The Educational Advantages and Disadvantages of YouTube.

By Richelle Angela Guerra and Margaret Wah Ta

YouTube is an American-online video sharing platform created in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim.  From having the majority of their content be home-made videos to producing full-on, high -quality videos since its creation in 2005 YouTube has come a long way. When people think of YouTube they immediately think about the content associated with entertainment. Although YouTube has a lot of content that fits into entertainment, people have created videos about various subjects, from tutorials, documentaries, analysis videos, podcasts, original content, etc. The educational content on YouTube isn’t what most people think of, but YouTube can be used for educational purposes.

Pros and Cons of using YouTube for Educational Purposes.

Margaret: I think that YouTube can be a great tool for educators for many reasons:

  1. Teachers and students can upload presentations instead of presenting them in class. This would be really helpful to students who have stage fright.
  2. YouTube is a free resource.
  3. It’s accessible to anyone with the internet and an electronic device.
  4. It enables long-distance learning.
  5. Students can watch it on their own time.

Richelle: Those are all very good reasons, but there are still some issues that have to be addressed when educators and students use YouTube. I highlight some of the issues from this article, “11 Pros and Cons of YouTube in Education” and some issues I’ve thought of one my own:

  1. Although it is helpful to students who have stage fright. I think that not having any experience with public speaking is taking away from their learning.
  2. Not all information on Youtube is not reliable and can be outdated.
  3. Not all students have access to a personal electronic device or good wifi.
  4. There is inappropriate content not suitable for certain ages.
  5. There are pesky commercials and advertisements.

Margaret: I can see your point but these issues can be resolved:

  1. Students will not always use YouTube as a method of presenting. There will be a mixture of YouTube presentations and traditional public speaking in class.
  2. Teachers should teach students how to valid information.
  3. If the school has the resources student should be provided with a computer, laptop, or even tablet to use at school. Many schools have computer labs where students can use the school’s laptop for homework and research. Some schools even provided their students with a laptop specifically assigned to the students. If students have no access to an electronic device the teacher should always have an alternative way to accomplish the assignment.
  4. Teachers would have to screen the videos to make sure the videos are suitable for their students.
  5. Educators can use an ad blocker to block out the commercials and the advertisements.

There advantages and disadvantages of using YouTube for educational purposes but I believe if students are taught how to use YouTube properly according to Digital Citizenship Education and USE UNDERSTAND & CREATE: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools it can be a great learning tool for students and teachers.

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Teacher in training.

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