Youtube is the new (cool) school

Remember those days when teachers used VHS, projectors and transparencies to spice up a boring old history lesson?

Just as we have moved on from transparencies to Powerpoint slideshows, Youtube’s latest offering is giving education a much needed technological boost in this Digital age. Until now, Youtube has largely been regarded as a distraction for students despite its wealth of content that students can tap into to aid their learning. Youtube EDU is the answer to this dilemma.

Released just hours ago, Youtube has created a site just for teachers and students. Youtube EDU contains videos curated by the Youtube team and over 600 partners like the Smithsonian and Numberphile just to name a few. The content here is also further organised into education level (Primary & Secondary education, University, Lifelong Learning) and subjects (Mathematics, Science, Business, Engineering etc.) for easy exploring.  Thanks to this new feature, now students and teachers alike can easily narrow down their search for useful content among the 48 hours of video uploaded on Youtube every minute. That is certainly a great help towards students rushing for project deadlines and burning the midnight oil.

The cool thing about Youtube EDU is that, not only it selects useful content for users, it also keeps out the distractions Youtube is infamous for, such as viral videos like that of the sneezing panda, cats and music videos that could have kept you away from completing work for hours without you noticing the time slipping away.

Schools which chose to block Youtube for fear of students getting distracted are now able to allow access to only the Youtube EDU page, where they will be able to view the content deemed useful for them, sans inappropriate and distracting videos. No longer does the sacrifice of forgoing the use of any Youtube content to aid learning and teaching need to be made for the sake of productivity, Youtube EDU is here to save the day.

Teachers are a great driving force in the development of Youtube EDU as many of them have expressed interest in using Youtube content in their lessons. The team has finally figured out a way to allow them to do so, without compromising the quality of the content that students are exposed to. Teachers are also able to create their own channels to include material out of Youtube EDU to share with their students.

Youtube has just changed the ball game in education with Youtube EDU. Videos are now able to play a bigger part in enforcing and enhancing knowledge, something which they should have been able to do so long ago if not for the potential distractions that come with the content. Youtube is also seeking to inspire knowledge-seekers around the globe with programs like Youtube Space Lab.

The only complaint I have regarding this news is that, why couldn’t have Youtube come out with this program sooner? Learning seems much more interesting and engaging now with the ease of navigating through the wealth of knowledge that Youtube possesses. This certainly makes VHS and transparencies seem like the Stone Age doesn’t it?

As they say, knowledge knows no boundaries, and it seems like the boundaries (if any) are looking further away by the minute.

You lucky students of the future.

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