The undisputed king of online video, Youtube has many great channels that cater to the needs of the knowledge hungry, but instead of being boring like classroom lectures, are fun to watch. Listed below are 5 of the best (and my personal favorites) Youtube channels, that we feel you shouldn’t miss.
A TEDx Talk is a showcase for speakers to present a great, well-formed idea in the form of a short, powerful talk (18 minutes or less). Started as a conference in 1984, today TED talks cover almost all topics ranging from science to business to Entertainment to global issues. A speaker at a TEDx talk may talk about something new and surprising, or maybe a great basic idea with a compelling argument counterchallenging the idea itself.
The sister channel, Ted-ED is another popular educational channel with an online library of short and interesting videos that focus on a variety of subjects such as mathematics, science, history biology, etc. With attractive (not to mention highly clickable) videos such as “Why are some people left-handed?” or “Is math discovered or invented?” Ted-Ed makes learning new stuff easy and fun.
With over 8 Million+ subscribers – Vsauce, the brainchild of Michael Stevens, is one of the most popular and loved channel on Youtube. Through his videos, he [Michael] has become one of the world’s most popular educators, because he understands that education is a long game and the lesson in hand is not the final destination, but an opportunity to contextualize future learning.
In Stevens’ carefully crafted journeys to answers of the most common yet intriguing questions such as “What If Everyone Jumped at Once?”, he dangles the promise of an absolute answer, but on the way to the final destination he goes through a wide range of related topics such as geography, geology, the mass of the earth, etc.
He refers to these zig-zags across disciplines as opportunities to build, reinforce and retain new knowledge upon the viewer, and the crazy thing about these videos is that the knowledge is durable because it is connected to real world contexts which makes the information matter. ‘Teach people without them even knowing that they are learning’ – as said by Steven in an interview.
An easy and fun way of learning for kids and adults alike, definitely better than watching cartoons. Highly recommended.
Born in Medina, Ohio Mathew Pattrick (popularly MatPat) was a starving actor during his 20s, unable to land a job. Scouting through the internet, searching for a resume booster, Matthew got inspiration by an episode on “Tangential Learning” – learning through gaming, and got the idea of starting a show that fused education and gaming. Hence, The Game Theorists was born.
Using slideshows, Photoshop animations, a heartwarming theme song and fantastic narration by MatPat himself (with some really clever jokes here and there), the channel discusses various aspects of the gaming world such as how and why the game levels are designed, or how can one score better by learning tower defense techniques used by ancient civilizations, or why dating simulators are popular in Japan because they are somehow part of their culture.
For example in the Video “Game Theory: World of Warcraft will SAVE the Economy“, MatPat talks about how fat-basement-dwelling-trolls (WoW gamers, in simple words) are helping companies like JP Morgan Chase by demonstrating real world economic principles (by playing the game), and providing them the tools they need to tackle the most complex problems in today’s economy. In another video such as Game Theory: Candy Crush, Designed to ADDICT he talks about how game designers construct game levels and design a reward systems that get the user addicted, and make them hungry for more.
After watching just a couple of videos, one gets a fair idea on how much research, use of math, science, history and logic goes into making a single video, and hence each one is a masterpiece. Even if you are not a gaming person, I highly recommend you to watch a few of their videos, you are bound to get hooked.
With over 4000 videos and 2 Million subscribers, Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization with the aim of providing free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Created in 2006 by Salman Khan, the organization produces short lectures in the form of videos, in addition to practice exercises and tools for educators.
Started by offering videos mostly about mathematics, Khan Academy now offers courses about a large variety of subjects – history, finance, biology, music, to name a few, thanks to donations by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, Google and few other organizations.
Created by two Canadians, Gregory Brown and Mitchell Moffet, AsapSCIENCE is one of my favorite Youtube channels which offers a weekly dose of, as the name suggests, Science based edutainment. With over 3 Million subscribers, the channel is one of the most popular science channel on Youtube, courtesy of their visually attractive sketch narration style and the use of simple language used in making their videos.
With a Million+ views on almost all their 4-minute average videos such as What if Human Dissappeared?, or Are you sitting too much? the channel talks about very common real-life questions and not only are they fun to watch, the videos are an audio-visual treat for the brain.
The list represent some of the best of channels that have a perfect blend of knowledge and fun, and are my personal favorites. But it’s far from definitive. If you have any suggestions of your favorite must-watch Youtube channels, do share in the comments below.
By – Raunaq Singh