Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Microstory 908: Educational YouTube Videos

The internet is a wonderful place, and video sharing sites are some of the best examples of this. And by sites, I really just mean the one site, because if it’s not on YouTube, then does it even exist? I suppose Twitch is the one exception to this rule. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook don’t count, because they’re designed to be watched as they’re posted, then quickly forgotten about, and not searched for later. While the internet in general has done more for public education than a thousand Horace Manns stacked on top of each other, there are three major sources of knowledge. Two of them are owned by Google, and people often access the third through a generic Google search. YouTube has allowed people to share memories and art with each other. It has supported short films, memorable clips, and an entirely new form of performance art. While they would obviously not exist without their precursors, nothing in the history of entertainment resembles the kind of videos YouTubers make. Not everything on the site is good (e.g. racist propaganda, kissing pranks, and Logan Paul), but I wanted to talk about something amazing. You can learn nearly anything from a good YouTube video. For every prank show clone, there’s a channel dedicated to education and enrichment. You can prop your tablet on the sink, and follow a tutorial for how to unclog the drain. You can study evolutionary biology on a whim. You can try your feet at dancing without embarrassing yourself in front of others. I follow a few good channels myself, like It’s Okay to Be Smart, and Crash Course. There are others that I find myself watching, like Vox, and Seeker. No longer is education limited to the elite, or geographically fortunate. You don’t have to have hardly any money to become an expert in your chosen field, relegating formal degrees to nothing more than tangible proof for employers. There are still some things that don’t work well with this format; specifically anything that requires a lot of hands-on work, like medicine, or aircraft operation. But you can still get an introduction to these concept with a few ten-minute videos, and I consider that a phenomenal achievement in human innovation. If you’ve ever wanted to learn something, but never thought you had the resources or time to, try YouTube. I’m working off a whole list.

No comments :

Post a Comment