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Video education: do YouTube and TikTok have more educational values than regular classes?

It is an unarguable fact that we have access to information on a scale that has never existed in human existence. Within a few seconds, we can get answers to any question by simply checking our smartphones and laptops. YouTube is a very educational video platform where students learn so much. It has been around for over a decade. TikTok is a relatively new app that features short and entertaining videos on different spheres of human endeavour. Many claim that gen Z and millennials are learning a lot about personal finance and other spheres they are not taught about in schools from TikTok creators.

The effect of online media education has been a source of interest for many colleges and research institutes. Most instructors love to give their students essay assignments on the effect of video education on today’s school structure. It has been revealed that most students understand complex concepts more once they’ve seen an animated video about them. Similarly, the pace and tone of a specific video can impact its learning value and students’ understanding of what they are being taught about. Additionally, for lots of students, videos and quizzes have become an escape from tedious writing assignments, which is around 80 per cent of their usual homework tasks.

No wonder a lot of students prefer leaving writing assignments up for a trusted online writing service. This way, they have more chances to find explanatory videos that will truly help them understand the concepts. When looking for reliable writers online, Edubirdie is a great choice. It might be much easier to let us write your essay so that you can be more efficient in your overall academics and spend time doing what you like more. That being said, is online video education as effective as we think? Should regular classes be abandoned or transformed according to modern necessities? In this article, we will examine the benefits and shortcomings of YouTube and TikTok compared with conventional college classrooms.

What are the benefits of video education?

Online video educational platforms can support normal class sessions

Most students find it difficult to do their assignments by themselves. A simple YouTube search can provide them with a solution in very little time. Instead of spending hours racking their brain with no result, they can spend more time reading. Also, not every parent or guardian can afford a tutor for extra lesson sessions. YouTube can serve as a second teacher for students in the long run. It can also show them alternative ways of solving problems.

You can use TikTok or YouTube from any location

These two media platforms are perfect for people looking to take a distance learning course. You can be behind your desk within your study room, watching instructional videos. Teachers can create various YouTube channels to upload lecture videos for their students. The flexibility is simply amazing. As long as there is internet connectivity, there is no limitation when it comes to learning on YouTube or TikTok.

You can watch video content as many times as needed

It is no news that different people learn at different paces. Some people can assimilate sufficient knowledge in a single school classroom session while other individuals need continuous reminder lectures. Unfortunately, a conventional classroom will not benefit the latter set of people. Teachers don’t like repeating themselves, whereas YouTube and TikTok educational content are always online. You can rewatch them as many times as you need. You could even download them on your device. On top of that, academic research establishes the fact that people learn more from visual content.

Both platforms are free to use

Anybody can use TikTok and YouTube anywhere, at any time without paying a dime. This is a result of passionate academic instructors and professionals who are willing to share their knowledge with other people online, for free. With the rising cost of quality education and student loans, YouTube courses serve as cost-effective learning outlets for young people.

What are the downfalls of video classes?

YouTube and TikTok contains some harmful and unreliable content

In case you didn’t guess it already, not every piece of information found online is ethical enough. Certain video content of these two platforms can often be found not suitable for young people. It could be violence, pornography, media propaganda, or even fake news. These kinds of things are not fit for children and people with mental health challenges. Furthermore, not every video on TikTok or YouTube is reliable and well-designed. Some people just upload content on these websites for the sake of getting popularity and business opportunities.

They can be very addictive

Platforms like YouTube or TikTok can be addictive. There are many distracting ads on these websites. Some people go online to learn, however, they are a click away from any interesting trend that will drive them away from their educational ambition. For most of us, it is not easy to keep track of time when we are doing something entertaining. The end result is wasting a lot of hours watching irrelevant content.

Some students still don’t have access to resources for online education

Some people might not be able to afford digital gadgets. Also, good internet connectivity is a necessity for those who want to learn through YouTube or TikTok. In some areas of the world, fast and stable internet connection is still lacking.

The importance of using visual aids in education cannot be emphasised enough. YouTube and TikTok are two media platforms that have revolutionised learning. They are free, easy-to-use, and rich in resources. You can learn as much as you want with only a few clicks. However, they can also be distracting and addictive if you land on the dark side of these platforms. For now, it is too complex to answer the question of whether YouTube and TikTok are better than regular classes. The best thing to do is to try and combine online media education with conventional class sessions. That seems like the most sustainable solution in the long run.

Chinese teenagers can now use Douyin, China’s TikTok, for only 40 minutes a day

Play time’s over for China’s youth as the country increasingly cracks down on culture and business following President Xi Jinping’s call for a “national rejuvenation.” Joining a three-hour ban on “electronic drugs” (popularly known as video games), is yet another limitation on how the demographic spends their free time.

TikTok on the clock

On 18 September, ByteDance, the parent company of Chinese video-sharing app TikTok—known as Douyin—imposed a daily usage limit for those under the age of 14. The new measures not only restrict them to a maximum of 40 minutes spent on the app per day but bans them from accessing it between 10 p.m to 6 a.m.

Called Xiao Qu Xing, which translates to ‘Little Fun Star’, these restrictions are implemented with a built-in feature called ‘teenage mode’. “If you are a real-name registered user under 14 years old, you will automatically find yourself in ‘teenage mode’ upon opening Douyin,” the company wrote on its corporate blog. Apart from the daily usage limits, the mode offers a personalised feed of short video-based educational content including “interesting popular science experiments, exhibitions in museums and galleries, beautiful scenery across the country, explanations of historical knowledge, and so on.” While young users are allowed to ‘like’ these clips, they are banned from sharing them with others or even uploading their own.

The autonomy to adjust the time limit further (from a maximum of 40 minutes) is under parental control. The company also encourages them to help their children complete the ‘real-name’ authentication process—which requests their name, phone number and an official ID—and activate the mode when prompted by the app.

China and the curious case of ‘teenage modes’

In June 2021, the Chinese government added a chapter on “internet protection” to its newly-revised Minor Protection Law, which stated how “providers of online games, livestreams, audio and visual content and social media should implement time management tools, feature restrictions and purchase restrictions for underage users.” Presently, with the government seeking to implement rules on the algorithms tech companies use to recommend videos and other content, top officials and state media are aiming to reduce the amount of time Chinese teenagers spend online in the first place.

Douyin’s teenage mode not only keeps the company in line with this vision but also seeks to add this layer of ‘internet protection’ with its real-name authentication feature. However, according to a commentary in the People’s Daily—the mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—such modes deployed by Chinese internet platforms “to protect teenagers from gaming addiction and inappropriate short videos,” do not go far enough, signalling that tech giants will likely have to do even more to safeguard minors and appease regulators.

“While the youth modes have apparently accumulated a significant number of users, many problems still persist—with some youth modes being criticised by parents as ‘existing in name only’,” the state newspaper mentioned, adding how it can be easily bypassed with simple workarounds.

The article, as noted by South China Morning Post, cited the case of a father in Guangxi who said, “I don’t know how my son came to know the password that I’ve set and he flat-out disabled the youth mode in these mobile games. He even said that some classmates of his have bought hack tips from the internet to bypass the ‘youth mode’.”

While Tencent started leveraging facial recognition to limit the amount of time minors could spend playing games, the technology is far from being the ideal alternative here—given how children have previously cheated the system to set up their own OnlyFans using documents of their older relatives. With Kuaishou (another video-sharing app and Douyin’s major competitor in China) also featuring a teenage mode which is non-mandatory, concerns have been triggered over the possibility of such rules being adopted by companies globally to maintain their share in China.