Sep 22, 2018

YouTube is replacing textbooks in classrooms across America

YouTube being opened on a phone. Photo: Omar Marques/LightRocket via Getty Images

Generation Z students, classified as being between the ages of 14 and 23, believe that YouTube is a bigger contributor to their education than textbooks, according to a study by Pearson Education.

Why it matters: Education in America is shifting from more traditional methods of learning through text and lesson plans to more technological methods such as YouTube videos and other virtual platforms.

Methodology: The study polled nearly 2,500 people ranging from 14 to 40 years old and asked them about their preferred education methods.

By the numbers: YouTube was the preferred education method for Gen. Z students, but was less prevalent among Millennials.

  • 59% of Gen. Z students preferred to learn from YouTube, while only 55% of Millennials preferred it.
  • 60% of Millennials said they preferred to learn from textbooks, while 47% of Gen. Z students preferred the same.

The big picture: YouTube launched in 2005 — meaning most of Gen Z grew up with it. 85% of teenagers say they use YouTube more than any other social platform, according to Pew research.

  • It also provides quick, to-the-point answers for questions they may have as well as the option to rewind, writes Lauraine Genota of Ed Week.

YouTube is changing the way educators think as some school districts even have their own YouTube channels accessible for both teachers and students.

Yes, but: While YouTube is packed with information and tutorials, it can also be a dangerous place for students with misinformation running rampant.

  • The company was under fire earlier this year for targeting children with advertisements after gathering their personal data.
  • The platform is also home to conspiracy content, which could be inadvertently recommended to students.

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