Online education is becoming virally spreading across every corner. Many students and even lecturers are moving away from the traditional methods of studying and teaching. Comparing the education systems about 10-15 years back to the present times, many students are given assignments to research on, topics discussed in class and many write-ups to provoke out of the box thinking plus self-learning.
With the developed technology and a generation moving away from physical pen and paper to mobile, tab, palmtop, etc., the access to online education looks more practical and a timely solution.
Solution providers such as YouTube have taken the responsibility of helping our generation move forward in this manner.
Evolution of Education
From the days of early civilization, we are pushed through a process of learning, from one generation to another. This process of learning habits, cultures, sciences, lifestyles and skills is defined as 'education'. Our ancestors started off their education from learning how to rub two stones to build a fire, how the leaves and barks could be used as means to cover their bodies, how to look at the sky and predict a rainfall for the coming days and so on.
Looking at the society now, being educated in one or more aspects is a requirement for a profitable survival. At the age of five, a person starts his primary education to a retired person, education takes you through an undying process. With the rising importance of being educated the cost of attaining this education doubles. Many institutions are coming up with university affiliated degrees and so on. However, with time, the most obvious questions come up, such as 'How much could an average earner spend on his/her children’s studies?' 'In a fast paced society is it practical to attend each and every lecture moving from one course to another while balancing family and work as well?'
Doorway of YouTube education
Indentifying the above as an opportunity in a marketing angle, few companies launched online learning programs at a cost. Among the few, YouTube, a video sharing website now owned by Google, made a bold decision to make education freely available to those who seek. They extended to an educational arm allowing the users to access videos of their aspect of interest with no cost. In 2011 YouTube announced that they had an 80% increase in hits on their educational videos and they believe their investment on this has been fruitful.
Best Educational Channels on YouTube
YouTube has mainly three categories of education, namely Primary and Secondary, University and Lifelong learning.
Few of the best educational channels on the website are explained below.
1. Research Channel provides new information about the scientific world. It mainly targets the audience that would be interested in knowing information such as new gene modifications, new cures for cancer, and improvements of nanotechnology, etc. Once in a while they let popular figures such as Bill Gates’ discussions to be run on this channel.
2. National Geographic Channel is a must subscribe channel on YouTube regardless of the age. There are thousands of videos that could answer many curious questions in one’s mind.
3. Sometimes, being bombarded by information, it could easily bore you, yet Discovery channel has a twist to it. The channel provides educational information with flair of entertainment and fun, which makes the channel more interesting letting itself stand out among the other channels.
4. The Khan Academy is also another popular website initiated in 2006 by a well-known celebrity, Salman Khan. This website provides over 4000 micro lessons with useful information doing justice to their aim of providing high quality education anytime anywhere. Yet, there are a few critics claiming that the website has been less interactive recently, however, the benefit of the channel is indisputable.
Discussed above are only a few of the top educational channels on YouTube, but we all know there are many more. Personally having written this, I too realized the importance we should give in educating ourselves when information is readily available for free just one click away. After all, we reap what we sow. Isn’t it? We invest our time and we gain knowledge in less than double proportion.
(*) Steve Armstrong writes for a college paper writing service at www.solidessay.com where he consults students on how to write research papers and theses. Read more here.