Learning in YouTube: What Else Is Happening in the Online Universe of Pets and Pop Stars?

Learning in YouTube: What Else Is Happening in the Online Universe of Pets and Pop Stars?

Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9855-0.ch009
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Abstract

In academic and business institutions around the world, the transfer of knowledge and the awarding of academic degrees or certificates have been educational and economic practices for decades. However, in recent years, these postsecondary degrees and certificates are available more cheaply, in greater numbers, and requiring less time to complete. Full online academic degree programs, massive open online courses (MOOCS), and other forms of distance learning are quickly becoming the choice for people who cannot afford a traditional brick-and-mortar education. These learners have identified that they have no need for a full load of coursework, learn better visually and through repetition using video, or simply want to learn more about the world. Using technologies such as YouTube, Skype, Facetime, and LMS (learning management systems), learners have more choices than ever before. Online learning and degrees are often provided using YouTube as a delivery platform for knowledge and for corporate marketing messages. Pedagogy and learning in nontraditional lecture formats has long been studied; however, current technologies bring into sharp relief the question of who has the authority to present the knowledge and award degrees and which cultures agree to assign financial value to the marketplace. Today, learners have more power in the choice of the types of knowledge they need and the ways in which they are taught. Worldwide, traditional academic institutions have discovered the financial benefits of online training and education. On the instructional side, less real estate is required for classrooms, labor is less expensive as new labor models and contracts can be written, effective marketing opportunities are being developed to drive traffic to higher education institutions, and now a much larger international and national audience of learners can be accessed. What knowledge is the most valuable and important, who is the true author of that knowledge, and how much knowledge is enough to be considered an expert? Colleges and universities have made strong efforts to stake a claim as the ultimate knowledge authority but they struggle with the tension of providing relevant educational content quickly and affordably amid political pressures to train students for future jobs. The general public has fairly easy access to expert knowledge simply by powering up a mobile device, loading the YouTube app, and selecting the Education Channel on YouTube. With an Internet connection, anyone can Google a word or question and, most of the time, link to a relevant video where, with a little attention to detail, accurate and relevant information can be found.
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Challenges To Traditional Education

The use of technology to supplement traditional educational methods is not new. As early as 1910, instructional films were used in the nation’s schools; the first catalog of instructional films was published at that time (Reiser, 2001). As early as 1920, instructional radio was introduced in education settings. Although radio proved to be ineffective in the classroom, it led to the use of television for instruction, with the development of the Public Broadcast System (PBS; University of Florida, 2014). It’s no coincidence that many large universities still have Public Broadcasting television stations with an educational and economic mission. Correspondence education, using course materials and tests sent by mail, gained ground (Nasseh, 1997). Today, with the increased speed, availability, and lower cost of video and audio Internet-based technologies such as Skype, distance education promises to be more widely available and less expensive than traditional education.

This rapid change in how higher education is delivered and experienced by the learner is reflected in development of MOOCs: massive online open courses. Gráinne Conole described MOOCs as “free online courses that have generated heated debate” among critics who decry MOOCs as marketing sites with high drop-out rates (95% to 98%, according to Conole, 2013). But MOOCs are also viewed as learning environments that encourage social inclusion and cut across socioeconomic boundaries (Conole, 2013).

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