How YouTube is Changing the Face of Education

When people think of advanced learning concepts such as calculus or quantum physics, they often think of a university or other place of higher learning. At the very least, high school might come up in a person's mind. Yet a surprising number of students are learning advanced concepts on a social media platform called YouTube. This might be surprising to some, considering the popularized idea of YouTube might bring up thoughts of the recent controversies with one of their biggest vloggers Logan Paul, but more and more, people are turning to the platform to learn.

YouTube is a video based platform that allows people to upload and share their videos. The people who watch them can vote on whether they like it or not and leave comments. YouTube has spawned a diverse number of videos, from classics like music videos, to vlogs, to educational videos on how to do just about anything.

If you are a visual learner, YouTube can be a fantastic tool for understanding new concepts. If you've never changed a tire before, or don't know how to do your taxes, there's a video that will walk you through it. Always wanted to compete your dog but can't afford the $200 a month in lessons? You can follow along with a video and get your dog show ring ready in no time.

Many YouTubers are catching on to just how useful the educational side of YouTube can be. The CEO of Youtube, Susan Wojcicki, noted at the 2018 Code Media Conference that the educational related views alone on YouTube reached one billion a day.

Inside of the classroom, YouTube is just as useful as outside of it. The short, easy to understand videos available can explain difficult concepts as well as text books, and in some cases better. As a popular example, Brian Cox has videos on quantum mechanics, where he explains advanced concepts so simply anyone could understand them.

When you are having trouble absorbing information for your class, YouTube can be a life saver. While this is a boon for homework, the educational field itself has had mixed results with it. Some schools have banned the use of YouTube, citing the inappropriate comments also available on the website. 

Others have a different view. At Columbia college, Mr. Mike Perkins frequently shows YouTube videos in his Case Management class. He uses YouTube to show his students real examples of the cases they might encounter. Language teachers also frequently use YouTube, because it offers interesting videos in different languages for their students to practice with. 

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While many teachers can and do use YouTube to help their students, it does have a drawback besides the inappropriate materials. Many school faculty reject YouTube for a completely different reason—its Wikipedia like management. Because anyone can upload videos, and there is no way to validate how true the information is, it can't always be taken seriously.

Fortunately, YouTube has responded with a compromise that has allowed YouTube and education to combine in helpful ways. YouTube EDU is a program established in 2012 that has been lauded by the Association of American Educators. It allows people in the educational field to hand pick which videos they want their students to see. This makes it so that a respected person can verify the facts themselves, and allows teachers to make full use of the benefits of YouTube without the potential drawbacks.

YouTube is rapidly becoming an important part of the educational sphere, both for its usefulness for the teachers, and for one other important feature. YouTube is changing how we learn because it is free to use. In a world where education is often out of this world expensive, it is a welcome relief and in some cases life saving.

In developing countries, getting an education can be an impossible task. Many children are forced to quit school because their parents can no longer afford the tuition fees, or they must work in order to help support their families. Luckily, thanks to the power of this social media platform, it doesn't have to mean the end of a chance for a better life for them.

YouTube has created an opportunity for them to learn skills that can help improve their lives. In India, women are changing the lives of their families through skills they have learned off of YouTube. One enterprising teenager learned to make bangles, bracelets, and other things off of YouTube. She sold them in nearby villages, and her skills earn her double what her father makes in a day. 

In other countries, YouTube does much the same thing. In Kabul, Danielle Moylan was able to help herself and others escape from the stress of living in a war zone through learning yoga. She used YouTube to help herself learn the techniques, and was even able to get enough training from watching videos that she was able to qualify as a yoga instructor. She now teaches others and helps give them a break from the every day tension in their life.

Stories like these are becoming more common. YouTube does not cost anything except for the price of the internet you need to access it, and in many countries the internet is readily available and free or cheap to use. According to the World Bank, the poorest households in the world are more likely to have access to a mobile phone than they are a toilet. 

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While this isn't necessarily a good thing in itself, it does provide hope for people of every demographic. YouTube is free to use, so even the poorest person in the world can still afford to get education and learn important skills through its power. Thanks to the power of YouTube, men and women of every age are learning how to build wind mills for their villages, gaining new status as business women in developing countries, or simply understanding the basic concepts of algebra for their math class.

YouTube is a powerful education tool, and one that should not be ignored. Thanks to this social media platform, anyone can learn how to do anything at any time. It is a gift to the world that can't be ignored.