Education or the art of learning should constantly evolve and change. In India, the use of technology to enhance education has been sedate with traditional teachers having more faith on their tried and tested ways. But, that isn’t stopping students from changing the way they explore different subjects. From high school pupils to college-goers, people nowadays prefer Youtube tutorials to their conventional classroom tutors.
With faster Internet connectivity and cheaper network providers now existing in India, the trend of students opting for these videos as their teachers is on the rise. Mehar Kathuria, an engineering graduate shares, “To be honest, I have passed subjects like physics and thermodynamics because of Youtube lectures, during my undergraduate college days.” Kathuria who is currently pursuing a correspondence psychology course alongside her work further adds, “Even today, I mostly study through Youtube because the concise videos really save my time and help me grasp them faster.” Mehar is a regular follower of channels like ‘nptelhrd’ and ‘Khan Academy’. “Sometimes even our professors would recommend us some of these channels for further reference,” says Kathuria.
Whereas for Ilina Bhattacharya, a PhD scholar, the best part of Youtube studying is that it is a visual platform. She says, “These free videos have taught me complex concepts better than a lot of expensive course books authored by Indian and international writers. The opportunity to grasp a concept by understanding it visually, in a concise manner, is a boon for me.”
Screengrab from Youtube video for representational purposes only.
For school student Apoorv Kumar, Youtube proved to be a game changer when a friend suggested some videos to him. “History lessons are not easy for me to mug up. I had a really difficult time with them till I found out about some Youtube channels like Vox and The School of Life. I love the storytelling style of these videos and the fact that I can pause, reverse and play it helps a lot too,” says the high schooler.
Suman Bhattacharjee, an educator turned content creator, has around 70k subscribers on his Youtube channel where he talks about various concepts of biology. “Initially, I had started my Youtube channel when I was pursuing my Masters course. It was my place for storing my videos on different biology concepts. I didn’t know anything about the monetary aspect of Youtube back then,” recalls Bhattacharjee. He believes that there are a number of reasons why students prefer these videos to conventional classroom. He elaborates, “Youtube gives the advantage of re-watching a video as many times as a student wants. Different students have different grasping potentials and the variable speed setting on this platform helps them study more efficiently.” Bhattacharjee also points out a drawback of the Indian educational scene where teachers often get recruited simply on the basis of their degrees and not their teaching abilities. “It’s not that they are not knowledgeable, but many teachers in India lack the capability of explaining and passing on their knowledge to students,” he says.
However not everyone is a blind fan of this method. Media student Audita Bhattacharya believes, “For a lot of subjects, Youtube provides simpler and faster ways to learn. But, nothing can replace a good professor. I genuinely feel that teachers somewhere hold a moral high ground for me. I don’t think any video can teach anyone economics the way my college professor did. So, I feel one is not completely better than the other.”