YouTube plans to give $20 million to educational video creators

YouTube plans to invest $20 million in YouTube Learning, reports Dian Schaffhauser for Campus Technology.

The goal of the investment is "to support education-focused creators and expert organizations that create and curate high-quality learning content on the video site," according to an announcement by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Those looking to build multi-sessional education content can qualify for funding by creating at least one YouTube channel with a minimum of 25,000 subscribers and by "clearly depict[ing] the intent to teach in a factual, informative and trustworthy manner," according to Wojcicki. Proposals will be evaluated based on "content quality, credibility, accuracy and use of multi-session format."

Schaffhauser writes that YouTube has already provided funding for several education video creators and "emerging EduTubers," including TED-Ed, Crash Course, and Socratica.

In addition to providing funding for education-focused creators, YouTube is teaming up with other online learning platforms, such as edX, to move popular content over to the site. YouTube also recently launched Learning—its own channel of curated tutorials, skill-based videos, and other educational content, writes Schaffhauser.

So why the sudden interest in education?

A recent survey by Pearson and The Harris Poll suggests that nearly half of all Gen Zers (47%) spend at least three hours every day on YouTube and believe the platform has "contributed to their education." Even more, 59% of surveyed Gen Z students reported that YouTube videos were their preferred mode of learning.

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When asked why they prefer YouTube to other forms of learning—like textbooks—Gen Zers responded that YouTube videos break down complex topics into digestible information and are easy to follow.

Students can re-watch a video "as many times as [they] want, without having to feel like [they're] inconveniencing someone," explains Andrew Biggs, a social studies teacher at New Technology High School.

"When I'm doing my homework, I'll look up how to solve a problem on YouTube," adds Jaimie Moreano, a student at Locus Valley High School in New York. "I like it because it's really easy to follow. I can pause it, or I can rewind it if I have a question."

Gen Zers also say that videos are engaging and relatable: "Sometimes learning from a textbook doesn't help me," says Moreano. "Sometimes it's much easier to watch a video on a topic. If I have a visual, it's easier to grasp" (Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, 10/25).

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