iTube, YouTube, WeTube: Social Media Videos in Chemistry Education and Outreach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social media provide a unique arena in which chemists can communicate directly with an international audience from a wide range of backgrounds. In particular, YouTube offers a rich environment through which students of chemistry and members of the general public can be engaged, and chemophobia can be addressed. This article describes the development of a YouTube channel designed to inform and engage by (i) providing revision material for students of chemistry and (ii) reaching out to nonchemists and nontraditional learners through the application of chemistry in a real-world context. In addition to this educator-led approach (iTube), the active use of YouTube has been developed as an educational tool for undergraduate students. In a module on polymer chemistry, students could choose, instead of writing a magazine-style article, to make a YouTube video. The students making videos (YouTube) found it much more enjoyable than those who wrote articles and also gained further educational benefits: developing public engagement and presentation skills, enhancing their creativity, and even becoming empowered as global educators in their own right. The highly interactive nature of YouTube, in which users can comment, provides the audience with a voice, and as such, an online chemical community (WeTube) begins to spontaneously emerge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1594-1599
Number of pages6
Issue number10
Early online date4 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2014


  • Public understanding/outreach
  • Polymer chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Internet/web-based learning
  • Communication/writing
  • First-year undergraduate/general
  • General public
  • High school/introductory chemistry

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