Power Up YouTube with Playlists

IMG_4660Earlier this year, I worked with BHS English teacher Callie Graham and helped her create a YouTube channel for her journalism class. This channel showcases the videos created by her students each semester. Today, Mrs. Graham visited me in the Help Desk wanting to know if there was a way to organize the videos her students had created and uploaded to the channel. This is when I showed her how to create a playlist in the video manager section of her YouTube channel as well as how to add videos to the playlist. Playlists are an excellent way to organize videos on your YouTube channel; whether it be based on the courses you teach or a specific topic in your content area. Like most Google products, creating and adding videos to a playlist in YouTube is actually quite simple and you can check out the screencast embedded below to learn how:

For those of you who prefer written directions, follow these steps to create a playlist:

  1. Click on “video manager” which can be found directly about your channel art or from the “triple line” drop down menu on the left hand side of your channel.
  2. All your videos will appear. Click on the drop down menu next to the “edit” button on any of your video.
  3. Click on “info and settings.” You will be taken to a more detailed view of your video where you can add a custom thumbnail, change privacy settings, change your video title and description and add tags. At the bottom right of this page you will see an +Add to Playlist button. Click on this button.
  4. A drop down menu will appear where you can either check off a box to add the video to an existing playlist, or you can click on the “create new playlist” button.
  5. Now you can create a new playlist and you can also change the privacy setting of that playlist.
  6. Be sure to click the “save changes” button so that all of your changes are saved.
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Adding videos to a playlist helps viewers of your channel easily find your videos

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Create a new playlist or add to an existing playlist

Note that in “video manager” view you can select multiple videos and add them to a playlist all at once, making the process quick and easy. Also, remember that just like any individual video you upload to YouTube, an entire playlist can be made either public, private, or unlisted.

Adding Rules to Your Playlists

You can make adding videos to a playlist automatic and save yourself even more time by taking advantage of the “auto add” feature located in playlist settings. This feature allows you to set a rule for adding videos to a playlist automatically. For example, here in the Help Desk we created four videos about using Snapchat in the Classroom. I added a rule that will automatically add a Snapchat video to the “Snapchat in the Classroom” playlist anytime a video that has the word Snapchat in the title is uploaded. I don’t ever have to worry about  manually adding a video to this playlist ever again. Once again, Google Apps makes our lives as educators easier! The screencast below shows you how to use the auto add feature:


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In Playlist settings you can change privacy, set rules, and more!

Some of these features in YouTube can be a bit tricky to find, but the screencasts walk you through the process in minutes.

Leveraging playlists in YouTube is the perfect way to create a highly organized channel for you, your students, and if your videos are public, for parents. Visitors to your YouTube channel will appreciate how easy it is to navigate through your videos and find exactly what they are looking for. I hope you will take a few minutes to view the screencasts to learn more about playlists and how they can help you “power up” your YouTube channel.

If you don’t currently have a YouTube channel, or if you have one and want to discover ways you can use it more effectively, please don’t hesitate to come see me at the Help Desk or book an appointment to work with me by visiting jscheffer.youcanbook.me.



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