Monday, April 20, 2015

The Benefits of YouTube in Education

By Meghan Scarpiello

In many schools across the nation the website that always seems to be blocked is YouTube. YouTube is a site for videos of all  kinds, but primarily videos for entertainment. These videos can be a distraction while students are doing schoolwork or these videos can also be used as a tool for helping students with their schoolwork.

There are various times that just simply explaining the material in class is not enough. Majority of students are visual learners and therefore a video of a process or series of events can help them better understand the material. They can review the video in their head to make it easier to remember the information. Also, the way the information is explained by someone besides the instruction or even just hearing it a second time can help grasp the material. YouTube is filled with informational videos that teachers can share with their students during class, or even allow the students to watch on their own. Watching videos enhances the visual aspect of knowing important facts.

Not only can students watch videos, but the teacher can always assign projects for the students to create their own video on a certain topic. For example, if the teacher is teaching a lesson on history , the assignment maybe to have different groups of people reenact different events in history on video. The groups of students would work together and become experts on their event to be able to make a successful video. It also gives hands on experiences of what has actually happened in history and let's the students put themselves in the historical event. This gets students thinking in many ways. Once all the videos are completed, students can upload them to YouTube and this allows the  teacher  to view the videos. Having the students watch each others video is good laugh as well as relaying the information to the students. It puts a visual aspect to the events instead of always trying to put the pieces together in their heads. This  also, can be helpful for  reviewing the information  by  relating the information  back to what their classmates video was about  and be an easy way to remember the information. If a student is absent the day of the presentations, the videos are online  and can be watched by the student at any time.
YouTube makes it  easy to watch videos. Going onto YouTube  to watch videos can be a very useful studying technique. I know I go on YouTube all the time to help me get a visual of scientific processes. This helps me understand what is actually going on in a cell. It can be difficult to understand the microscopic world and these videos make it easier to grasp the subject. Teachers should emphasize and encourage students to go online and watch these types of videos if they are struggling in class. YouTube is so large it has multiple videos of just about every topic you can think of. You can get help with any subject at any level. There are college professors who even post their lectures on YouTube for their students to go back and watch. Anyone can view these lectures (if made public by the professor) and can help students succeed. There is one series of topics called “Crash Course” that is very informational and made by students to specifically  help other students. There is more to YouTube than entertainment and procrastination.

YouTube is already a large website full of untapped potential. If more teachers and professors would encourage it and/ or add to it, then there would be even more beneficial videos  to aid students. It would be a good way to tap into what popular Internet sources we have, and make education stronger using technology.

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