Top 5 Sites for Hosting Your Classroom Media Files

Adam Heckler is a twenty-something Cincinnati, Ohio local working in the education technology sector. Most of his time is spent at VARtek Services where he writes for the blog, manages social media, and advises K12 s


In this day and age, teaching students requires more media than ever. Between pictures, videos, and music, it seems like kids always need some sort of audio-visual material to hold their attention. Some people just learn better that way, but no matter what the subject is, it can be made much more entertaining by using an exciting piece of media.

The problem with that is that it’s hard to find a good place to keep all of that media. If you want to create online wikis, assessments, or some such, you need a place to host those media files. Those services may not be free either!

So today I’m bringing you the top 5 media hosting sites for all your classroom needs. Some of these websites might specialize in images or video, and others might be more generalist, but hopefully you’ll find at least one of them useful as you and your students continue to produce digital media. Let’s get started!



Imgur is a relative new-comer to the web, having only been launched in February of 2009. Since then, however, it’s popularity has exploded. It bills itself as a minimalist image hosting website that’s popular with the social media crowd.

Imgur Logo

Uploading images in simple enough: just click the Computer or Web button on the homepage and choose which image you want to upload. With a free account you can host up to 225 images at a time, which should be plenty. For $12 per year, you can get a Pro account with an unlimited number of images, higher quality images, and no ads.



Flickr, like Imgur, is primarily an image hosting site. Although you can also upload videos, Flickr is most famous for it’s large community of professional and amateur photographers. There’s some very, very high-quality photographs out there, so if you happen to teach a digital media or art class, definitely explore the site a little bit.

Flickr Logo

There are limits as to how many pictures you can upload here as well (300MB montly limit). Pro accounts can be had for $25 per year, and gets you unlimited photo and video uploads, no advertising, image archiving, and statistics. This is well worth it if you work with a lot of media, since Flickr is generally one of the more well-regarded photo websites.



Of course, we couldn’t let a list of the top 5 media sites go by without mentioning the granddaddy of them all: YouTube. While most schools tend to block YouTube, there’s actually a wealth of educational content out there in video form that’s just waiting to be discovered.

YouTube Logo

The nice thing about YouTube is that it’s completely free, and if you have a Google account already (which I’m assuming most people do), then you also have a YouTube account as well! YouTube is perfect for short videos your students have created.



Vimeo is to YouTube as Flickr is to Imgur. That is to say, Vimeo is pretty much a more refined and artsy version of YouTube. Many independent artists and design studios use Vimeo to host their high-definition video files, and so can you!

Vimeo Logo

Uploading is free up to a limit of 500MB per month, which includes one HD video. This makes Vimeo perfect for the occasional, higher-quality project you want to show off in style!


Amazon S3

S3 is the more well-known cousin of Glacier, Amazon’s other file storage service, which I’ve written about before. S3 is unlike any of these other services in that it’s not part of a social network of any kind, meaning you can’t browser other people’s stuff, comment on it, or rate it.

AWS Logo

What S3 specializes in is this: storing a boatload of stuff for cheap. Seriously cheap. Let’s say that you have, for example, 500GB worth of images to store online. How much do you think that would cost? $50 per month? $100? Try 9 cents. Yeah, it’s that cheap. Simply upload your photos and video, make them publicly readable, and you’re good to go!


Let us know in the comments what other sites you have used to host your classroom media files!


Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Velo Steve. Imgur, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Amazon logos from site press kits.