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YouTube versus school: Every second young person learns with YouTube


Is our education system still up to date?

Since the video of YouTuber Rezo at the latest, most people should have become aware of the influence videos can have on YouTube. This affects not only politics, but also significantly our education system, as a recent study shows. Around nine out of ten young people use the video platform. About half of all students use YouTube specifically for learning. Many consider the videos to be more efficient than pushing the school desk. Can our education system shut itself off from such massive influences?

The Council for Cultural Education recently presented the results of a recent study on education. The key aspect was the influence of YouTube on the learning behavior of young people. The Council concludes that audiovisual learning in the form of web videos is of great importance for young people between the ages of 12 and 19 and is part of everyday life. The experts are pushing for consequences. The education system must take the needs of young people seriously and should not ignore this current development.

Does YouTube teach young people more than school?

Whether for homework, before all kinds of exams or for artistic subjects such as music, art or theater - young people often use YouTube to explain things. As the Council for Cultural Education reports, many students state that the clips make them feel very excited. Can teachers keep up with the new media? Some say yes and some no, say the experts. One thing is certain, however: this development should never be ignored.

What makes learning with YouTube attractive?

According to the current study, 47 percent of young people between the ages of 12 and 19 independently use YouTube explanatory videos for school learning. Although YouTube was not set up as an educational medium, the medium has become unexpectedly important for the educational sector. A huge amount of tutorials and explanatory videos are available here anytime, anywhere. This obviously meets the expectations of young people for their own learning rhythms and learning times. To loosen up, many clips are also linked to funny elements and prepared audiovisually. If you have not understood something, you can simply jump back to the spot and if you already know something, just skip it.

Where can teachers score?

60 percent of the YouTube users surveyed would like a critical examination of the video platform in class. Most young people particularly value the option of asking specific questions about the current form of school. "The young people interviewed are very clear about their strengths, but also about the structural limits of mass media communication," emphasizes the pedagogue Benjamin J├Ârissen from the council in a press release on the study. The school must be aware of the potential for shared reflection.

How can digital media be integrated into everyday school life?

Around half of the young people surveyed asked for help from the school in creating videos. This existing interest of young people must be taken up. The Council for Cultural Education recommends that digitalization should finally be understood as a task and object of cultural education and that the new media should be used as cultural participation. The school should also develop and implement its own audiovisual formats. Instead of excluding the videos, help should be provided in creating such clips and more space for critical examination of the medium should be created.

Ignoring is the worst solution

"An important conclusion from the study is that one should not ignore this medium," emphasizes Professor Eckart Liebau, the chair of the expert council. YouTube is primarily not an educational medium, but it has actually developed into an important learning and educational platform. This affected the educational landscape as a whole. YouTube has changed both the forms of exercise of the young people and the requirements for teaching in general. "If you consciously use the medium on the school side, you can structure the lessons differently and thus find more space for individual questions and for reflection in the lessons," summarizes the professor. The full study can be viewed free of charge on the Council for Cultural Education's website. (vb)

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