Early Education and Online Video
Studies have repeatedly shown that early childhood education benefits a person throughout the entirety of his or her life. However, what about the children born to low income or underprivileged backgrounds? Can online video provide a boost they need to succeed?
In early 2014, a question was posed on a popular internet forum asking parents, guardians, and teachers what video topics for toddlers and young children should content creators focus on. The top response wasn't pleasant. "None! We don't allow the kids to watch videos." According to the user who posted this comment, children are best off learning through traditional means, not through video, internet, or video games like those offered by funbrain.com which (according to her) should be greatly limited or blocked entirely. Traditional education for toddlers (education that involves minimal or no technology) has proven itself effective and stood the test of time. But does that make void the value of video, particularly online video, and video games?
PBS Kids has served the public with educational programming for decades. It is hard to find people at any social economic level that have never seen a Sesame Street program or the like. And if a poll was taken of viewers vs. non-viewers of PBS Kids programming, there's scarce evidence to suggest that viewers of PBS Kids would come in behind. Even at the highest levels of education, in fields of technology, medicine, science and the arts, video is used to explain, instruct, educate, illustrate, animate, critique, and analyze. You can't receive your driver's license in some states without watching an educational video about driving safety and rules of the road. So if video is an effective tool for adult education and higher education, why wouldn't it be good for toddlers and young children? All things in moderation.
If there is a drawback to PBS Kids it would be the distance it holds and scare interactivity it has with the average viewer. If you were looking for "math videos", "3d shapes", or fun brain teasers for toddlers, about the most you do from PBS Kids is contact their front office with your requests if the content is not available. But you have no access to the content creators and worse yet, the average Joe can never be one. So if you have a special talent or a fun brainy way of presenting math videos that target the needs of the underserved, you'd just have to wait for a job opening from PBS and hope for the best.
That brings us to the second part of this article's title, online video! Online video solves the problems PBS Kids presents by giving content creators of class access to an audience and the audience members an enormous worldwide variety of content to choose from. Online video also provides content creators the ability to interact directly with their audience, just like bloggers can with their readers. YTKidsVids (http://www.youtube.com/user/YTKidsVids) is an educational channel on youtube dedicated to providing these services to preK-4th grade audiences all around the world.
YTKidsVids, and her sister channels Kids Vids SCJ (http://www.youtube.com/user/authorscj ) and ChildrensYTV (http://www.youtube.com/user/ChildrensYTV), understand that education for toddlers is a pressing need for success in life. Children with access to quality education from an early age score higher on average than children without, starting as early as the first day of preschool. And this gap continues, despite school efforts, from elementary school through high school, on into college and well into adulthood and career paths.
Centralized on the blog ytkidsvids.tumblr.com, YTKidsVids and her sister channels aim to provide educational material not often covered in video format. Topics like 3D Shapes, math videos, foreign language, counting, stories, health and exercise, entertaining fun brain videos, and more are posted monthly. For a busy parent, nothing is better than to sit your child down in front of a monitor or mobile device and know they are learning while you are working to provide for them. YTKidsVids is also interactive with the public. Video comments, requests, response videos are always welcome and receive due attention and replies.
As unfair as it might sound, much of the success of one's life is based on the success and choices of their parent(s) or guardian before the child is even old enough to enter school. Knowing this, why not provide you child or children with quality resources that are easily understood and informative? Parents of low income and underprivileged backgrounds have as much benefit and accessibility to educational videos as do the wealthy and the powerful. So is online video an asset to early education? Yes! And YTKidsVids will join in that effort.