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How YouTube Influencers are Changing Education

04 December 2021
How YouTube Influencers are Changing Education

Education is a business with a lot of money behind it. If you want to make a change, the way you need to do it is with lightning speed and cunning strategy. You have an army of 5 billion people at your disposal ready to listen if you know how to convince them. I once told my students that YouTube was just another source for learning about something other than school work, but could only show them so much in class time because there are so many videos on any given topic imaginable. Once they got home, they were able to learn more without me while also staying entertained. They started spending less time online and more time working on assignments.

Nowadays, online education is often associated with massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are free courses accessed over the internet.

However, YouTube has also changed the way young learners are taught by inserting itself into their daily routines as a source of information and entertainment.

Why YouTubers Are Making a Difference In the Classroom

Educational video channels on YouTube have become extremely popular among its younger viewers for offering entertaining lessons in an engaging format that is easily accessible anywhere at any time. Many teachers use these channels to supplement learning in the classroom or broaden students' understanding of topics they may not be able to discuss in depth during regular class time. Some only use the videos simply to keep their students quiet while they take attendance or pass out papers, but others integrate these videos into lesson plans across all subjects.

Pew Research Center conducted a study to look into these YouTube-based education channels and identify the most influential and engaging ones in order to see how they affect younger viewers' interest in learning. It found that these influencers demonstrate how useful YouTube can be in the classroom and point to its potential for broadening access to quality educational content, especially in low income, rural areas where libraries are struggling or have even had to close down due to lack of funding. Pew also discovered that many teachers are unaware of how much their students are influenced by these videos outside of the classroom, but would nonetheless want them to continue being available for their students. This is because educators agree on one thing - that the videos help reinforce lessons taught inside classrooms, making it more likely that students will remember and understand the material.

YouTube has also helped to level the playing field for students who may not have access to quality education. According to a report from The 74 Million, "In rural areas, children often attend schools that are ill-equipped, understaffed, and lack basic resources like textbooks and technology. In these circumstances, supplemental materials—including educational videos available online—can be crucial in filling the gaps for kids who fall behind."

YouTube can be an amazing resource for educators and students alike, and its use in the classroom is only increasing. With more and more people turning to YouTube for information and entertainment, it's important that these educational channels exist to offer quality content that can supplement learning. Not only do they provide a fun and engaging way for students to learn, but they also level the playing field for children who may not have access to quality education. The continued growth of these channels can only mean good things for the future of education.

Since the advent of YouTube, online video has become one of the most popular forms of content on the internet. In fact, according to a report by Cisco Systems, video traffic will account for 82 percent of all global internet traffic by 2021. And within that category, YouTube is king.

YouTube has more than 1.5 billion active users, and those users watch more than 500 million hours of videos per day. That’s a lot of people watching a lot of videos. So it’s no surprise that YouTube has become a powerful tool for educators.

For years, teachers have been using YouTube to supplement their lessons with short videos on a variety of topics. But in recent years, there has been a growing trend of using YouTube as a primary means of education. This is thanks, in part, to the rise of YouTube influencers.

YouTube influencers are people who have built up a large following on YouTube by creating engaging content. Many of these influencers are educators themselves, and they’ve found success in using YouTube to teach everything from history to science to cooking.

The popularity of YouTube influencers has allowed them to reach more people than traditional teachers ever could. And their engaging style of teaching has proven to be very effective, as evidenced by the millions of subscribers they have amassed.

As a result, many educators are now turning to YouTube influencers for help with their lessons. In fact, a study by Google found that a third of English teachers in the US and Canada use YouTube to supplement their lessons.

Even Google has caught on, recently hiring a team of YouTubers to create content for its online education platform, known as “EdTech”. 

With all this success, it seems YouTube influencers are changing education, both at home and in the classroom. 

Questions

1. How have YouTubers changed the global education system?
2. What are some of the more influential YouTubers you've seen on international sites?
3. Do you think YouTube can be used to provide an equal, unbiased background for children of different backgrounds and beliefs via content creation and access? 
4. If so, what type of content do you see as most beneficial to a classroom setting: one-on-one interviews with influencers or informal "highlights" clips that show what online professionals do in their everyday life (e.g., gaming, drawing)?

Influencers
Meryem Winstead
Blogger

I graduated from Hacettepe University, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. I have Blogging and Human Resources Management certificates.

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