Whether you need help with a home DIY project, or you’re looking for assistance on your math homework, YouTube has become a default education resource for many, with some 93% of YouTube viewers now using the platform to gather information.
Leaning into this, YouTube has today announced a new, dedicated YouTube Player for Education, which will enable educators to display YouTube content without ads via certain third-party platforms, while YouTube’s also giving qualified creators the option to offer free or paid courses directly in-app.
First off, on the new education player – as per YouTube:
“To improve the YouTube experience in educational environments, we’re launching YouTube Player for Education – a new YouTube embedded player that shows content on commonly used education apps without distractions like ads, external links or recommendations.”
That will make it easier for teachers to use YouTube content within their curriculum, and to share relevant links with students without additional disruptions.
YouTube says that it’s partnering with established edtech companies like EDpuzzle, Purdue University and Purdue Global on the initial stages of the initiative, with further expansion planned in the near future.
Worth noting, too, that YouTube is already available via Google Classroom, which is now used by over 150 million students, educators and school leaders around the world. YouTube says that the new Player for Education improves on the Classroom experience, offering enhancements to these users also.
In addition to this, YouTube will now give some creators the opportunity to offer free or paid courses ‘to provide in-depth, structured learning experiences for viewers’.
YouTube’s new courses will be purchasable in-app, providing another avenue for educators to make money from their content.
It’ll also provide a more structured means for users to learn more in-depth skills, matching up rising demand for informational videos with immediately accessible course options.
YouTube will first launch Courses in the US and South Korea, before expanding it to more countries in future. The option will initially only be available to selected YouTube creators.
And finally, YouTube’s also adding Quizzes, which will enable creators to help viewers test their knowledge.
“For example, a math creator who recently posted a series on algebra can create a Quiz on the Community tab to ask their viewers a question related to a concept taught in their latest video.”
Quizzes, as you can see in this example, will also link back to the reference video, providing a more encompassing educational loop to help reinforce key knowledge.
YouTube says that Quizzes will be launched in beta ‘over the coming months’, with all creators who have the Community tab set to be able to access Quizzes next year.
These are some valuable updates, which are especially beneficial in the modern age, where kids are spending more and more of their time online. One of the lasting impacts of the pandemic has been in education, and changing the ways in which students learn, with many now becoming increasingly accustomed to tuning up their classroom skills via YouTube tutorials, where they can find information presented in a way that best connects with their approach.
In this sense, these new course and quiz elements could be hugely beneficial, while improved access for classrooms will also broaden access to key reference and resource material for educators everywhere.
Social media: Past failures provided the steps for today’s giants to climb
Social media operators face a conundrum dealing with content labeled satire, which may also be harmful misinformation. — © AFP
When you consider successful social media there is a tendency to veer towards platforms like TikTok that have seen astronomical success in their short availability, or perhaps YouTube and the ability it has given creators to generate a steady income from uploading content.
However, not all social media is successful. Some platforms were successful for a period; others straightforward ‘failures’, although each arguably paved the way to establish what the collective entity of social media.
Recently the firm Higher Visibility analyzed social media sites over the past thirty years in a bid to discover those that ‘failed’ by losing popularity or ceased to exist altogether. Following this, Higher Visibility monitored where these sites sat when compared to modern social media platforms that continue to be widely used. By social media, this refers to platforms that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
After assessing the social media sites over the past thirty years, High Visibility gathered information from Statista and site information pages to discover the year they were created, the year they closed down or lost popularity (if applicable), and their highest monthly active users.
Whether any social media platform truly failed is contentious, since many of these platforms offered learning opportunities and paved the way for the platforms in common use today.
Taking some examples, Vine, a platform launched in 2013 saw rapid growth due to 6-second looping videos that could be experimented with to achieve creative results. Yet what was once the attraction point of the platform quickly became its downfall, with former executives citing the introduction of Instagram’s 15-second video clips in 2013 as one of the big issues. Vine came in as the 15th most successful social media on the Higher Visibility list, despite its ‘failing’.
One of the apps born from this new preoccupation with video content was Musical.ly. The platform allowed users to create videos lip-syncing to popular music, and there was a great emphasis on the promotional aspect of these through the app. Musical.ly was ultimately wildly successful despite ‘failing’ due to closing down, as it went on to be acquired by ByteDance and eventually merged into TikTok.
Friendster is often touted as an ‘early version’ of Facebook, boasting 51,010,000 monthly active users at its highpoint, paving the way for the platform that would come. The platform took off in 2003, reaching up to 4,470,000 members, and received a 30 million dollar offer from Google to buy the site. The founder, Jonathan Abrams decided instead to pursue venture capital investment. Users fell out of favour with the platform as it was not able to manage the pace of new subscribers.
MySpace followed Friendster as the brainchild of Tom Anderson, Chris DeWolfe and their friends. They modelled the site on Friendster, removing redundant features and centring the site around personal communities. MySpace was purchased in 2005 for 580 million dollars, however, later suffered due to the rising popularity of Facebook.
Of all the ‘successful’ social media platforms of the past 30 years within the full study, Facebook continues to have the highest monthly active users.
Social media: Past failures provided the steps for today’s giants to climb
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