YouTube has numerous educational resources that are yet to be exploited fully by both educators and learners. These resources are easy to use and readily accessible. The sharing platform allows users to create and watch videos for free. This has resulted in a library of over a million of videos. According to edutopia.org (http://www.edutopia.org/youtube-educational-videos-classroom), a site aimed at popularizing educational resource, some useful tools for teachers and students include YouTube for Schools, Khan Academy, and Teachers Channel on YouTube. Just like online custom writing services popular with students, YouTube is yet to be exploited to its full potential as an online learning tool. Outlined here are ways in which the video sharing site can be used for education.
1. TEACHING AND LEARNING AID
Teaching and learning aids are tools or materials that assist both educators and learner in the learning process. As outlined by serc.carlton.edu, videos promote understanding of difficult concepts and knowledge retention by learners. For teachers, this media device makes teaching easy and interactive. For instance, students might find it difficult to connect theory and practice when learning about the digestive system. The use of clips with a graphical representation of the digestive system allows learners to understand whatever the teacher is explaining theoretically.
In this technologically advanced age, it is easy to contemplate how the video sharing site can be amazingly useful in studying. The learning process should not just be limited to the physical classroom, but should be extended to allow learners to access materials at their convenience. Tutorials are an essential step by step instructions, about a given topic, prepared in advance by an educator for a group of learners. The advantage with tutorials is that they can be reused both by teachers and students. The shot tutorials can be uploaded by educators on YouTube for free. Later on, they can be easily accessed by learners from anywhere as long as they have access to a computer with internet connection, an iPad, or a good smartphone.
When it comes to scientific experiments, nothing beats a detailed and easy to follow demonstration in promoting learner understanding. However, performing the same demonstration over and over again for different classes can be tiring for any teacher. YouTube can be used effectively by educators to upload demonstrations on experiments to be accessed by learners in future. The teacher only needs to perform the demonstration once and use it to teach multiple classes.
4. VISUALLY ENGAGING VIDEOS
If you have ever watched educational videos on YouTube, then you have noticed how some clips incorporate engaging visuals that are not only educational but also entertaining. As a teacher, you can either hire a good editor or edit the clips if you have some experience. The key is to add graphics and perhaps animations to make your uploads engaging and interesting to the learner.
5. A RESEARCH TOOL
The number of uploads in the free video sharing website makes it a useful library for research. Teachers should encourage learners to use the site as a research tool for various topics. The site is especially useful when researching about history, geography and scientific topics popular in documentaries. National Geographic and other companies such as BBC create clips of documentaries and upload them on YouTube. This makes it easy for both students and teachers to access useful information online for free.
6. VIDEO EDITING CLASSES
If you are teaching video editing classes, then a free video sharing site is a perfect tool for testing the editing skills of your students. You simply need to instruct your students to make videos, edit them and upload on YouTube for your analysis. This is an interesting way of promoting creativity among learners.
7. ACCESS TO UPDATED INFORMATION
According to statisticsbrain.com (http://www.statisticbrain.com/youtube-statistics/), 300 hours of videos are uploaded on the site every minute. 2010 statistics documented in worldometers.info (http://www.worldometers.info/books/) show that in the US the number of books published per minute is just one. This means that there is a higher likelihood to have access to updated information on a given topic from YouTube as compared to books.
The 7 ways outlined here makes YouTube a useful tool in education. Like all online educational resources, the video sharing site should be used responsibly by both learners and educators. This is because of the possibility of accessing rumors and opinionated information rather than facts. Furthermore, the site also has content that can be considered inappropriate to learners. This gives educators the task of providing guidelines for access and use of the site.