John Miller, 52 years old, teaches mathematics at TikTok and explains: “If children gathered behind garages, I would write all this on the walls. But since they are on social networks, it makes more sense to look for them there.” Let’s figure out what benefits such a format can bring.
Popular platforms like Instagram and TikTok are built on the principle of an endless feed that can be scrolled for hours, watching news, pictures, and videos. It seems that if educational content suddenly appears in the stream of selfies and dance flash mobs, then it will be much easier to perceive. In fact, in order to assimilate serious information, the user will need to switch from relaxed mode to student mode. Therefore, the majority of Profi. ru ”believe that“ funny ”30-second lessons in social networks do not fulfill their function.
“It seems to me that it is difficult to replace the classic lesson with interactive in social networks. In the first case, the teenager is just having fun. Secondly, he seriously approaches the lesson and does his homework. Therefore, I am rather skeptical about such fashion trends.” – said Mike, math tutor.
Maria Chaley, a mathematics teacher, agrees with this opinion:
“Social networks cannot give anything fundamentally new in training. After all, this is a serious process in which the entertainment component cannot be dominant. A telegram channel is only suitable for conducting circles, and channels on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok are, in my opinion, a self-promotion tool or a way to generate passive income through advertising on accounts with a large number of subscribers.”
But their colleague, tutor Max Campbel, urges not to be so categorical. Of course, creating a full-fledged, consistent course in this form will not work: time constraints affect the format, the information is fragmentary and heterogeneous. But you can use short videos as additional material to interest students.
“Micro lessons can have an engaging function. They can be viewed as an addition to the lessons: take interesting facts into the video, illustrations of different rules. This will give the student interest in the subject – and this will be beneficial in regular lessons.”
Chemistry tutor Ann Bergman agrees that short videos can work well as additional material. Fundamental knowledge cannot be achieved with the help of them, but it is easy to remember some nuances natively, without making any special efforts.
History tutor Iren Linn notes another important function of interactive mini-formats: they allow you to explain a complex topic through simple things, do it without water, and in easy language. In addition, they provide psychological relaxation. Therefore, the teacher actively uses funny videos on the topic of the lesson – for example, from the YouTube channel “History for Dummies”.
A Facebook or any other account can help a teacher get closer to his audience. Biology tutor Anastasia Bezova notes that it is easier for a teacher to establish communication with a large number of potential students in social networks.
“Teenagers understand that a tutor is a modern person. If his face is in plain sight and constantly comes across in the tape, then at some point they think: “Oh, I have already seen him. How cool he is! ” Then, if a student needs a tutor in this subject, he will already know some names and choose from those who are familiar to him.”
However, Daniel Turkeysh does not agree with this opinion: it is rather ridiculous to register on social networks just for the sake of this, the tutor believes. “It’s unlikely that the appearance on fashion platforms alone will solve this problem,” he says.
Some experts believe that it is more convenient to give theory in the format of recorded video lectures – this can free up time in the lesson for practical exercises. There is also a completely extreme point of view: modern technologies can make it possible, in some cases, to abandon the teacher altogether. Tutor Max Campbel tried different approaches: he went to classes at home or office, taught lessons in groups offline and online, created an online course. And in the end, I came to the conclusion that many things can be automated.
“I made a website where the system can check homework, create independent, test papers, train basic skills, memorize formulas. In addition, there are topics in which the main task is not to give the student some material but to leave him alone with the task for 10–20 minutes. To think for myself. And only after that, if necessary, give little tips. In the format of training with a teacher, this, of course, can also be done. But if the student is able to work on his own, then the self-study format is effective and can cover a significant part of the course.”
But many students still need a “guide” and the constant presence of a teacher. It depends not only on the ability to self-study but also on the character.
“For me personally, communication with my favorite teachers is an additional motivation for studying a subject. I love live communication, for me, the teacher’s charisma plays a big role. But the students are different. There are also introverts who prefer a minimal amount of personal contact.” – added Ann Bergman.
In addition, according to the teacher, it is difficult to provide normal feedback on platforms. Therefore, sometimes students and their parents realize too late that the level of training is insufficient, and they urgently look for a teacher for individual lessons.
All the teachers we interviewed noted that social networks and popular platforms require daily presence, time, and effort. You need to follow the comments, moderate the discussions. Anastasia Bezova also notes that in a professional account, not only what the lecturer says, but also how he speaks plays an important role.
“You can try to record some videos, but no one will simply watch them, because a person can speak indistinctly, choose an unprofessional background, record sound with noise. How to behave in front of the camera is a whole science. We need to seriously work on real results. For example, take a public speaking course or a blogging course. There is a lot of competition among teachers of school subjects and, naturally, people will go to the one who has better-recorded content.” – pointed Anastasia Bezova.
In her opinion, when mastering new platforms, a well-built strategy will also come in handy for the teacher: you cannot randomly upload content to different social networks, otherwise, the students will not keep up with it.
However, mathematician Max Campbel says that if you wish, you can find a format that does not require updating skills and flirting with the public, for example, a YouTube channel. From his point of view, training there is quite possible since long videos allow not only to give quick and vivid facts but also to fully analyze the theory and even practice. Recorded lessons enable listeners to set the desired speed, rehear incomprehensible moments and, as a result, better assimilate the information.
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