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Educators’ knowledge sharing on YouTube
for emergency remote teaching

Inhye Park
March 21, 2021

A course paper in Literacies in a Digital World [PDA676], part of International Master’s Programme in IT and Learning, University of Gothenburg

Online Teacher
Photo by Dids from Pexels.jpeg

1.6 billion students
190 countries

100 million educators

The Educational Crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic

The declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 evoked an emergency remote education situation across the globe.

More than 190 countries decided on to shutdown universities and schools.

Over 1,6 billion students and 100 million educational workers were impacted by this sudden closures. (Unesco, 19/03/2020)

In responding to this educational crisis, teachers have had to seek creative solutions for emergency remote teaching. 

Emergency Remote Teaching 

“a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis circumstances”

The term, emergency remote teaching does not just refer to the current situation. This happened before that in countries facing crisis situations such as tsunamis, wars, and other epidemics.

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay.jpe

‘Online learning became the default in 2020’

‘a quick rush to “remote learning,”

exposing the fragmented adoption of high-quality education technology
and digital capabilities.’

“The training that was offered was not very effective, so I relied on colleagues and the internet.” 

“I don't know. I would like to hear more about effective tools from people that teach online full time, regardless of how that material comes across”

- Voices of instructors responding to the preparatory survey

To carry out this quick rush, while a significant number of teachers aspire to further training, social media has been cited as an alternative source of information.

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The YouTube search trend data clearly

demonstrates that online education related searches have exploded when this emergency transition began.

- The Aim of The Research- 

How educators have used YouTube for informal knowledge exchange

to learn digital literacies for remote teaching druing the pandemic,

taking videos on remote teaching using zoom as a scope of analysis.

RQ1: Educator’s video posting

How many videos were posted by educators on YouTube related to 'Zoom Teaching' from January 2020 to February 2021?

RQ2: The type of information on remote teaching

What kinds of information about remote teaching is included in the videos posted by educators?

RQ3: Shifts of topics over time

How has the information contained in the videos posted by educators changed during the study period?

Video Personality

Research Methods

Client 3

'Zoom teaching'

Jan 2020 - Feb 2021

  • Data: 1771 videos published in the time period with the keyword were retrieved.

  • Tool: Facepager, YouTube Data API

Client 5

808 Videos collected

Selection by actual topic

  • Data: video meta data (title, description, channel title, transcription)

  • Tool: YouTube auto-transcription, VREW

Client 7

Qualitative analysis

Content identification


  • Teaching professions

  • Non-educators

Content categories​

  • Technical skills

  • Instructional practices 

Client 2

Quantitative analysis

Descriptive statistics

How many,
What kinds of information was shared by educator?

The Result

Educators scattered around the world have actively exchanged remote teaching practices on YouTube platform as a means to cope with the educational crisis caused by the pandemic. 

  • Educators' videos were 77% of the total, ranging 69 - 87%, between 03/2020 and 02/2021.

  • The information shared had a wide variety and intense practicality, linked to the pedagogic context.

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Emergency prompting exploration

The challenging reality of emergency remote teaching

The severe circumstance motivates educators to seek new educational solutions, also provides opportunities to explore previously unthinkable possibilities.

To learn more about educators' joint efforts to overcome the crisis, watch Unesco's video.

Informal peer learning on YouTube in a crisis situation

The urgent demand for thinking outside standard boxes would have led teachers to take YouTube as a place for seeking and giving knowledge. 

The self-publishing media's nature allowing unlimited ability of users to publish open-ended materials turned to an adequate feature ensuring the diversity of information shared when people attempt to explore creative solutions in times of crisis.

Digital literacy for remote teaching

Even information on technical tools was proposed in an instructional perspective.

In educators’ videos, how to teach using Zoom could mean how to design online learning within current curriculum, search and prepare digital learning resource, set up equipments and software, communicate with students in online environment and more. The answers for them also vary depends on the diverse context of learning subjects.

Lessons for New Normal

The New Normal being discussed again in 2020 points out that the cruciality of the awareness that the current crisis situation is not an exceptional challenge, but a repeatable future.

I wish this study will contribute to our understanding of the remote teaching practices and offer some important insights into role of informal peer learning on social media in a crisis situation.

New Hires

Future plans related to this study

In this research, the quality of information was not assessed. The researcher plans to conduct future research through analysis of viewing information such as view count, like count, and comment count. In addition, she will examine the discoverability of videos, taking into account the characteristics of the platform where search and recommendation algorithms coexist.


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