YouTube’s power to educate is incredible. Channels like CrashCourse, Legal Eagle, Numberphile and CGP Grey stand among literally thousands of other channels that demonstrate that YouTube’s educational community can reach millions of people, teaching and an increasingly creative and engaging ways, providing them knowledge on a wide array of topics ranging from sociology to how federal land works.
Traditional classrooms environments can lack a lot of the creative freedom that YouTube’s educational sphere created and while we should not completely replace the long-standing academic structures that we have in place, educators ought to take note of several aspects that educational YouTube content creators have used in their videos.
While not every educator can be as witty as John Green or have the niche car knowledge that can be found at the channel Donut Media, educators can still incorporate many of the stylistic attributes they employ.
Some examples include the list style rundown used by Mental Floss, the absurdist narrative style used by Vsauce or the fun illustrative design used by Minutephysics. Using these tactics can get students excited about education and invest more into their education than they would poorly constructed cat videos. Using these technics could also help educators adapt to the different way that students learn, allowing more of them to understand the concepts needed to complete their coursework.
Online classes can also attempt to model themselves on content creators, as a majority of them tend to be text-based set plans that remain bland. By incorporating video, especially modeling of educational content creators on YouTube, these online classes can become more than just simple cut-and-paste discussion boards. While several online classes are able to reference YouTube videos into their lesson plans, this simply is not enough to spice up the dullness they are inherently.
As Millennials and Gen Z are beginning to occupy the vast majority of space in secondary and post-secondary education, using the technologies we grew up with, coupled with platforms like YouTube just makes sense. Educators need to learn to embrace the future of education.
And that future is digital.