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YouTube As an Educational Tool and a Hue Diversion

Education and the systems that surround it have finally started to adopt YouTube as a modern, effective tool for education.

YouTube As an Educational Tool and a Hue Diversion

There are so many things you can do on YouTube. Every minute, users churn out more than 500 hours worth of content. These videos delve into a wide pool of topics. Many of them are about video games or the daily lives of the content creators. Then, there are some about music or anime or just about anything.

YouTube is also a treasure trove of educational content. Experts like geologists, engineers, and even doctors upload content on this platform. They are reliable sources of information, making the platform a fantastic tool for learning.

Many countries took advantage of that when the pandemic hit. Educators have used videos on the platform to teach lessons to their students. These students are stuck in their homes because the schools have shut down due to the virus.

Unfortunately, educators have overlooked how YouTube can also affect their pupils negatively. And now, it causes tension between parents and educators. Check out this page! This page provides 20 ways to use YouTube in the classroom, including using videos to inspire themed reflections in form time, accessing high-quality educational instruction videos for free, and creating playlists to help with future lesson planning and share amongst your department. It also suggests using video infographics as a compelling way to introduce a lot of information in a short amount of time, demonstrating experiments, setting a ‘video watch’ homework to prepare students for new material in the classroom, and setting a research assignment.

How YouTube Aided Schools During Lockdowns

Covid-19 forced schools to close. Therefore, students had no choice but to study from home through online classes. And to help the students with their studies, schools crumpled to give them tablets and laptops. A Consortium for School Network survey revealed that 86% of middle schools in the United States gave each student a device.

Carolyn Parker, from the School of Education at American University, says that YouTube can indeed help in teaching students. It can “supplement well-planned lessons that have clear instructional goals.” But she adds that the information should come from trusted and vetted sources.

That said, YouTube can’t completely replace teachers. That’s even when some teachers have created amazing educational content on the platform, says Vivian Vasques, also from American University.

But not being able to replace teachers does not mean YouTube can’t teach people lessons and skills. It can, and that’s why educational videos on the platform skyrocketed in views. According to the Consumer Insights that Google has posted, people turned to how-to videos in unprecedented numbers. Those videos were already popular before the pandemic. But the lockdowns made them even more popular.

What Does YouTube/Google Say?

Google says that students tuned in to channels that offer daily live stream lessons, math tutorials, and such. Therefore, videos with “homeschool” or “home school” in the title performed better than ever before. They gained a 120% increase in views two months after the lockdowns started. 

The report also revealed that families with older children go to YouTube to watch practical science experiments posted by experts.

Aside from those, people spent their time at home improving their skills. Thus, the global watch time of how-to videos containing “for beginners” or “step by step” in the title also increased. They saw a YOY increase of more than 65%.

YouTube As an Educational Tool and a Hue Diversion

People would stop paying attention to these videos if they did not work. So, from these figures, we can extrapolate that YouTube indeed helped educate people during the lockdowns.

But what now? Many schools have reopened. Is using YouTube for education still necessary?

The Myth of Education on YouTube: Distracting Kids

YouTube really helped educators teach their students lessons. However, it has some side effects that could cancel the positives. YouTube has become a distraction.

Schools have fully realized how great of an educational tool YouTube is, so they have decided to keep using it in their classes. That’s even when schools have reopened, and students are back in physical classrooms. Either way, students represent the single largest faction of free or paid YouTube views since the platforms inception.

The thing is that kids are easily distracted. And teachers and parents found out that YouTube could make the students pay less attention to the lesson. Instead of listening to the teacher, they would be watching videos on the Google video mega website.

Lori Anderson, a middle school science teacher, did an experiment. She gave an assignment to two classes. One of the classes had to do it on paper, and the other had to do it on their computers.

You would think that the class with computers will show better results than the other class. The device makes the assignment easier to do, so that’s the expected outcome. But the opposite happened.

All of the students that had to do it on paper turned in their work. On the other hand, only 70% of the students who had to do it on their computers turned in theirs. 

Anderson says that the computer users were distracted by YouTube and games. She had caught them first hand. Anderson says that she busts six to seven kids each day watching YouTube and playing games instead of paying attention to class. 

Gina McNair, an eighth-grade English teacher in rural Georgia, attests to this. The district she is in has installed programs that can monitor their student’s screens remotely. They did it because patrolling in the classroom is ineffective. Students can close their browsers when they see the teacher approaching. Before they did this, it was chaos.

Why Teachers Don’t Want to Ban It and their Actions

Despite everything said in the previous section, Anderson says YouTube can be a blessing. She says that short video clips bring her classes to life. For instance, a five-minute video about erosion helped make her class more engaging.

YouTube As an Educational Tool and a Hue Diversion

Her school does not have monitoring software, though. So it is difficult for her to keep talking about the lesson while patrolling to see if any of her students are on YouTube when they shouldn’t be.

Still, the offerings that YouTube gives make it not easy to remove it from the system.

McNair says it is not a good idea to cut off YouTube. She argues that this is the state of the world now; almost everything is digital. Thus, the students must learn how to be good digital citizens.

According to student data-analytics firm Schoolytics, YouTube is the third-most-popular online resource used by teachers in U.S. K-12 schools. It is only behind Google Drive and Google Forms. And so, it’s understandable why teachers don’t want to ban it.

Some schools have found the perfect solution. They are fighting tech with tech; they installed monitoring software such as LanSchool and GoGuardian. These allow teachers to turn off YouTube when not assigned. So, they can continue using YouTube to make their lessons easier to understand. At the same time, they can ensure that students will not get distracted, which would please the parents.

Also, some schools have put restrictions on what YouTube channels the student can access.

Hopefully, more schools will adapt this approach.

Don’t Let Others Convince You That YouTube Can’t Be Used for Educational Purposes

The post explains how YouTube can be used to engage visual learners with lesson content and provide extension opportunities for students who consistently overachieve in class. For example, a video introducing a more complicated area of the current topic can be set to watch as homework. Additionally, an assignment that requires students to research and make their own videos can be set. Companies like Khan Academy upload step-by-step equation solution videos onto YouTube, which can help students understand problematic equations.
The post also highlights that one in three children have a tablet at home, making it easier for teachers to set ‘video’ homework. The post concludes by stating that YouTube is one of the most used sites on the web and provides pointers to help ease the transition of using it in the classroom.

YouTube The Education Tool

YouTube is a versatile tool that can be used in learning and teaching. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube with just a few clicks, and then shared via social networks or embedded into blogs, websites, and virtual learning environments. The YouTube Video Editor allows users to edit and customize videos using special tools and effects. Clips can be put together to create new videos, which can then be published to YouTube with one click.YouTube can also be used to showcase student work by creating a course channel. TED talk videos (or other relevant videos) can be used as a focus for discussion. Instead of face-to-face presentations, students can screencast their presentation with a voice-over. How-to guides can also be created to introduce new concepts, while video summaries of assessment briefs and marking criteria can help students understand what is expected of them. Video feedback (which could include a screencast with voice-over) is another way that teachers can use YouTube in the classroom. Students could also reflect on this feedback as a video and embed it in their digital portfolio.


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