How to Make a YouTube Playlist

How to Make a YouTube Playlist

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Recently on the Blog, She Wrote Facebook page, I asked readers if they used a YouTube playlist and if so, to share some of their favorite YouTube channels. We gathered some great information on some fun channels, but I also learned that not everyone knows what a YouTube playlist is. Today I hope to help readers out by explaining How to Make a YouTube playlist.

What is a YouTube Playlist?

How to Make a YouTube Playlist

Here are a few things to know about YouTube playlists:

  • It’s a customized list of videos to watch.
  • You can choose the categories for your videos.
  • Choose as many categories as you’d like.
  • Anyone can view your playlists unless the videos are marked as private.
  • You don’t need a Google account to view the playlists, but you do need to have one to make playlists
  • Share playlists with friends.
  • They are super easy to make and save for later!

How to Create a YouTube Playlist

Benefits of a YouTube Playlist

So, what are the advantages of setting up playlists? There are many:

  • Set up categories for school videos and save them for later as you are planning.
  • Save a list of your child’s favorite shows without having to hunt for them each time he wants to watch.
  • Customize your lists for your homeschool and child.
  • Make a list for each child.
  • Make lists of assigned videos for the week.
  • Helps to make YouTube a “safer” place for your child because a “yes” list has been created for them by you- that does not take the place of being around! (Managing the Internet in Your Home might give you more ideas)
  • Make a playlist of your favorite YouTube videos related to a topic or a YouTuber. You can start by checking out my playlists on YouTube. I’m just getting started, but it’s good stuff!

How to Make a YouTube Playlist

How to Make a YouTube Playlist

So, how do you make a playlist? Here you go:

  • Go to your YouTube page and click on “My Channel”.
  • Next find “playlists” in the center of the page and click.
  • To create categories, choose “+Add playlist” and type a category name.
  • When you find a video you’d like to save to a playlist, click on “+Add to” and select the category. It will automatically save to that list.
  • You can also click “+Add to” and create a new category. This way if you find something that doesn’t fit and you want to add a category, you can make it right from there. Also, you can just start searching videos and create categories as you go.
  • When you want to watch a playlist, you simply go to your channel and click playlists to see them all.
  • By default you already have a “liked videos” category.

How to Homeschool with a Kindle

How to Use a YouTube Playlist

Once you have some playlists saved, what’s next? How will your students watch the videos?

  • On the TV through the Wii (or a laptop) - great option for those without tablets and excellent for lots of kids to see it at once.
  • Computers- Both laptops and desktops
  • Tablets- iPads & Kindle Fires are great options (check out how we use our Kindle Fires)
  • Small Devices- Like iPod Touches and Android devices
  • Many mobile devices have YouTube apps which help with viewing- I just tried one out on my Android smartphone and it’s perfect! You can add videos to playlists and create them there too which means you can make your lists on the go as well.

Once you have your YouTube preferred medium worked out, you can use and share Playlists any time. I like to share a video while we wait at the doctor’s office or any other time we are on the go. Usually we find videos which are relevant to a topic of study and I can save it to a playlist and let the kids know.

Now it’s time for a YouTube content post, right? We know how to create and save to playlists, let’s find some good stuff to fill them up!

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My Top 5 Pinterest Picks for Homeschooling Teens

Blog, She Wrote: Top 5 Pinterest Picks for Homeschooling Teens

This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks always for your support!

Today I’m eager to share the Top 5 Blog, She Wrote Pinterest Boards for Homeschooling Teens. Honestly, I love Pinterest and I’ve been creating new boards whenever I can classify content specifically for middle and high school. I only got to choose 5 for this post, but I have more boards for teens that I adore. Feel free to follow any of my boards. The more, the merrier! Are you ready for my favorites?

eReader Homeschooling

This board is a collecting place for all things Kindle related and beyond. You’ll find free book series, ways to use a Kindle in your homeschool, and plenty of content for your eReader. Blog, She Wrote: Top 5 Pinterest Picks for Homeschooling Teens

Blog, She Wrote posts related to eReader Homeschooling:

Homeschool High School

All things high school related are found on this board. I started out with just one highschool board, but I’m starting to add specific course names to my boards like chemistry, biology, and U.S. History.

Blog, She Wrote: Top 5 Pinterest Picks for Homeschooling Teens

Blog, She Wrote posts on Homeschooling High School:

Teaching with Technology

You’ll find ways to incorporate technology into your homeschool- whether it’s using Netflix or using an Arduino unit to program simple electronics. I’m not much for apps though we use a select few for a select purpose. I’m much more interested in our kids being makers and I try to focus on that as I collect ideas.

Blog, She Wrote: Top 5 Pinterest Picks for Homeschooling Teens

Blog, She Wrote Technology Posts:

Project Based Homeschooling

The projects gathered here are ideas and reporting on student-driven projects. These aren’t units or parent directed projects, but the kind that come from a student’s own motivation and desire to learn.

Blog, She Wrote: Top 5 Pinterest Picks for Homeschooling Teens

Blog, She Wrote Project Posts:

  • Steampunk Fashion & Design- The story of Rebecca’s history and fashion project for the year.
  • Workspace- One of the keys to successful projects is the space you devote to what your kids are doing. This post shares all of our project spaces.

Coaching Writers

This board showcases ideas and programs that allow us to mentor our writers at home. There’s a lot of good stuff out there!

