The Best YouTube Channels for Education

March 29, 2012 in Discovery Fridays, Distance Learning, Inspire

Boy with 1950's TelevisionPhoto Credit: John Atherton

This is a guest post from Nick Narodny and Tom Samph of, a field guide to the Internet where users can learn everything from Facebook Pages to how to use Twitter.

When a new website is born, it goes through growing pains and changes just like any other living thing.

YouTube, still a fresh 6 years old, has already been through a number of image changes and has grown to become not only a place to watch viral homemade music videos and cute puppies, but an massive library of educational resources as well.

While distance learning is no new concept, the multimedia content and educational resources we use to supplement distance learning is constantly improving: YouTube channels are an ever-evolving resource for distance learners.

So take a break from Double Rainbow sing-alongs and save Rebecca Black for Fridays, and check out some of the ways you can use YouTube channels for education and learning.

Best for Current Events:
The Associated Press (AP) News Channel is a great way to stay up on your current events. AP posts one minute-long ‘Top Stories’ videos of the current headlines, daily feature reports and its raw video series of other current events around the world.

Best for Philosophy:
Justice with Michael Sandel began as a hugely popular introductory course at Harvard. Since then, Sandel and Harvard decided to put the course online to open it to all Internet users. Using YouTube to distribute the videos, Justice became Harvard’s first free online program. Now, you can take the class alongside Harvard students and participate in the conversation.

Best for Science Experiments
The tagline of NurdRage videos, which are hosted by an intimidatingly anonymous voice, is A Channel Run by Science Nerds for Science Nerds. Don’t let it fool you; the content is an incredible resource for questions about science and the place to go to watch exploding, melting, fiery science experiments.

Best for Mind-Blowing Concepts and Self-Improvement
TED was originally founded in 1984, but didn’t take its current form until 2006 when videos were made available to watch online. Since then, it’s been a common feat for TED videos to get millions of online views, and last year it was estimated that TED rounded up about 500 million video views. With a tagline of Ideas Worth Sharing, TED continues to be a destination for online enlightenment.

Learn from the Experts is the best place to watch unedited interviews, debates and live events. Compelling and intelligent videos from a variety of sources that speak to a wide range of topics, is the best source of raw content from experts.