OPINION: YouTube educational videos, savior of procrastinators

T-minus 19 hours till my dreadful trigonometry test. I worked an 8 hour shift that Sunday, eliminating the concept of having a study day. On the verge of having a mental breakdown, I listed my options. I can either try to look through my notes and make sense of the lectures or I can use my generation’s best friend, the Internet.

YouTube saved my sanity that night. As The Waterboy Bobby Boucher’s mama would say, “the internet is the devil,” but I say no.

YouTube is the best online study tool hands down.

Video is no stranger to education. Remember “Schoolhouse Rock?” I still cannot get the “Conjunction Function” song out of my head. The show aired on ABC from 1973 to 1985 every Saturday morning, educating viewers on different subjects such as grammar, science and mathematics. “Schoolhouse Rock” took home four Emmy awards and performed live onstage.

Technology has advanced since “Schoolhouse Rock” since in 2013, 74.4 percent of American households reported to have internet access, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s “Computer and Internet Use” census.

The website YouTube is the third most visited site in the U.S. and second in the world, according to Alexa Internet, Inc.

The website started out as a video-sharing site, allowing users to post videos to their channels for all to see. YouTube now has over one billion users with more 18 to 49 year-olds viewers than any cable network in the U.S., according to YouTube.

Some users have chosen to use their channels for educational purposes.

New York Times bestselling author John Green teaches world history on his web show “Crash Course“. This fast paced blog is made up of seven individuals who teach on subjects from anatomy, economics and much more. The channel has racked up about 377.7 million views between their countless videos posted since June of 2006.

YouTube even has hashtag dedicated to educational videos, making browsing easier for users.

I found myself watching Khan Academy’s videos dealing with trigonometry, but Khan Academy is not a one trick pony. This youtuber covers possibly every subject known to man.

Creator Sal Khan invented Khan Academy in 2005, an educational website helping students from mathematics skills to banking. Not only does Khan offer videos, but from time to time, he host live sessions where he personally takes questions and helps individuals in those subjects, such as calculus.

The Internet is full of useful study tools, but there are also endless distractions, like Netflix. 

I hate to go there because I too partake in Netflix, but the online movie streaming site is kryptonite for college students.

Texas Tech professor Geoffrey Graybeal states that nine out of 10 students use Netflix on a regular basis, according to Liana Solis’ article in the Daily Toreador. 88 percent of people admit to binge watching on Netflix with 68 percent of students binge watching.

Along with the movies on Netflix, shows “Breaking Bad,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “The Walking Dead” are the top three TV shows, according to UPROXX.

It is so easy to be caught watching multiple episodes of your favorite show in a row. I have personally watched five episodes of “My Name is Earl” with ease, later regretting the decision having to wake up for my 9:30 a.m. class.

Although it is easy to waste time on YouTube by watching videos that literally have no purpose like cat videos and fail compilations. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy “jumping over car” fails and “jumping into cactus” videos? Getting back on track with your studies is only a search bar away with YouTube.  Other than documentaries, Netflix has no educational value, unless you are a film major.

How do we combat this weapon of procrastination?

I do not know. Honestly, how do we overcome Netflix? It is so easy to watch a YouTube video and be satisfied with the knowledge we gained in the 10 minutes, but with Netflix, you get sucked in to the plot of whatever you are watching.

In hindsight, you should really only use YouTube educational videos if you need specific help on questions you did not get answered during lecture. I learned an entire chapter of trigonometry in three hours which is not recommended, unless you hate your social life and enjoy stressing out to the max.

Steer clear of Netflix as we head into finals season, and YouTube on.

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