Our Top Ten Educational YouTube Channels
YouTube is more than just entertainment anymore – it’s a bonafide source of educational content for kids from pre-school to university. Whether you’re supplementing co-op, an online or charter school, or you’re doing homeschool by curriculum, or you unschool (like we do!), there are YouTube channels for you – on almost any topic you can imagine. Here are the current top five educational YouTube channels from each of the TravelingKids – Alex and Elizabeth:
Alex’s Top Five Educational YouTube Channels
MinutePhysics and MinuteEarth
These two channels both do ~1:00 videos on certain subjects (MinuteEarth does geography, sociology, ecology, etc, while MinutePhysics covers physics (duh)). MinutePhysics was the original, with videos made at first with a whiteboard, colored markers, and a camera; but now uses digital drawing tools and post-production voiceovers. The MinuteScience (collective term for both channels) team is headed by Henry Reich (the original founder of MinutePhysics), and supported primarily by a large Patreon page.
SciShow and SciShow Space
SciShow (run by Hank Green) makes general science related videos, such as “QQs” (Quick Questions: brief explanations of things), science news, explanations of various phenomena, etc. SciShow Space is a spinoff channel dedicated entirely to space and human exploration thereof (personally, I don’t watch most SciShow Space videos, since they’re mostly answering questions that I already know the answers to). Recently via SciShow, I’ve learned the reason you get stitches in your side (your internal organs are held in a two-layer sack, with fluid between the layers; if the fluid gets pushed out, the layers rub together, which hurts), that geologists are considering declaring that from the 20th century forward is a new Epoch (the Anthropomorphene Epoch), and why heart cancer is so ridiculously rare (muscle cells, like those in the heart, only divide at any significant rate in the womb, so cancer can’t really get started).
Veritasium is a general science channel run by Derek Muller, who does most videos on-scene (small digression, the logo is a square from the periodic table with symbol ‘VE’, while the motto is “an element of truth”). A common type of video consists of multiple people being asked a question, their answers, the correct answer being given, and their responses. These videos typically are attempting to teach something by getting multiple perspectives.
Vi Hart (the channel name is literally her name) covers math. Lots of math. Often advanced math such as general algebra, calculus, advanced geometry, trigonometry, etc., though other things such as historical math and the boringness of parabolas (they’re all just the same, just scaled up or down and moved around) are covered as well. Vi Hart is where I got a few major math concepts, so I think it’s definitely worth a shot.
CGP Grey covers many many things, ranging from whether Texas can secede from the US to the ownership of Antarctica to The Lord of the Rings, all in an advanced computer-animated stick figure format. There is no known photography or video of CGP Grey’s face, and his name is not known, though we have many hours of voice audio, and he is known to be a teacher in the English public school system, probably in the London area. Some of my favorite videos are the long-running Politics in the Animal Kingdom series, which covers various voting systems using the made-up Animal Kingdom (somewhere in the jungle) as a reference government.
Elizabeth’s YouTube Picks for Learning and Fun
I’m not going to say which one, just ALL of them. If you don’t know already, Crashcourse is an educational YouTube franchise led by Hank and John Green who are just plain awesome. The various Crashcourse channels feature topic-based videos which are each about ten minutes and feature one of the brothers in a fast-paced deep dive into subjects including history, chemistry, and economics as well as LOTS of others.
vsauce has three distinct channels to offer. The first channel is all about science whilst the second is a scientific news channel (i LOVE those). vsauce 3 is about games and gaming. Both vsauce 1 & 2 have a show called lüt (pronounced loot) which is about cool nerdy stuff that you can buy.
Simon and Martina – Eatyourkimchi
OK there’s a lot to explain here this channel is all about Simon and Martina (the creators of this wonderful channel) documenting their life and adventures in South Korea (and soon to be Japan) in their various shows: TL;DR; W.A.N.K (Wonderful Adventure Now Korea); F.A.P.F.A.P (Food Adventure For Awesome People); and W.T.F. (Wonderful Treasure Find). Learn about the food and culture of Asian countries with Simon and Martina with their dog Spudgy, their cat Dr Meemersworth and their friends Soozee (pronounced Suzy) and Leigh.
With YouTube Channel Game Theorists and their most successful show GameTheory, a show hosted by Mathew Patrick or Mat Pat, you can’t go wrong. The episodes focus on the backstory of video games and delve into the history, lore and mythology surrounding the games. There is a backlog of awesome shows including Digressing and Side Questing and Culture Shock.
Teaching you cool cooking tricks and recipes since forever, this channel has one of a kind web shows like the Cutthroat Kitchen After Show, Foodie Call, The Next Food Network Star and tons more. The Food Network channel on YouTube has a wide range of channels to delight every appetite – everything from <3 minute clips to special behind the scenes episodes. Food Network got me into cooking and – their YouTube channel makes their content accessible to me on the road and for that I am forever grateful.
What are your favorite educational YouTube channels? We have tons more, these are just the current favorites…tell us yours!