The Tarver Academy: Tips and tricks FOR success
September 21-27, 2020
By Cait Smith
This school year has been quite eventful as students all over the U.S. have had to embrace different modes of learning (online or hybrid classes) as means to stop the spread of COVID-19. Many students and even teachers have found the transition to an online platform to be a challenge as they don’t know how to navigate through websites like Google classroom and Zoom. However, Tarver Academy – a YouTube channel dedicated to helping students and teachers better understand the online classroom – has developed strategies to combat this issue.
Creator of Tarver Academy, Tyler Tarver said his videos have become almost essential to students and teachers alike as we move further into the school year. “Teachers are referring their students to my videos to help guide them through this difficult process. These videos are also giving teachers value and additional resources to enhance their teaching,” he said.
However, the Tarver Academy has been up and running for many years. Back in the 2010’s, while every other YouTube content creator turned to funny showbiz, Tarver stuck to what he knew … math. The former math teacher would create interactive math videos for his students to easily access at home. But because these videos were uploaded to YouTube, they started gaining attraction universally.
“Over time the math videos were able to give people value at different schools around the world. I’ve got some videos that have over two million views and some that have 30 views. You never know which ones are going to provide people value,” explained Tarver.
That’s when the Arkansas native signed up for the deal of a lifetime; to create educational videos for students, teachers, and anyone else who had a desire to learn. With an extensive background in education and administration, Tarver knew what kind of content he needed to create for his community.
“Just like when you’re teaching in a traditional class, your goal is to help those students bridge gaps in their learning … get them closer to what they want to be able to do. I decided to put videos out every day to get the chance to do that for students anywhere in the world,” Tarver said.
Even with the hardships of keeping up a successful YouTube channel, Tarver possessed consistency and time-management skills to continue educating. “I probably put more than 2000 videos on the internet. Less than 2% of them I got paid for. But my mission isn’t to make money, it’s to add value to students and teachers. It’s a way for me to do the education side of work that I love and put out in the world for free,” he said.
Tarver continued making videos until eventually hard work paid off. A couple of his videos such as “Google Classroom Tutorial” and “Google Forms Tutorial” grew extremely helpful as everyone transitioned online at the start of the pandemic. Since then, his videos have been nothing but resourceful as online seems to be the main mode of communication these days.
A more popular project included on the Tarver Academy YouTube channel is the “Google Classroom Tips” playlist. This playlist is a compilation of videos for easy, accessible information. The videos provide explanations on things such as how to submit homework assignments in Google classroom, how to join a Google meet hangout, and Google Classroom/Zoom etiquette.
Another project Tarver has had fun conducting is “Tea Time with Tyler.” In the early mornings, Tarver goes live online and does questions and answers with teachers about the ins and outs of online classrooms. Topics such as Google Docs, using videos remotely, and walking through YouTube basics are often discussed. “It’s just me answering questions from them because I want teachers to feel more comfortable about the resources at their disposal,” Tarver said.
Being in education for so long, Tarver has a knack for recognizing the struggles in the world of teaching, especially during a pandemic. “Teachers are worried about their students being at home and missing the most social and emotional tool, getting connected and having a community … all the things we get inherently from being a person,” he said. To address the issue, Tarver implemented the “Baller Teacher Conference” series on his YouTube channel to cover a variety of topics for teachers. Many topics include tips on how to learn remotely, how to have a community online, how to stay connected and grow every day, and how to manage time.
To go along with the “Baller Teacher Conference” series, Tarver hopes he is able to collaborate with other academic teachers and YouTube content creators for videos. “I love working with people who are also making videos, doing remote learning and adding value to people across a wide range of audiences,” he said.
Until then, Tarver will continue making the learning process fun and youthful with the Tarver Academy.
Subscribe to the Tarver Academy for the latest videos by visiting https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvJ8_M-wGan9FP7fXDEswdQ.
Follow Tyler Tarver for his latest updates via Facebook and Twitter @Tylertarver.
PHOTO CAPTION: (Photo provided)
“Classroom Video Etiquette” one of Tarver Academy’s most popular videos on YouTube now has over 100,000 views.