New field research by global education company Pearson has revealed that Gen Z kids in the US like learning from YouTube more than printed books.
Conducted for Pearson by New York-based global market research firm The Harris Poll, Beyond Millennials: The Next Generation of Learners surveyed 2,587 14- to 40-year-olds to examine the differences between Generation Z and Millennials in terms of their outlooks, values, education experiences and technology usage.
According to the study, nearly 60% of Gen Z respondents prefer YouTube for learning compared to 47% who prefer printed books. Millennials, meanwhile, prefer printed books (60%) over YouTube (55%).
Gen Z’s preference for learning from apps or interactive games (47%) is also equal to its preference for printed books. However, Gen Z prefers in-person group activities (57%) for learning, more than their older counterparts (47%).
As for time spent on YouTube, 47% of Gen Z spends three-plus hours per day on YouTube and 55% say YouTube has contributed to their education—although 78% say teachers have the most impact on their learning and personal development, followed by parents at 69%. Though Gen Z is device-agnostic, they still value “traditional” methods of instruction. Nearly 80% say teachers are very important to learning and development, 55% prefer to take notes on paper rather than digitally, and only 22% prefer self-directed learning (versus 36% of millennials).
Despite Gen Z’s propensity to learn from “traditional” methods of instruction, 71% say they try to figure out problems on their own first via the internet, textbooks or friends and classmates rather than ask a teacher for help (29%). The same holds true for Millennials at 70% and 30%, respectively.
The study follows a recent report from family research firm Smarty Pants finding that YouTube is the most popular brand among US kids ages six to 12.
A full version of the Pearson study can be found here.