Teaching is one of the most challenging careers one can pursue. Apart from their existing skill sets, they need to constantly expand their knowledge base and innovate to enhance the learning experience for their students. Conventionally, the tips shared by fellow teachers and years of experience helped teachers gain this. However, in today’s age, where knowledge is freely available to all, a teacher has to provide much more value to students than just information. This includes having a unique teaching style, audio-visual elements and engaging with students, providing rich supplementary materials and others.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google. Naturally, many people, including teachers, use it regularly to get new ideas, resources or even find answers to their questions.
If you are not yet sure how YouTube can help you, here are the top 5 reasons to get you started:
1.Get the latest knowledge:
With the rapidly changing nature of the world around us, our knowledge needs to be constantly updated. The textbooks you use might not be updated as frequently as the developments in science and education. For example, suppose you are teaching the topic of energy resources. In that case, the traditional textbooks might not have much information about the latest technology to produce energy from hybrid fuels or even unconventional ways such as using underwater turbines. However, suppose you are a subscriber of some popular science and engineering-related YouTube channels. In that case, it will be easy for you to stay up to date with the latest technology trends.
2.Acquire new skills and teaching techniques:
Gone are the days when teachers taught the same materials year after year using the same techniques. Today’s students are smarter and have access to various resources. Therefore, the teachers have to upgrade their skills constantly. For example, the pandemic led to an upsurge in digital learning. The teachers had to adapt to this new way of teaching quickly. This included learning the technical aspects of online teaching and the softer aspects, such as engaging students and encouraging them to attend classes.
If you find it challenging to keep students engaged in classes, you can search for videos that tell different techniques to engage the students. For example, this video will help you understand the mistakes that online teachers make:
Many students might find English classes boring if they are too focused on the textbook content. You can find some interesting aspects of language teaching by watching videos such as these published by the BBC Learning English YouTube Channel. This will make your classes unique and thus enhance the learning experience of your students.
3.Resources to use in your class:
Making classes enjoyable can be challenging without some interesting audio-visual elements. Instead of creating them on your own, you can find relevant resources that have been created by the YouTube content creators who are experts in a particular subject. Most of these materials are freely available for educational purposes. You can use the YouTube videos for teaching new concepts and also use their supplementary material if available.
For example, subjects like Geography may seem tough to most students because it is difficult to understand the concepts from the limited number of diagrams and pictures given in the textbooks. You can use videos from channels like TED-Ed for such subjects to provide a virtual demonstration of a concept. The TED-Ed YouTube channel, a part of TED, is run with the mission of spreading great ideas and knowledge on a variety of topics with people from around the world. You can see how this video explains the phenomenon of volcanic eruptions through interesting and detailed visuals.
4.Extra material for students:
A lot of times, you may want to help students understand a concept in depth. At such times, the regular textbooks will prove to be limited in their scope. There might also be some students who want to study more about a topic. To such students, you can provide extra material in the form of relevant YouTube videos.
For example, regular textbooks provide minimal information about historical events. They are limited in nature due to the academic focus and limited space. You can find and share videos from YouTube channels like Cogito to help your students get some more insights into historical events. It will not only help them understand the topic better but also generate further curiosity about the topic.
5.Get project ideas:
You can ask your students to do some projects as a part of the curriculum or conduct project exhibitions. Such projects will help the students get a more clear understanding of a particular topic and give them a sense of accomplishment. You can organize competitions, and if it’s not possible for one student, you can divide them into groups. Such activities will help build a team spirit among them along with developing problem-solving abilities. However, this is not an easy task. Finding ideas or themes for projects can be daunting. YouTube can come to your rescue through YouTube channels such as DIY Projects that have numerous videos on ideas for projects. You can simply share the channel in your class group or pick some of your favorite videos and ask your students to pick one idea from those videos.
Of course, these are just a few ways YouTube can help you enhance your teaching career. We are sure that you will find more reasons to keep coming back to it once you start exploring more. Do remember that the amount of educational resources on YouTube is increasing every day. Instead of sifting through many videos, try to locate a few good channels and create playlists of the videos you find helpful. You can make the playlists based on their usages such as ‘classroom’, ‘homework’, ‘teaching techniques’ and others. Take out time for doing this activity as a part of your preparation for your upcoming classes. We are sure you, too, will find YouTube as a great way to supplement your teaching and engage your learners.
If you find this information beneficial, then feel free to share it on your social media accounts or send it to your fellow teachers.