TikTok showed the younger generation that they can make even when they aren’t that learned. The entire concept of getting money by making videos came with TikTok, which mostly the people of younger age adopted.
According to a study, the way this app’s feed works through scrolling and giving more and more information to students keeps them addicted. Instead of giving them info, it triggers this mental situation where the person is stuck in this app, isolated from other worldly things.
What makes TikTok so much the talk of the town? Well, this app is not so new but has become a huge part of our lives in a very short span of time. Adopting any change within a short span is alarming for lawmakers and researchers.
TikTok came with this new style of short-form, engaging video format that has taken the world by storm. Many sectors have already adopted it, but can it be a viable platform for educational content? Let’s see because it is a big debate!
TikTok Is Viable For Educational Content – The Potentials
Many educators initially thought that TikTok was for teens to make dance videos until they found that this platform has a lot of potential. They can reach a wider audience just by doing what they have been doing all their life: teaching. Let’s see what potential they can see in this platform and what makes it a viable outlet for educational content.
1. Reach and Engagement
For example, a science teacher on TikTok posts a series of short videos explaining different animal adaptations. These videos go viral, reaching millions of viewers worldwide who wouldn’t have necessarily sought out science content. This exposes a vast audience to new knowledge and sparks curiosity.
Now, Compare this to a traditional classroom setting, where the reach is limited to enrolled students. On TikTok, educators can tap into existing trends and hashtags to reach diverse audiences beyond geographic or demographic barriers.
The platform’s algorithm, while controversial, can also play a role by suggesting educational content to users who have shown interest in similar topics.
2. Snackable Learning
Let’s say a history professor creates a series of 60-second videos highlighting key events in the French Revolution. Each video uses humor, animation, and historical reenactments to condense complex concepts into easily digestible chunks.
Do you know short videos cater to modern attention spans? Well, it is true, especially among younger generations accustomed to quick information consumption. By breaking down certain complex topics into manageable pieces, educators can improve knowledge retention and encourage viewers to explore further.
Additionally, the bite-sized format allows for repetition and reinforcement, which are crucial for learning.
3. Creativity and Interactivity
For instance, a language teacher uses trending TikTok songs to teach basic Spanish vocabulary. Viewers learn simple words and phrases while having fun replicating the dance moves.
This may sound impractical, but it is happening. TikTok’s emphasis on creativity opens doors for engaging and interactive learning experiences. Educators can leverage popular song snippets, challenges, and storytelling formats to make dry or complex topics more appealing.
By encouraging user participation through comments, duets, and reactions, educators can foster a sense of community and active learning.
4. Accessibility and Democratization of Education
A young engineer in a remote village uses TikTok to share her knowledge of renewable energy solutions. Her videos inspire others in her community to adopt sustainable practices despite limited access to traditional education.
TikTok’s global reach and low barrier to entry empower individuals in underserved communities to become educators themselves. Anyone with a smartphone and internet can share their expertise, potentially reaching and impacting others facing similar challenges.
This democratizes access to knowledge and promotes peer-to-peer learning, particularly in areas with limited educational resources.
TikTok Is Not Viable For Educational Content – The Challenges
This app has the benefit of keeping the users engaged and bringing more reach. However, it is not good for students as it imposes certain challenges for the educational sector. Not everything you hear on TikTok is authentic. You need to verify the info before using it or referencing it. This lack of authenticity makes it ‘not viable’ for educational content.
1. Information Quality and Accuracy
For example, you come across a TikTok video claiming that dinosaurs co-existed with humans. This “shocking” information might go viral, but it’s factually incorrect. Such misinformation can spread quickly on TikTok due to its rapid-fire nature and reliance on user-generated content.
That was just an example to show how even a piece of absurd information can spread on TikTok like fire. Educators using TikTok need to be extra cautious about citing reputable sources and ensuring their content is accurate and up-to-date. Children and students are the ones who fall for misleading information.
Fact-checking websites, official academic resources, and collaborations with qualified professionals can help maintain content integrity.
2. Attention Span and Depth of Learning
A complex historical event explained in a single, fast-paced TikTok video might leave viewers with a fragmented understanding. The brevity, while engaging, may not offer sufficient context or analysis for deeper comprehension.
While short videos can spark interest, long-term learning requires deeper dives. Educators can utilize longer formats like multi-part series or live streams to offer more comprehensive explanations and encourage viewers to explore additional resources beyond TikTok.
3. Algorithmic Bias and Echo Chambers:
A student who only watches science videos confirming their belief in climate change might miss out on opposing viewpoints or fine data. TikTok’s algorithms, based on user engagement, can lead to echo chambers where users are only exposed to information that reinforces their existing beliefs.
In the past, TikTok algorithms were known to rank misinformation to manipulate the viewers. Educators need to be aware of algorithmic biases and actively promote diverse perspectives in their content. Encouraging critical thinking skills and providing links to alternative viewpoints can help users break out of echo chambers and engage in well-rounded learning.
4. Monetization and Sustainability
Let’s say a dedicated educator creating in-depth science experiments for TikTok videos might struggle to monetize their work and sustain their effort. The platform’s monetization options for educational content may not be readily available or sufficient.
Educators face challenges in making educational content financially viable on TikTok. Partnerships with educational institutions, sponsorships, or even crowdfunding initiatives can provide support and ensure creators can continue producing high-quality content.
You can see that it totally depends on how a person, whether a student or an educator, is using the app. This app has genuine potential to benefit from educational content. However, it is on both the student and the educator to use it responsibly.