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Do-It-Yourself Online Education, YouTube Style

posted by Mark on December 16th, 2008

Do-It-Yourself Online Education, YouTube StyleUSA Today has a nice profile on the educational potential of YouTube, something we highlighted a few weeks ago. In particular, it mentions a great non-profit, one-man organization called the Khan Academy, which has published almost 700 videos on YouTube dealing primarily with math but also touching upon finance and banking — including compound interest, home equity loans and the mortgage crisis. The Khan videos have become popular with high school and college students looking to supplement their schoolwork — and no doubt adults hoping to make sense of why their house is now worth less than their car.

Of course, YouTube videos shouldn’t be used as a replacement for formal education; they’re more of a study aide. Think of them as video CliffsNotes, which we all know shouldn’t be read in place of the actual book (ahem). While these videos have the benefits of convenience and replayability, viewers should be wary of both the picture and content quality. If a video claims that Harriet Tubman was Harry Truman’s post-op stage name, for instance, think twice about its reliability.

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