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TikTok joins forces with Rachel Riley, English Heritage and more to produce educational content

English Heritage boss says social media platform is a 'safe space to explore stories that matter most to young people'

Sarah Young
Thursday 18 June 2020 11:10
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Dame Judi Dench says shes not allowed any time off from rehearsals for TikTok videos.mp4

TikTok has enlisted the help of hundreds of experts and institutions to produce educational content for the platform.

On Thursday, the social media giant announced the launch of its #LearnOnTikTok initiative, which is part of an £11.5 million investment to be shared across Europe.

The scheme will play host to new short-form entertainment and learning videos, ranging from life hacks and science tutorials to motivational tips and quick cooks.

Former Countdown presenter and mathematician Riley will be joining the initiative by sharing visual maths skills and tips on the platform, while charity English Heritage aims to take an entertaining and informative approach on the historic sites it manages, starting with a mini-guided tour of Stonehenge on Friday.

It will also be hosting a live stream of the summer solstice sunrise at the prehistoric monument on Saturday morning.

Martin Jefferies, social media manager at English Heritage said he hopes access to TikTok’s younger audience will provide the charity with an opportunity to explore different types of content.

“We think that TikTok is a safe space to explore stories that matter most to young people, so things like black history, LGBTQ stories from some of our sites, women’s history as well – it feels like a very safe, welcoming environment,” he told the BBC.

The University of Cambridge has also been recruited by TikTok to take on science and research, while Dr Rangan Chatterjee – who is known for his appearances across the BBC – will educate users on health and wellness.

“People are time poor – condensing health and wellbeing advice into bite-sized chunks makes it easier to engage with and more likely to be applied,” said Dr Chatterjee.

“I have always been an advocate of small changes making a big difference; you can change your life in five minutes, you can certainly learn something new in less than a minute.”

Other figures getting involved with the initiative include British actor Sean Sagar, who will provide guidance on auditions, and Dr Julie Smith, who will focus on alleviating stress and anxiety.

Rich Waterworth, TikTok general manager for the EU, said: “Whether you’re a working parent, a job-seeker, or simply a curious mind, we believe that short-form video is the perfect format for people to continue learning in a way that accounts for the busy lifestyles many of us lead today.”

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