The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

“There is this Guy on YouTube…”

Thorsten Lomker, Zayed University (United Arab Emirates)

Katharina Richter, Zayed University (United Arab Emirates)


Every father, every mother who still indulges in conversations with their kids has heard this phrase before. Most likely listening mirthlessly, but secretly rolling their eyes, asking themselves endless questions starting with “Why...?”. Why is it so important what this guy on YouTube uploaded? Why is it that my kids can´t ask me a question or state an opinion that is not supported in any way by a YouTube Video? Why do I have to listen to something my kid recites, whereas I am not interested in anything that some random guy on YouTube has said? Why do my kids always need a backup of some sort and cannot express their own thinking? Answers to some of these questions and indeed worries come from some of the most sophisticated minds in a series of articles published by In 2013 Edge asked its contributors “What *should* we be worried about? [1]. And whilst browsing through the responses it becomes apparent why we should worry about a culture of “Internet Drivel” [2], a culture to “glorify stupid” [3], and a culture where “… objects take children away from many things that we know from generations of experience are most nurturant for them” [4]. The question arises as to why we - as parents - appear to be the only ones that feel a responsibility toward a culture many of us don´t want, but our kids already inhale daily. What should we be worried about and what can we do to counteract a development that seems unstoppable? The paper explores the most prominent responses and thoughts to the above question and discusses them in relation to established primary education.




Primary Education, YouTube, Social Media




[2] Gelernter, David, Worry About Internet Drivel,

[3] Schank, Roger, Worrying About Stupid,

[4] Turkle, Sherry, Objects of Desire,




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