Wednesday, February 20, 2019

YouTube's Educational Advantage

Every year, more and more people are getting access to an education due to the creation of various different platforms. These learning channels such as Khan Academy have helped millions of students and knowledge seekers figure out everything from remembering how to factor to the proper ways to practice accounting. However, one major player in social media, in particular, is using more resources than ever to expand an opportunity inaccessible learning. The branding question, YouTube, has already been competitive in this realm, but with new funding being directed, they are trying to become the world leaders.

Growing up, whenever I had a question about anything- from how to change a light bulb to remembering the presidents in order, I would find an answer on YouTube. YouTube is a tremendous learning tool for students of the twenty-first century because you can find a litany of different sources that have expertise in their field. This sector of YouTube has gone unchecked for years but with the recent success of other educational apps and websites, YouTube plans to throw their hat in the ring. It has been announced recently that YouTube is investing twenty million dollars to broaden its education system. This could be game-changing for those seeking to expand their learning on a budget because of YouTube

As YouTube has evolved it has become more user-friendly in that it offers more accredited content. This includes the new YouTube kids' platform that offers educational videos that are meant to foster a fun exciting space for kids to learn. The platform is very user-friendly as it can be controlled by parents and it can be allocated to the age or education level of the student. Rather than tackle more scholarly topics, the website's plan is to curate videos that are geared toward adolescent interests.

Arguably the most important facet of YouTube's new educational endeavors is that they are free for all. In a world with so much information, there are plenty of different avenues that one can go do down to seek expertise at little cost. What inhibits YouTube's continued success in the educational realm is the ease of accessibility. YouTube success in the future for their educational endeavors will be their ability to maintain a cache of quality videos while continually expanding through a great start on their educational platform.

Examples of YouTube's Educational Value (Suggested by Jennifer Caswell):

Learning Sign Language:

Changing a Tire:

By Dale DeSantis

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Does Play-based learning actually work?

Something I've noticed in my college experience is that sometimes, schoolwork can make students feel miserable. However, I have yet to decide on whether if that's actually a bad thing or not. Is schoolwork meant to be difficult, but rewarding at the end of the experience, or is it supposed to be fun? Can it be fun and also rewarding at the end of the experience? An article I recently found on T74 advocated for more "play-based" learning within elementary schools and I personally have some reservations for their ideas, but at the same time, I believe that their suggestions are for the correct motives.

The main purpose of the T74 article was to advocate for more, "...guided play and a playful learning approach in elementary schools", because, "’s playtime that prepares students for classes like math and reading, Hirsh-Pasek said: Learning how to play teaches collaboration and community building, which aids language development through listening and talking". They even included research results such as the below:

  1. Academic experience is the traditional worksheets and lecturing styles of learning. Graph shows worse results in 3rd/4th grade.
  2. Child-initiated experiences include guided-play and playful learning. Graph shows improved results in 3rd/4th grade.
Even though the logic and results in this article "add up", I still have my reservations. If educators make learning more "play-based", would there be an abrupt transition in older academic years? By this, would "play-based" learning be so ingrained in students that they would only expect work to be "fun" when in reality, work is difficult? In order to eliminate this transition, educators would have to make education "play-based" through all of high-school and maybe even college! Even then, students would realize that sometimes jobs are stressful and tedious. 

In my opinion, "play" is an important concept at younger ages, however, we should guide children to both playing and working hard. We should let them know that playing is an important component to learning social skills and gaining valuable collaboration skills while working hard is a requirement for success. The emphasis should be on creating a good balance.

Feel free to express your opinions in the comments section below!