“[Twitch] was designed for video gamers to be able to livestream their gameplay, but it has evolved into more of a platform of a creative outlet where people will stream themselves doing artwork, traveling, and live blogging. People will record podcasts and talk shows—just sharing experiences. So it’s kind of evolved from its original purpose which was just to stream video games,” said Yu.
John Latham ’22, a former math student of Yu and fellow gamer, characterized Yu’s Twitch channel as diverse, positive, and inclusive. According to Latham, Yu’s gaming channel mirrors his teaching style and personality.
“Overall, Mr. Yu’s channel is positive, fun, and inclusive. [He] streams all sorts of content, from gaming to playing the violin, and I think his teaching style really reflects his personality and his streaming style,” wrote Latham in an email to The Phillipian.
In addition to streaming video games, Yu incorporates the platform into online study sessions for his physics class. According to Yu, the live chat room and recording features allow him to interact with his students online and answer their questions and concerns quickly and efficiently.
“I’ve done a couple of review sessions in the past where I would take a webcam and point it straight down and have a small whiteboard and go over physics problems with the class. [The students] would register accounts so that they could chat [and] ask questions about certain problems sets that we were doing… The livestream can be replayed so even if someone wasn’t able to make it to that session, they could watch the video afterwards,” said Yu.
According to Latham, he bonded with Yu over a shared appreciation of Twitch. He believes that Yu’s Twitch account allows students to connect with him without the strict barriers of a teacher and student relationship.
“I think most people find it cool that Mr. Yu is a streamer. It makes him a little more relatable and it slims the barrier between teachers and students… I had Mr. Yu for math in the fall term, and once I learned about his Twitch account, I had a connection with him.” wrote Latham.
Similarly for Yu, the positive impacts of teaching on Twitch extends beyond physics and academics. He views Twitch as a tool for fostering relationships with his students in a more informal setting and connecting with others on a personal level.
“I do think that there is a big positive in being able to have settings where it’s less [like the] roles of a student and a teacher and more colloquial in a sense … When I’m just streaming some gameplay or chatting as if it’s a live podcast, it’s more of a role of people looking to spend more quality time together and connect as human beings. So in that sense I think it’s really valuable… to have more informal interactions with students and show more authentic side of ourselves,” said Yu.