Online Learning

YouTube Investing $20 Million in Educational Content

YouTube, a Google company, has announced it will invest $20 million in YouTube Learning, an initiative hinted at during the summer. The goal: "to support education-focused creators and expert organizations that create and curate high-quality learning content on the video site." Funding will be spent on supporting video creators who want to produce education series and wooing other education video providers to the site.

According to an update on priorities for the year, posted this week by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, a portion of the investment will go to a learning fund set aside for "creators" who want to build multi-session educational content for the site. Eligible participants for the latest funding round must have at least one YouTube channel with a minimum of 25,000 subscribers. They must also "clearly depict the intent to teach in a factual, informative and trustworthy manner" that shows expertise and a "scrupulous approach" to accuracy in research, fact-checking and objectivity. The application is due by the end of November and recipients will be notified by the end of January 2019. Proposals will be evaluated against criteria that include "content quality, credibility, accuracy and use of multi-session format."

Funding has already been doled out to TED-Ed, the brothers Green's Crash Course and several "emerging" EduTubers, including Socratica, which covers science and math, and Linda Raynier, who focuses on career and life topics.

YouTube also recently launched Learning, a channel of curated tutorials, do-it-yourself videos, skill-based playlists and other educational content. That site currently leads off with a video about Joshua Carroll, a veteran who taught himself advanced mathematics from YouTube and went on to become a physicist. Now he has posted a playlist of videos to tell others how to become a physicist too.

The company said it was teaming up with online learning platforms, including edX and France's OpenClassrooms, to bring some of their most popular video materials over to YouTube. It has also hosted three "EduCon" events in Los Angeles, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro to help "Edutubers" learn new skills and do networking. That event will next head to India in December and the United Kingdom in February.

Finally, YouTube has introduced YouTube Giving, a set of beta features that allows creators to work with nonprofits to raise funds through their videos and live streams. Wojcicki wrote that she hoped to expand the features to more creators "soon." 

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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