Creative Digital Learning
YouTube has provided grants to eight Indian content creators to develop engaging educational content in English and Indian languages.
YouTube, the video-sharing platform, is visited by over two billion logged-in users each month. In India, YouTube has over 265 million monthly active users, who access the platform for entertainment, infotainment and edutainment. Learning videos have emerged as a very popular segment with users turning to the video library for information on diverse topics—from how to make robots and lessons in maths to dance and music tutorials. With online learning expanding to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, there has been a growth in demand for content in Indian languages. In this segment too, users look for information on a variety of topics ranging from how to prepare for government exams and English language tutorials to content on farming and financial literacy.
This shift in viewing habits inspired YouTube to provide grants to eight content creators to produce engaging educational content in English and Indian languages. “This fund is supporting the development of high-quality learning content, covering topics like English language training, environmental science, political science, calculus, genetics, chemistry in English, Hindi and Tamil,” Satya Raghavan, director for YouTube content partnerships in India, said in a Google India blog post. The eight content creators who received grants from YouTube include ExamFear Education Hindi, Learn Engineering, Don’t Memorise, Study IQ Education, D’Art of Science, Learnex - English Lessons Through Hindi, GetSetFlySCIENCE and Let’s Make Engineering Simple.
Deepak Pathania, founder of D'Art of Science, wants viewers to learn creativity and design through hands-on science. Photograph courtesy Deepak Pathania.
The grants were an opportunity for the content creators to think bigger and create free content for their audiences. “I always wanted some funding to do a pilot project where I would take a science textbook, physics to begin with, of any class, and turn the entire book into videos, keeping the syllabus the same, explaining all the concepts through live videos and not just animation or motion graphics,” says Deepak Pathania, founder of D’Art of Science. Pathania adds that he wants viewers to learn creativity and design through hands-on science.
“We used to pick random topics in science and engineering,” says Dinesh Parasu, chief executive officer of LMES Academy, which creates content in Tamil, “but for this funded content, we focused on 11th and 12th grade physics topics, without changing our original style of content creation.”
YouTube supported the grantees by organizing workshops and helping them connect with other content creators. Parasu found these workshops useful as they helped him learn more about how to improve his channel’s engagement, through topics like “how to design proper thumbnails, how to give a title to videos for better reach, how to engage using live sessions and community posts.” Pasaru’s channel has received grants from YouTube twice, each lasting about six months, which enabled creation of content related to physics, chemistry and mathematics.
Ganesh Pai, founder of Don't Memorise, advises educational content creators to keep their videos short and engaging. Photograph courtesy Ganesh Pai.
“We have the best partner managers from YouTube,” says Ganesh Pai founder of Don’t Memorise. “They have supported and mentored us in various ways, especially by giving us tips on how to grow our channel.” Other grantees had similar experiences and Sabin Mathew, founder of Learn Engineering, says his channel witnessed a “20 percent jump in view counts right after publishing all the videos.”
Pai has some advice for those interested in creating educational content. “Keep it short as attention spans are dropping drastically,” he says. “An average length of 2 to 3 minutes works best for educational content.” Pai also advises YouTubers to present their content in an engaging format because “people lose focus when they are presented with only facts, figures and definitions.”