In the future, will people still need to go to school or attend classes to improve their skills or knowledge?
YouTube has become the new go-to platform for visual lessons… and the videos are much easier to digest visually than pages of words. Anyone with camera skills or a smartphone can load a video and teach the world their area of expertise. However, if anyone can teach, a new question comes to light: How will this new learning platform affect how we learn and who we learn from in the future?
Unless you’ve been living in some remote part of the globe, you’re likely to be one of almost 2 billion people who visit YouTube to watch anything from music videos to “how to” videos. This an enormous audience. It’s also an ideal way for vloggers and creators to share their knowledge, creating a whole new type of educator.
You can learn how to invest, start a business, or become a better public speaker from a YouTuber with millions of followers or a small handful. The variety of YouTubers – people broadcasting YouTube content – puts the control in your hands, if you want to learn from someone well established or someone unknown. Basically if you want to educate somebody, now is the peak time to take action and share what you know with the world using this easy to use technology.
And even if you’re not convinced about the influence of this platform yet, here are some statistics about YouTube’s popularity:
- Average amount of YouTube content watched daily: 180 million+ hours
- Amount of video content watched on YouTube daily: 1 billion+ hours
- Number of countries YouTube has users in: 90+
As an example of how quickly this type of learning is growing in popularity, my own YouTube business education channel had just over 100,000 subscribers at the start of 2018 and hit the 1 million mark by the start of 2019. People are hungry for free, quality information that’s accessible at their convenience.
How will this demand impact more traditional forms of learning, such as classroom lessons or online courses? On the flip side, how will this demand affect our world if ordinary people who want to create instructional videos now have that opportunity?
To answer those questions, let’s take a closer look at how YouTube is changing the future of education.
How YouTube Is Changing The Way We Learn
The impact of YouTube is already showing in the classroom. Generation Z (born 1990s to early 2000s) prefers learning through video over reading printed books. It’s changing curricula and technology use in schools.
In a study of social media platforms, Gen Z prefers YouTube more than the others, and YouTube ranks first as a preferred learning tool.
Gen Z grew up around the same time YouTube launched in 2005, which could explain why this generation prefers this social media over others. In the classroom, video learning has made the lessons more relatable and personal than books.
For some topics, it’s easier to understand something when it’s explained visually. Students also see it as more personal because they can see the YouTuber and what he or she is doing, not just reading a bunch of words someone wrote. And that is not the only benefit these videos provide that live teachers can’t.
Students can search videos of concepts to help them prepare for tests. Also, unlike a live teacher, they can pause and rewind as often as they like and the video will tirelessly repeat the video segment that they want to focus on.
The effect of YouTube on learning is getting the attention of education initiatives. In October, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced an initiative called “YouTube Learning,” a $20 million project that will create YouTube educational videos.
EduTubers For Knowledge And Career Seekers
The project to create educational videos is jumping onto a rising trend. A quick search on Google generates several lists with names such as “Top 100 YouTube Channels on Learning,” “Watch and Learn: The Top 75 Educational YouTube Channels,” and “Starting an educational channel on YouTube.” EduTubers seems to be a logical next step.
What are EduTubers? They are educational YouTubers that will create more valuable content for knowledge seekers as part of the “YouTube Learning” project. Another aim of the project is to curate playlists to teach career related skills.
The technology is so easy that anyone can be a YouTube sensation. In fact, for the project, they are setting up the process to encourage EduTubers to be successful at their YouTube journey.
They provide guidance on topics such as how to find their niche, creating their platform, and tools they’ll need to get set up. Finding the right niche is key.
With billions of viewers, EduTubers will be able to find a potential audience if they research their topic carefully. There are many similar channels… they just need to find the right niche. After that, they can share their knowledge and teach with the use of professional tools for the project.
The YouTube project answers the need of two groups: those who want quality content presented in a matter of minutes, and those who want to share their knowledge by making videos of their own.
The future of YouTube seems promising and exciting, but just like with anything else, there is a dark side to the popularity of the learning platform.
Concerns About The Impact Of YouTube
YouTube has many benefits to helping us increase our knowledge. But there are also some downsides.
First, because it’s free and anyone can upload a video, videos could contain misleading or inappropriate content. If you’re already familiar with a topic and you’re just looking for extra information, it’s easier to judge the content. But if you’re learning something completely new, you need to use your best judgement about how valid the information is.
Second, anyone who has spent some time on YouTube has noticed that once one video ends, another begins. It’s designed to keep you watching, which can be addictive if you love what you see. But if children are using YouTube to learn, some boundaries need to be set.
However, the biggest concern about YouTube would be the commercial aspect of it. More than 20 consumer advocacy groups have criticized YouTube of targeting children with advertisements and recommending inappropriate content to children.
Overall, there are benefits and downsides to YouTube as a learning platform. I would say that the amount of knowledge we can gain from these videos far outweighs the drawbacks.
YouTube’s Role In Sharing Knowledge And Education
Anything that has a bright side always has a dark side, so it’s up to us to be the best judge. It’s true that the person who made and shared a video might not know what he or she is talking about. But YouTube has also made it possible for a person with genuine expertise and no money to share what they know with people around the world.
My YouTube channel has made it possible for thousands of entrepreneurs to learn business skills and strategies from me, and it’s all free content. If they want to learn more, or take their knowledge to the next level, they can sign up for a course.
YouTube definitely has a role in our education, whether it’s at school or at home. The abundance of knowledge we can and will gain as we add YouTube channels to our curriculum only adds to the variety of what we can learn.
Do you want to learn to be a YouTuber? Click here to watch my masterclass about how you can start your own YouTube channel.