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Jan. 27, 2021

Early childhood education students transferring learning through YouTube

By Kourtnie Stenwall, communication assistant


The COVID-19 pandemic took early childhood education majors at Northwest Missouri State University out of the classroom last fall and onto a computer screen, but that did not stop them from continuing to gain teaching experience.

Dr. Rebecca Moore and Dr. Sandy Seipel, assistant professors of professional education in the School of Education, introduced a YouTube Channel, Northwest Early Childhood Educators, to their capstone practicum class last fall. The YouTube channel allows students to showcase their work virtually and gives teachers, administrators, early childhood experts, homeschooling families and others a way to view the student-created content globally.

Moore and Seipel came up with the idea when searching for a way to continue meaningful practicum experience within a virtual world.

“All teachers right now are tasked with virtual learning,” Moore said. “Our students are persevering, adapting, overcoming, and they know that they could face virtual teaching in the very near future. Now that this educational platform has opened up, we are trying to train them for being productive, successful teachers in a virtual world.”

The YouTube channel was launched as a way to give students experience while they maintained a safe distance from school children during the ongoing pandemic. Nicole Reed, a senior early childhood education major from Kansas City, Missouri, pursuing a certification in special education, said she appreciated how the YouTube channel started for the practicum class but developed to include a variety of lessons for a range of children.

Each week, students focused on a different age group, ranging from infants to third grade, creating lessons that included teaching objectives and ways to implement them. With many children attending school virtually from home, Moore and Seipel wanted to make the activities easy to do with items found in most people’s homes.

Even though Reed and other education majors wanted to be in a room with smiling and energetic children, she said she learned to be more versatile and creative with her lesson planning. The experience also adds to her portfolio.

“I think, especially now, children need resources, and I think that is the number one thing this YouTube channel provided,” Reed said. “It wasn’t me who was losing (experience); I need to take from this experience and just give to others who lost.”

Marissa Shetler, a senior middle school education major from Windsor Heights, Iowa, also struggled with not being in the classroom but found the YouTube channel to be a helpful tool.

“I feel like our teachers have really adapted,” Shetler said. “They helped us to see what we can do instead and showed us different resources and tools that we can use.”


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704