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San Francisco (AFP) Sept 21, 2012
YouTube on Friday was searching for education "gurus" with knowledge to impart to fast-growing ranks of students turning to online videos for lessons.
The globally popular Google-owned video-sharing venue teamed with Internet education innovator Khan Academy to find, train and promote 10 "super-talented and engaging content creators."
"We have seen the demand for educational videos on YouTube growing extremely quickly," YouTube Education team leader Angela Lin told AFP.
"Education channels at YouTube are attracting huge, loyal audiences."
YouTube has more than 900 education channel partners including organizers of TED conferences renowned for captivating talks devoted to "ideas worth spreading."
The amount of time spent watching education-oriented YouTube videos has climbed 50 percent in the past year, with people outside the United States accounting for 80 percent of the viewing, Lin said.
The Khan Academy alone has nearly 400,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel.
Educational video fans range from "lifelong learners" to parents and children, according to YouTube.
"The rise of online educational videos is giving learners access to the world's greatest thinkers and teachers, leveling the playing field for all," Lin said.
YouTube videos are also being used to augment classroom lessons, sometimes by showing science experiments too dangerous or spectacular to be conducted in typical school settings.
"Sick Science" videos at a channel by Steve Spangler are among YouTube Education hits.
People interested in being among the 10 "YouTube Next EDU Gurus" can find details online at youtube.com/yt/creators and must apply by the end of October 1 in California.
The program is open to people from Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, or the United States.
A panel will select winners who will be brought to YouTube headquarters in California for training and get upgrading production gear.
"We are at a time when one person can actually reach an audience of millions," Lin said.
"Inspiring online educators can come from all walks of life, and we want to find the next generation of educational YouTube stars."
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