In a world where everything has gone virtual, online classes can be an extreme game changer for students. One of the most valuable times outside of the live classroom time are the educational apps and websites that students can take advantage of. One of my favorite educational websites is YouTube which some may not define as an educational website. However, YouTube adds an element to elevate the eLearning experience and can even be entertaining at times.
We asked a student at Lane Tech what they thought of YouTube. Cece Joshi, Lane Tech ‘21, said, I would say the math videos on YouTube are super helpful because they show me different ways to think through problems beside the way your teacher taught me. Because there’s always more than one way to approach a problem, and sometimes there’s a way that’s different from your teacher’s way that makes more sense to me.
Learning at home consists of more individual studying and learning which is why having the ability to rewatch certain videos and use the countless videos to help achieve the learning goals and objectives students have. Unlike different platforms like Khan Academy that also have educational videos, YouTube covers a wide range of video types. Instead of focusing on just learning the content through example problems and walkthrough videos, YouTube has the option to not only view those kinds of content but also different categories of video types. If you were interested in Biology, the Amoeba Sisters channel provides educational videos in the form of cartoon animations. Some YouTubers teach through skits and animations like John Green who covers a wide variety of subjects like history and science. You can even view live experiments step-by-step as many times as you want if you were more of a visual learner. Having that variation makes for easy integration into one’s eLearning course.
Elise Bulman of Saint Ignatius ‘22, continues to use platforms like YouTube in her everyday educational life, and she notes, I think it’s a really good source because you can find basically anything on there and I think it’s a better source than most websites that have written material. Many people dislike reading [information] and by providing that through videos it makes it easy to watch and understand. It is also more accessible to people.
YouTube is not only an educational website, but it serves as an online community. It can generate online discussions, help answer any questions, and enhance the engagement levels by presenting students with different perspectives of how to approach a problem or subject matter. Having not just one kind of video to elaborate on one specific topic enhances increases comprehension of complex contexts. The virtual library that YouTube supports provides students with content that will illustrate complex concepts, procedures, and ideas; and if that specific video didn’t work for the student, there are still numerous other videos that explain the same concepts but in a different way.
Ashley Rosenberg of Latin ‘21 appreciated what YouTube provided. She says, “I think YouTube is a great educational resource in that it allows students to seek out supplemental videos on topics they are confused about, as well as allowing teachers to provide supplemental videos on classroom topics. It’s a great free resource for documentaries that I have often watched in English and History classes, as well as for music and cultural videos that I often watch in Spanish class.”
Despite the controversy over whether or not YouTube should be considered as an educational platform, YouTube does a great job at achieving what content creators intend to do and reaching their target audience. The idea of having a platform where students, teachers, and parents can watch educational videos and also engage in an online community speaks volume to the good that the platform provides for the right type of student. At the end of the day, if anyone is looking for a quick crash course on a topic or can’t seem to understand a problem from class, you will find that YouTube is the place to go because it has it all. I know I will continue to use YouTube for as long as I can on all things related to education or entertainment!