"A picture is worth a thousand words". No truer words than than this have ever been spoken with regard to education, specifically with the availability of YouTube and other free video sources on the web. With millions of educational videos available on demand, teachers can easily integrate powerful videos into their instruction to enhance the depth of learning. The vivid depictions in videos offer an experience for the learner that isn't possible through reading or lecture; "a picture is worth a thousand words".
In his article, YouTube Anchors and Enders: The Use of Shared Online Video as a Macrocontext for Learning, Dr. Curt Bonk discusses the effectiveness of videos and a number of potential instructional strategies associated with video clips. These strategies include instructor based uses, as well as student centered activities. Most commonly, videos can be used as an instructional primer, to act as an anchor for instructional material, or as an ender to reinforce what was taught in a lesson. Students can also be assigned to show relevant videos. This serves two-fold, to facilitate discussion as well as empowering students to take charge of their own learning.
Overall, YouTube and other sources of video available on the internet are, and will continue to facilitate student's interest in learning, while enhancing the depth and effectiveness of education.