Blog, She Wrote: Top 5 Pinterest Picks for Homeschooling Teens

Blog, She Wrote Coaching Writer’s Posts:

I love to spend time on Pinterest saving things for a day when I need a great idea. Sometimes it’s all you need to spark something you can really use. Do you use Pinterest?

Enjoy this Cream of the Crop iHN Pinterest Boards for Homeschoolers. Join other bloggers from the iHomeschool Network as we all share our favorite Pinterest Boards today.

iHN: Our Pintastic Pinboards

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Internet Filtering & Access Control Part 3: Using OpenDNS to Filter Content

Blog, She Wrote: Internet Filtering & Access Control Part 3: Using OpenDNS to Filter Content

This is the 3rd post in our series on controlling our kids access to the Internet, both when they can get on, and what they can reach when they are online. In the first post we discussed the basics of how computer networks function, using the analogy of a phone system at our Blog, She Wrote Headquarters (HQ) with the part of the receptionist being played by our router, and directory assistance representing the work of Domain Name System (DNS) servers. In this analogy, the router plays the part of a receptionist who handles all outgoing and incoming calls between our internal phone system (ext. 1, ext. 2, etc.) and the external phone system (the rest of the world). We also talked about how in the computer world, the IP addresses (the numbers the computers use to call one another, similar to phone numbers at our Blog, She Wrote HQ) are constantly changing (every couple of days or so), even for external websites.

To handle that, the Internet has the Domain Name System (DNS), where DNS servers are spread around to act as directory assistance for the world. Whenever your computer wants to browse a web site, like your favorite www.blogshewrote.org, your computer contacts the local DNS server to ask for the IP address of the Blog, She Wrote server, and the DNS server looks that up in a constantly updated directory. Without that service you would be stuck, since your computer would not know what the current number is for that server. Just like our receptionist, the DNS server sits in a powerful position, as without the DNS server,  our computer could not find the websites we are trying to reach.

A company recognized how the position of the DNS server could be helpful for Internet filtering and has setup a business around that service. The service is called OpenDNS. The idea behind Open DNS is that by not giving out the IP addresses (phone numbers) of sites you don’t want anyone in your family to reach (www.evilsite.com), your devices won’t be able to reach it, no matter how hard they try. It won’t matter if it is an iOS device, a laptop, or a tablet, if the network won’t tell it how to reach it, it can’t. All of this is done by your computer network, not the device, so you don’t need to install software on the device itself.

Getting Started with OpenDNS

The service is free for families (they charge for businesses) and fairly easy to setup.

  • Go to the OpenDNS website and setup an account.
  • You then need to tell your network to use the OpenDNS DNS server instead of your local ISP DNS server. The DNS server information is given out to devices when they are assigned an IP address by the router. You can tell the router to give out the OpenDNS server information instead of the local one in the router settings.
  • The OpenDNS site has a good set of instructions on how to do this for most major router models.

Blog, She Wrote: Internet Filtering & Access Control Part 3: Using OpenDNS to Filter Using OpenDNS for Content Filtering

In your account options on the OpenDNS site, you have many different ways to select the filtering you want to do. Content filtering is often done using whitelists or blacklists. Blacklists are designed around the idea that you maintain a list of sites you want to block, and allow everything else. Whitelists are the opposite of that, where you block everything by default, and only allow sites that are on the approved list. Neither method is perfect at filtering. With a blacklist, you have to work hard to maintain an accurate list of bad sites with a constantly changing Internet. Any new bad sites are not on your excluded list until you learn about them and add them in. Whitelists suffer from blocking most of the world, and only letting in a small portion that is already approved. Many good sites will be blocked since you don’t know anything about them yet, and a previously good site can start posting bad content and be approved until you notice and remove it from the whitelist.

OpenDNS works under the blacklist mode, with their own internal categorization of sites. They assign websites to various filtering categories, and either block or allow on your network based on the options you select. So, you can choose to block all adult sites as well as social networking sites like Facebook, or only block adult sites. They work hard to maintain the lists as they are the basis for the filtering of the commercial service they sell to companies. You also have the option to add your own list of sites to either always block or always allow as well. That way you can customize it based on your individual needs. When someone on your network tries to reach a blocked site, they are redirected to an OpenDNS webpage telling them that it is blocked and what categories it is blocked under. That way you know why you cannot reach the webpage.Blog, She Wrote: Internet Filtering & Access Control Part 3: Using OpenDNS to Filter

One last challenge to deal with is that the OpenDNS servers are getting many DNS requests from many different computers, so they need to know which requests are from your network to know what filtering to apply. To do that their computers needs to know the external IP address of your router (you can find it at www.whatismyip.com). The challenge is that this number can change every couple of days, so you will need to constantly update OpenDNS with the new number to keep the filtering correct. To make this easy, OpenDNS has created a small program that only needs to run on one computer in your network. It checks the external IP address of your network every now and then, and automatically updates OpenDNS with any changes that occur. It is better to choose a computer that spends most of the time at home, not a laptop that is taken to and from work or school regularly. Otherwise OpenDNS will be updated with the wrong IP address when the computer is off-site, and your filtering will go away until it returns home. On our home network, this is handled automatically by my router, but explaining that setup is beyond the scope of this post. The OpenDNS site would have some information on how to do that for those who are interested.

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!

I hope you have found this information useful as you work to guide your kids towards responsible use of the Internet. Feel free to post any questions or follow-ups in the comments and I will try to respond as best as I can.

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