Youtube/Siri can sometimes be a student’s best friend

David Yang, Entertainment Editor


Not sure who was president during the first World War? Maybe you could ask Siri.
As more teens turn to their phones and computers for homework help, services such as YouTube and Siri have become an essential element for student studying.
YouTube is a video-sharing website where individuals can post videos that range from cat videos to pirated documentaries. Hidden among those varied topics are some helpful educational videos.
“If I don’t understand [a subject] such as biology and chemistry, I go back to [a] YouTube video and reference it more so I can grasp it better and understand it a bit,” junior Chris Gevara said.
Some studies show that comprehension and retention can be acquired more efficiently from videos than from a typical classroom setting.
“Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual,” blogger Karla Gutierrez, author of the website Shift Disruptive Learning, said. “Visuals have been found to improve learning by up to 400 percent.”
The Crash Course channel on YouTube contains approximately 12 minute-long videos dedicated to helping students in subjects ranging from world history to physics. For example, when viewing the concept of gravity, viewers learn the concept of history surrounding gravity, differences of gravity on different planets, and why a hammer falls faster than a feather on Earth.
The YouTube channel Bozeman Science features numerous videos detailing information of biological processes and concepts such as the history of evolution and the functions of each type of cell.
Khan Academy, another YouTube channel, is known for its mathematical and scientific (typically chemical and biological) videos, addressing topics ranging from stoichiometry to calorimetry.
YouTube is not the only option for a makeshift tutor. Siri is a virtual assistant computer program of products from the technology-manufacturing company Apple. The activation of Siri enables users to perform specific functions on their device by simply speaking.
Siri is capable of answering a variety of questions. Modest mathematical, historical, language, and scientific questions can be answered with activation of the virtual assistant. For example, asking Siri about who was president during the Civil War will yield an answer of Abraham Lincoln.
Despite its capabilities, Siri is still limited in its potential to answer certain questions. Questions that require deep insight that are prompted by the words “why” or “how” typically do not receive a direct answer from Siri and the user will instead be redirected to Google results for the question.
However, Siri is not just limited to answering questions. It is also capable of setting timers for studying, a helpful function for the less-focused student. Dates for tests, homework, and club meetings can also be input into the Apple product.
Other uses include searching for books, speech dictation, and note dictation.
Like most study aids, YouTube and Siri have limitations. No, Siri cannot ace a student’s chemistry quiz in the next week – for that, you need to study.