Monday, February 10, 2020

One in Five YouTube Users using it for Learning via @pewresearch and @mitchell360

Image Source: Pew Research Center.
I cam across an article "Many Turn to YouTube for Children’s Content, News, How-To Lessons" by the Pew Research Center, which shows how important YouTube is becoming for learning. Though the article is just over a year old, it is telling how valuable YouTube has become in helping people understand things that are happening in the world. The survey shows that 51% of US adults who use YouTube say it is "very important" in figuring out how to do things that they had not done before. 

Many of the things we do are only done once, or very few times. You might only need to do one thing, but in order to learn how to do it you don't want to have to sign up and pay for a full course. You just want that one piece of learning.

Many years ago I had a conversation with the then CEO of Learning Productions: Scott Mitchell. This conversation took place some time in the year 2000. He pictured a platform where content developers could create content and make it available on-line for learners to use at any time. He imagined a learning wall where each brick was a piece of content that matched a learning objective. Content developers could choose what to develop and fill in blanks where necessary. More than one developer could create content for a learning objective. Users would comment and rate content so that the good stuff would get to the top. Developers would be paid for their work dependent on the number of times their content was used. This conversation/vision took place five years before YouTube was created. Little did I know it at the time, but YouTube would end up being a close match for what Scott had envisaged. What a pity we didn't build the platform - we could have been multi-millionaires selling it later to Google!

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