YouTube Is Replacing Textbooks In Classrooms Across America
Whereas textbooks used to be the end-all, be-all in classrooms around the world, Generation Z students are now starting to view these former educational essentials as second best. According to a recent report by the folks over at Pearson Education, the majority of Generation Z students view YouTube as much more important to their education than their assigned textbooks.
Students aren’t the only ones to take notice of this shift. The list of schools and school districts that are minimizing the role of textbooks in their curricula in favor of multimedia is growing. YouTube videos and other digital tools are starting to become the educational norm, not the exception.
As the years go on, this shift from traditional textbooks to multimedia could become even more pronounced. In fact, textbooks are simply becoming replaceable.
YouTube’s Cultural Weight And Weight As An Educational Tool
According to a recent Pew Research study, 85% of teenagers point to YouTube as the social media platform they use the most. In fact, a ton of Generation Z students look to YouTube for the majority of their multimedia entertainment – eschewing traditional television and other streaming services.
This familiarity with the YouTube platform also helps Generation Z students in their studies. When a student needs a quick answer to a question that is vexing them, either YouTube or Wikipedia tends to be their go-to tool.
YouTube helps in that they can find these answers and have the option to rewind videos to ensure that everything soaks in. This reliance on YouTube for educational help hasn’t just served as a peripheral gain in the eyes of Generation Z students.
Per the aforementioned Pearson Education study, 60% of Millennials preferred learning from textbooks over learning from YouTube. Only 47% of Generation Z students prefer textbooks over YouTube. That number is likely to drop even more.
The Educational Shift To YouTube And Its Dangers
Educators are starting to embrace YouTube with open arms, with some school districts regularly updating their own YouTube channels with timely content for students and teachers alike.
These tech-savvy school districts are putting their students’ learning habits at the forefront, looking to inform and enlighten them in the arenas they’re already comfortable in.
However, YouTube can be an extremely dangerous proposition for young students. A recent controversy over YouTube’s penchant for collecting children’s personal data has put potential student privacy concerns into acute focus.
Furthermore, there is a glut of inappropriate and misleading content on YouTube that can seem just as reputable to students as vetted content. If students are guided in how they approach the service, it could end up doing more harm than good.
It’s up to educators to work tirelessly to integrate YouTube into their lesson plans while also minimizing the risks inherent.
The age of the textbook is starting to wane in favor of the age of YouTube. Students are using the popular video service to both entertain and enlighten themselves over the course of their studies.
The next step is a much more pronounced pedagogical shift that places multimedia content as the priority over books and other non-digital materials, while also taking student safety into account.