World’s biggest video sharing site YouTube has now launched a site for school students YouTube EDU. This is the second attempt by Google owned YouTube to launch a school version of site; earlier YouTube failed to attract schools as its content was termed as inappropriate for school children to view. Now YouTube has promised educational videos available for students without being distracted by other entertaining videos; the playlists for school version of YouTube will be according to subject and intended age of students.
“We’ve been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or cute cat, or a video that wasn’t appropriate for students.While schools that restrict access to YouTube may solve this distraction concern, they also limit access to hundreds of thousands of educational videos on YouTube that could help bring photosynthesis to life, or show what life was like in ancient Greece.”
— Brian Truong (Project Manager, YouTube EDU)
The content uploaded on YouTube EDU will have videos produced by MIT and even TED talks. However many educationist have even cautioned against video based learning, as imparting education is more of interactive activity than of single way communication.
In my opinion, technology and e-based learning definitely important, but excess of e-learning should not be promoted especially at school level. Education is more about developing analytical and problem solving skills by engaging brains in activities and thus indulging in one to one communication and dialogue. Videos serve the purpose of recapitulation and references the best, but are not required to be practiced everyday in the process of imparting education.