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  • Writer's pictureAmy Hortop

Evaluating YouTube Playlists as EdTech Tool

Updated: May 11

This blog post is part of the coursework for EDUO 652,

As the battery manufacturing industry continues to grow and the need to reskill and upskill existing manufacturing technicians and engineers increases, many EdTech solutions are being considered to recruit and train incoming workers. One challenge in workforce development already identified by industry is simply not having enough people within some rural regions where battery manufacturing plants are being built. This necessitates recruiting potential workers from around the country, many of whom will have never been inside a gigafactory and don’t know what to expect from a potential job. The EdTech solution being considered for the Use Case described here is YouTube Playlists, where potential learners can first get a better sense of what a manufacturing job in a gigafactory might entail before going through a lengthy onboarding and training process. 

At first glance, this might not be considered an EdTech solution, but there are some compelling reasons for considering its use in workforce development based on the needs of Learner Personas:  

  • Playlists are easy to access without requiring that the adult learner log in or have a computer (i.e. can be played on a smartphone).

  • Videos can be pulled from around the web, showing the latest trends in manufacturing with industry-recognized companies and highlighting specific roles that our learners are interested in (based on previous personas). 

  • Videos can be created to be short in length, making them easier to fit into busy schedules already full of work and family obligations, relevant to a job, and aligned with adult learning best practices (Merriam & Baumgartner, 2020). 

  • Videos can be supplemental to other training materials also under development, such as AR/VR, which allows learners to walk on a virtual factory floor. 

Figure 1. Example YouTube Playlist as a potential EdTech tool for workforce development.

Applying Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

One strategy for ensuring this solution is relevant to adult learners in workforce development is to consider the various learning objectives present for various phases of the recruiting, onboarding, and training process. Playlists could be created for each phase, where earlier videos could provide a simple awareness of what a factory is, while later videos could provide context for how equipment should be maintained or output from manufacturing tested, etc. These later videos could be supplemental to other activities that encourage higher-order thinking skills, such as analyzing which equipment to use for which process, evaluating different measurement techniques, or creating new standard operating procedures within the plant (Sneed, 2016). 

Figure 2. Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. Retrieved from Sneed (2016)

Evaluating against Rubrics

Trust (2020) provides numerous evaluation checklists to compare potential EdTech solutions and assess the appropriateness of each tool. The following table combines several Trust (2020) prompts used to evaluate YouTube Playlists.

Table 1

Evaluation using Trust (2020) Prompts

Learning to use the tool

  • It shouldn’t be assumed that all learners have previously used YouTube, but the interface is fairly intuitive once navigated to the playlists. 

Tool interactivity and/or collaboration capacity

  • YouTube Playlists are not interactive in the way that other EdTech tools can be. However, some interactivity through the comments section or videos could be created to include an interaction or experiential component. 


  • Videos can be accessed across a variety of devices and platforms. The app has Windows, iOS, and Android versions.

  • The YouTube user interface is somewhat cluttered by other ads and suggested videos, but it's easy to navigate. 

  • Further research would be needed to determine whether it supports multiple languages. 

Dependencies (Udell & Woodill, 2019) and other requirements

  • YouTube can be accessed through multiple browsers and is not dependent on a particular browser or hardware type. 

  • There is no cost associated with accessing the Playlists. 

  • There is potential for combining the videos with AR/VR later in training development. 

Promoting Social Learning

Social learning happens when learners interact with one another through collaborating on something, chatting, or engaging in other forms of communication (Trust, 2020). With videos being posted worldwide, it is also possible to work towards becoming a “global collaborator” (ISTE, 2016). YouTube Playlists can be configured to allow learners to leave comments for one another, but the tradeoff is that they must also log in. Requiring a log-in removes the ease of accessibility for which the tool is being considered.  


To ensure that course elements are inclusive and equitable, Dickson (2022) provides prompts to four equity considerations when selecting and implementing EdTech: tech equity, accessibility equity, experiential equity, and identity equity. To address these prompts, further research into YouTube Playlists would need to be carried out before selecting it as an appropriate tool. 

Table 2

Evaluation using Dickson (2022) Equity Prompts

Tech Equity

Does the app allow for access regardless of broadband speed, are users able to engage with various devices, is it intuitive to use or is there good guidance for use, and is there any out-of-pocket costs for students?

Accessibility Equity

Does this technology work for different abilities and variations in neurodiversity? 

Experiential Equity

Does the technology provide equitable choices for knowledge demonstration and multiple learning pathways, offer equity in assessment and feedback mechanisms, and expand digital literacy or academic cultural capital in clearly relevant ways to all students?

Identity Equity

Does the technology allow for use by those with different language backgrounds, are images and language reflective of student representation, does it afford the self-identification needs of all students, and does the tool provide “the equitable sense of belonging, connectivity, and safety that all students need to engage in collaborative inquiry and social learning?” (Dickson, 2022)

Appropriateness for Learner Personas

Overall, this tool would be a good fit for Maria to be able to access bit-size chunks of content when she has a moment, such as at a doctor's appointment or waiting during child pickup from school It would give her an easy-to-access opportunity to stay up to date with technical aspects of manufacturing. For Ryan, he could access videos on his lunch break, and have a better idea of whether it's the right fit before he moves his family hundreds of miles away to a plan under construction.


Dickson, R. (2022, May 12). 14 Equity considerations for ed tech. Campus Technology.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2016).  ISTE Standards for Educators.

Merriam, S. B., & Baumgartner, L. (2020). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (4th ed.). Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 9781119490494

Sneed, O. (2016, May 9). Integrating technology with Bloom’s taxonomy. ASU Teach Online.

Trust, T. (2020). Teaching with Digital Tools and Apps (1st ed.). EdTech Books.

Udell, C., & Woodill, G. (2019). Shock of the new: The challenge and promise of emerging technologies. American Society for Training and Development.

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