Pandemic has impacted the lives of each and every individual on this planet. One of the most affected groups is that of students who have to suddenly stop their old ways of learning and shift to a new technology-driven way of studying. While e-learning apps flourished during the pandemic, a large section of students were not able to get their benefits due to various reasons including lack of money to purchase any plan. For this section of students, and everyone else as well, YouTube is the go to ‘online-teacher’. It become the bedrock of their learning giving everyone a solid foundation upon which to construct their own academic success stories. According to a IMPACT statistics, almost 94% of students aged above 18 years use YouTube for their assignments or personal study while 63% of users often come to YouTube to develop a practical skill. Apart from academics, 98% users use YouTube to gather information and knowledge. YouTube has become one such guru in the lives of many students which helps them in studies and knowledge gathering. FinancialExpress.com’s Tarun Bhardwaj got in touch with various YouTube channels indulged in the imparting online education to understand their models and how they are impacting the lives of students.
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Telugu Web Guru channel was founded by Santosh Raju Dabbiru in 2019 and it currently has 145K subscribers. Dabbiru said that the influence of YouTube on teaching-learning community is incredible. Millions of creators and learners are using this platform every day. It offers limitless opportunities that helps in improving the creator’s growth. Through this platform, creators can (i)share their knowledge through videos and live streams (ii)organize their content into playlists (iii) collecting subscribers’ inputs from polls and optimize the content accordingly (iv)form closed groups and offer extra perks through memberships.
“Further, it becomes the best tool for subscribers for learning everything. Subscribers can(i)select the best among multiple videos available on same topic from different creatorsand acquire best knowledge out of it (ii) watch the same video as many times as they wish (iii) recall their learnings from short videos uploaded by different creators (iv) getting extra benefits from the perks offered by the creators by taking join memberships etc. In this process, YouTube makes creators to learn many things. Creators can clearly identify the key differences between traditional offline platforms vs digital platforms. They gradually improve their skills on how to generate quality content, optimize the content according to expectations of their subscribers etc.,” Santosh Raju Dabbiru said.
“In earlier days, educational content creators started their journey with many difficulties. Initially majority of viewers spend their maximum time in this platform for entertainment purposes only. But in the recent years this scenario is completely changed. Now Youtube becomes one of the best platforms that viewers consider searching and learn everything. These developments allow many more creators to come forward and become full-time digital gurus,” he added.
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Physics Wallah’s founder Alakh Pandey said that he had witnessed numerous cases in which students with extreme potential were denied education due to financial constraints, and it is a shame that only a handful of people were bringing a change but were not getting adequate support or response. “In my case, offline was at its peak and I was getting a lot of response and affection from students at a coaching institute, but my goal was much bigger as I wanted to reach maximum students to bring a change, and YouTube was the best medium for it. When I started my channel in 2016 with an intent to deliver the best quality education, initially the response was spirit-shattering and disheartening despite the hard work that I was putting in, I was getting two likes per video or fewer views, but I had already embarked on a journey were giving up was not an option, so I decided to go all in. I was known for my unique style of teaching and inculcated that in my online teaching as well. I went to Kota and gathered a lot of content with the meagre money I had and became almost broke. But the content was worth it, and I blended that with my way of teaching and started getting positive responses. I decided to quit my job at the institute and focused full-time on building my channel. Working tirelessly day and night, I achieved 2 million subscribers by 2019. But I never wanted it to be only about Physics, so I started searching for people, including faculties, who aligned with my vision of bringing a revolution in the education system,” Alakh Pandey of Physics Wallah said whose channel currently has 8.27M subscribers.
For Study IQ’s Gaurav Garg, who founded this venture in 2015 and currently has 12.6M subscribers, YouTube is making people entrepreneurs. “On YouTube you can start your journey with zero investment. Most of the creators already have a smart phone and to be honest nothing more is required. You directly get connected to 500 million Indians on YouTube. There is not a better democratised place in my opinion. If any creator makes good content, he is guaranteed an audience. This in my view is the best part about YouTube. Since the creator knows he will be found he comes out of his comfort zone soon and creates top notch content. However, you still must try to learn as much about YouTube as possible to make sure your content has more chances of being found. As a teacher, one of my biggest learning is just because you are a good teacher does not mean you will be a successful YouTuber. So, I learnt the ropes, I learnt technology and it helped me to come out of the classroom mindset and reach millions in short time.”
English connection was founded by Kanchan Keshari in 2015 and currently has 8.98M subscribers. Keshari said that YouTube has played a wonderful role in the growth of creators as well as subscribers. “When I started my journey on YouTube, I started as a fresher. No work experience on YouTube. But this is the same platform that taught us how to grow. Initially, we had only one dream, and that was to reach as many students as we could so that we could serve them, we could share the knowledge. Because I think knowledge is the biggest treasure that you can share for free. Speaking of free, this was our main source of happiness that we could educate people for free. They did not have to pay even a single penny. Gradually, we kept growing and so did our subscribers. In terms of knowledge, they have been learning something new from us every single day, and that is where their growth lies. Our learnings on YouTube have been great, as creators as well as learners. The most important lesson that we learnt from YouTube is being consistent. If you are consistent with something, you are going to achieve a lot further. And that applies to our lives as well. So, we post the videos every day on time, no matter what. Our YouTube journey has been awesome so far. We are glad that we have a platform like YouTube, that has given us the means to run our households.”