seen, our generation learns best with visuals and audio,” Powers said. “Being able to do this on YouTube means that we have this amazing tool that has easy access and is effective in helping us learn.”

4. Send Videos With a Specific Time Signature

Some classes may require a small clip of a video from YouTube or have a certain time requirement. Instead of having to pull up the video and pause and skip, simply start the video, let it play and pause it where you want it to start. Right click on the video and tap copy video URL at current time and then send it to a teacher, a friend or yourself and pull it up ready to use in class.

“I think this is a really useful tool because then we are able to share more concise information with others easier,” Poole said. “I’ve found it helpful to view the specific parts of the video I need rather then watching all of it.”

5. Keyboard Shortcuts

To simplify YouTube use, there are lots of different shortcuts to use.

“I like to use them in casual settings, but only shortcuts that are widely known,” Ferguson said.

Holding down the space bar makes the video go in slow motion. The left and right arrow keys make the video jump forward and backward five seconds while J and L do the same thing except for 10 seconds. F makes the video full screen, K can be used to pause and play, and numbers 1 through 9 allow you to quickly navigate through the video.


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