New Pearson Research Finds YouTube and Video Are Top Learning Tools for Generation Z

From contouring tutorials to crash courses in world history, YouTube has evolved from a one-stop teaching hub into a leading learning tool for Generation Z.

According to a new study from Pearson and The Harris Poll titled, “Beyond Millennials: The Next Generation of Learners,” Gen Z ranked YouTube and video as preferred methods for learning by significant margins over Millennials. In fact, YouTube was second only to teachers as a learning tool, and ranked well ahead of lectures, in-person activities with classmates, learning applications and books.

“Generation Z didn’t have to adapt to new technologies like their predecessors–they have been immersed in it their entire lives,” explains Asha Choksi, Vice President of Global Research and Insights at Pearson. “This has led to students demanding changes to education, including accelerated, flexible and adaptive education options and tools.”

The study was conducted by The Harris Poll in August 2018 and it illustrates Gen Z’s educational preferences, in comparison to millennials, as well as some of their values and ambition. For instance, it revealed that by a margin of more than 20%, Gen Z respondents were more likely to say they want to make it to the top of their future profession one day versus Millennials. Other important values the study uncovered include altruism as 60% of Gen Z respondents agreed that they want to help people less fortunate, compared to 48% of Millennials; and diversity as more than 6 in 10 Gen Zers agreed that having diverse friends makes them a better person, while slightly more than half of Millennials agreed with that statement.

The research also dispelled the popular belief that Gen Zers have little regard for college as 80% of Gen Z respondents agreed that college either has a fair amount of value, is a good value or an excellent value. Only 20% of Generation Z students said college has “little value” or “no value at all.”

The study paints an insightful portrait of Gen Z that clearly distinguishes them from their Millennial predecessors —a necessary factor in rethinking how we engage this emerging generational cohort.

“To understand the future of learning—and especially higher education—we have to understand not just how the future of work and skills is evolving, but how students are changing and what’s on their minds,” says Choksi.

You can see the full report here.