Most YouTubers do comedy skits or crazy challenges to attract viewers. Not Haichi. He posts videos of math and other lessons for elementary, middle, and high school students. Haichi, a 34-year-old Japanese YouTuber living in Tochigi Prefecture, posted his first math lesson on YouTube in 2012. Since then he has uploaded more than 3,100 educational videos, which have been viewed more than 210 million times. He now has more than 677,000 subscribers.
Haichi taught at cram schools. The experience made him realize that there are many students whose parents can’t afford cram school tuition or need to sacrifice in order for their children to attend. Having watched students discontinue their education for a lack of financial resources, Haichi tried to find ways to address the problem of economic disparity leading to educational disparity. The solution he came up with was YouTube.
Haichi chose YouTube as a teaching tool because it is very user friendly. Anyone can view his lessons free of charge anywhere anytime. Hundreds of users have posted comments on his YouTube channel. Some say his lessons are easier to understand than school lessons, expressing appreciation for his helping to improve their academic performance. Parents and schoolteachers also credit Haichi for inspiring boys and girls to challenge themselves academically.
Seven years have passed since he posted his first educational video on YouTube in June 2012. His efforts to use YouTube for educational purposes were not taken seriously in the beginning due to the perception at the time that YouTube was only for fun. That’s far from true today; the number of subscribers to his channel keeps growing. Haichi told Asahi (8/31): “I have no intention to take the place of existing schools. But I hope YouTube videos will become an additional option for children. I feel a sense of achievement as an ‘education YouTuber’ when I envision children’s smiles. They smile when they feel a sense of accomplishment after solving math or other questions. That gives me confidence in what I’m doing!”