TikTok brings short-form education to students

The mobile video platform is thinking long-term with virtual learning opportunities

TikTok may be known for short-form mobile videos, but it is taking a long-range view. As part of the company’s many COVID-19 initiatives to support communities and small businesses, the TikTok Creative Learning Fund is a much-needed effort to keep the learning going while schools are shuttered. The response has shown just how receptive students and content creators are to the idea.

Within its first month, more than 800 educators, public figures, small businesses, media publishers and educational institutions had created learning material for TikTok. Insights and instructions have ranged from virtual field trips to a St. Louis farm to lessons in DIY flower arranging from Hedonia Flowers in Chicago.

The initiative also includes well-known experts with celebrity cache. Bill Nye, aka “the Science Guy,” and Neil deGrasse Tyson bring science and the stars to the small screen. World-renowned chef José Andrés shares cooking tips and recipes from around the world, and supermodel and entrepreneur Tyra Banks talks about setting and reaching what she calls “BFOGS” — big fierce outrageous goals.

Lilly Singh, host of “A Little Late” on NBC, focuses on stories “that have the potential to inspire audiences and make people feel seen and connected, especially in this climate where we are often apart from one another,” she says. “TikTok is such an original place on the internet and I'm excited to create content that makes a positive impact, encourages people to learn something new, and just as importantly, I know we could all use some comic relief right now too.”

For its part, TikTok says it is happy to expand educational content that is doing so well on the portal and will continue to give back to the community.

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