Tiktok has been a mainstream popular app for a while now. When there is a platform, it is bound to branch into multiple sides and types. You can find everything there. Silly dances? You got it! Movie/Book reviews? Got it! Weird after effect animation? Yes! Educational videos? YES it is available on Tiktok!
TikTok is being used more and more by academics and educators to convey history that is rarely covered in textbooks, and their information is being consumed.
One in four TikTok users in the US use the platform for educational purposes, with history being one of the most popular subjects, according to a 2022 poll from the online learning platform Study.com.
Filling Educational Gaps
State-by-state variations in the way history is taught in US public schools can be substantial. While the majority of curriculum covers key events in US history including slavery, the Civil War, and the civil rights movement, their treatment of these subjects is frequently impacted by partisan politics and local demographics.
According to a New York Times investigation, textbooks in California, for instance, frequently highlight the experiences of marginalized groups, but textbooks in Texas typically minimize these experiences.
Educational Tiktok Creators
Identity and heritage-related topics are covered in educational TikTok material as well.
A Sydney-based creator named Aslan Pahari uses TikTok to share knowledge about mythology, history, and other topics, frequently focusing on South and Central Asian themes. His interest in these subjects was motivated by a desire to comprehend his own race and ancestry.
“I think my content can assist South Asian youth in having a little more pride in who they are or just having a better idea of where they come from”. says Aslan.
A few years later, when TikTok gained popularity in the US, Earnest Crim III started sharing excerpts from his curriculum there. This time, though, more people were paying attention. His videos inform viewers about lesser-known Black historical figures like the historian Carter G. Woodson and the abolitionist lecturer Henry Box Brown.
“For me, it’s about sharing this information to empower, to educate and most importantly, to strategize how we can create equitable systems starting at the grassroots level,” Crim said.
Now, Educational Tiktok can be a place for some extra knowledge. A hub where concepts can be re-examined and discussed. But it can’t entirely replace schools, or act as a curriculum. It might be challenging for the typical user to tell what is trustworthy and what isn’t because films from creators without those qualifications coexist with educational content from historians and professors.