Do your teens spend a lot of time on YouTube? Have you ever wondered what it would take to run a successful YouTube channel? Do you have great ideas for generating content, but aren’t sure how or where to begin? Then YouTube 4 Teens is the course for you!
YouTube 4 Teens is an online video course sold by one of my all-time favorite curriculum suppliers, Timberdoodle. You can purchase it as a stand-alone product or as part of their 10th grade curriculum kit.
When Timberdoodle contacted me over the summer about reviewing this course, I gladly agreed. Our family already has our own YouTube channel, but we admittedly know next to nothing about running it successfully.
So I ate up YouTube 4 Teens and learned a lot of valuable information in the process. I won’t give away any of the creator’s secrets in this review, but I will tell you the things I liked most about this course.
10 Things to Love about YouTube 4 Teens
The course materials are well organized.
I love the way this 12-week course is laid out. It is divided into 36 short, detailed lessons that walk students through the process of creating a YouTube channel from start to finish.
Homework assignments are doable.
The course includes a helpful workbook in which students can take notes, brainstorm ideas, and complete assignments. You’ll get a PDF file for the workbook, too, so you can print extra copies if you have several teens working through the course at once. The assignments are well-explained and given in the kind of bite-sized pieces that will steadily move you toward your goal without overwhelming you at any single step.
We get to see the material in action.
During a portion of the teaching modules, the course director, Damon Evans, coaches his son Kelson and family friend Jackson through the process of creating a channel and coming up with content ideas, then filming, editing, and uploading the videos to YouTube.
Damon teaches the material in a hands-on, practical way, which the teens then execute. After they’ve had an opportunity to try out what they’ve learned, they debrief together, discussing what went well and which areas could stand some improvement. Watching this case study serves to simplify the whole process and makes the concepts seem that much more accessible for “ordinary” people like me.
They take time to discuss goals and motivation.
One of my favorite parts of this program are the “Deep Thoughts” segments found in the Classic edition of the course. Here they encourage Christians to utilize the tools and technology of the times for the glory of God, while using discretion and still being mindful of dangers inherent in the Internet.
To help with these philosophical discussions, Damon brings in two believing friends, Jason and Andrea. They discuss questions of purpose, goals, and motivations from a Christian worldview. If faith-based discussions aren’t your thing, don’t worry. The course is also available in a more neutral Charter edition. It has the same great instruction without overt references to the creator’s Christian beliefs.
You’ll get practical tips for filming your videos.
The creators of YouTube 4 Teens offer separate courses on introductory and advanced filmmaking, but they’ve also included in this course a list of helpful practices for you to use while filming.
Keeping these super simple suggestions in mind while shooting will help you generate more useable footage and dramatically improve the quality of your videos.
You’ll learn how to edit like a pro
Even if your footage is less than stellar, Damon gives great tips for editing in a way that will still lead to a finished video you can be proud of. Here again, he demonstrates exactly what he’s talking about using footage Kelson and Jackson recorded.
Experienced YouTubers walk you through the technical stuff.
For help with the technical processes involved in creating and maintaining a YouTube channel, Damon calls in another friend, “YouTube Guru” Chris Zimmerman. Chris uses screen sharing to explain in specific detail the exact steps required to set up your channel and upload your videos.
They warn you about common mistakes.
Going through YouTube 4 Teens was very helpful to me personally, because it identified many things I overlooked when uploading videos to my own channel. Turns out, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is just as important for YouTube videos as it is for blog posts. Who knew? And this course gives lots of practical pointers for optimizing your content so to make it easier for viewers to find.
They give direction to students who want to dig deeper.
Since so many different options exist for cameras, microphones, and lighting equipment, as well as editing software programs, most of the instruction involving those aspects of video content creation are generalized. However, Damon includes links to other YouTube tutorials about those specific aspects, too, including more information on the top three editing programs professional YouTubers use to edit their videos.
I appreciate the fact that in all these discussions, Damon stresses the fact that you can get started as a YouTube content creator without investing much (if any) money upfront.
The course isn’t just for teens.
YouTube 4 Teens is great for film-loving adults, as well, or anybody else who is interested in approaching visual media as a producer rather than a consumer. Sure, it is geared toward a younger set, but the real meat of the course is applicable to would-be YouTubers of any age.
YouTube 4 Teens is a great investment for aspiring YouTubers everywhere. If you try it and like it, please send me a link to your channel. I’d love to see what you create!
PLEASE NOTE: As a member of the Timberdoodle blog team, I routinely receive free or deeply discounted products in exchange for writing honest reviews. Opinions expressed in these posts are 100% my own. I’ve been a happy and enthusiastic Timberdoodle customer for decades — long before I ever started blogging for their company.