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5 YouTube EDU Channels You Need to Know

With increased interest in online education tools, YouTube EDU is poised to become a major player in the educational video market.

Sal Khan

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YouTube is the web’s most popular video sharing site, attracting billions of page views each day. Although many users visit the site for cat videos or to share clips of favorite television shows, there is increasing interest in using YouTube to make education accessible to all. YouTube EDU is a section of the site designed to do just that, offering educational videos ranging from the science of cooking to calculus. The top five YouTube EDU channels are a great place to start exploring this free resource.


No. 1. Khan Academy

In 2006, Salman Khan, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Business School, launched a not-for-profit educational website. After tutoring his cousin in math, Khan decided to distribute his tutoring lessons on YouTube instead. Today, Khan Academy offers over 3,300 freely available lessons viewable on YouTube EDU. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praised the Khan Academy for its innovative approach to education and ability to connect with students.

Salman Khan’s academic background is in engineering and math, and the Khan Academy YouTube videos focus heavily on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. Most of these videos are aimed at a K-12 audience, although adult learners will likely find a wide variety of subjects that interest them. The Khan Academy videos cover algebra, biology, chemistry, physics, cosmology, microeconomics, computer science, medicine, history, and finance. The videos are easy to follow and available in digestible chunks, making them appropriate for learners of any age level.


No. 2. University of California – Berkeley

The University of California – Berkeley is known as one of the finest institutes of public education in the country. The university has taken this public spirit to another level by posting thousands of lectures to its YouTube channel. Now, regular viewers have access to the same courses taken by UC – Berkeley undergrads, making the content of college coursework freely available. Whether you’re interested in Near Eastern studies or the cognitive neuroscience underlying daydreams, the UC – Berkeley YouTube channel has much to offer. Most videos are 50 to 90 minutes long, corresponding with the length of many college courses.


No. 3. Bozeman Biology

Teacher Paul Anderson has 19 years of experience teaching high schoolers complex topics in the sciences. After creating fun, interactive videos for his students, a friend suggested that he begin uploading them to YouTube for the public to enjoy. The result is the channel “Bozeman Biology,” providing high-quality coverage of common science topics.

One of the benefits to Anderson’s videos is their short length. Most range from five to 15 minutes, making it easy for students to quickly learn about important concepts. From lipid bilayers to standard error to plate techtonics, Bozeman Biology is a great place to master science concepts.


No. 4. HipHughes History

Educator Keith Hughes has long employed videos in his classroom as a learning tool and way to keep students engaged with course material. Since 2002, Hughes has been creating videos to cover topics in his high school social studies courses. He also leads a video integration program at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, and teachers college coursework on digital literacy.

 The HipHughes History YouTube channel has nearly 15,000 subscribers who enjoy viewing Hughes’ fun and interactive takes on social studies topics. From “The Bill of Rights in 30 Seconds” to “The Russian Revolution for Smart Dummies,” Hughes captivates viewers with his engaging style. The channel also offers help with AP History test questions and features an “Exam Cram” section with all of the need-to-know information for your next test.


No. 5. Bite Sci-zed

Inspired by random conversations with her friends about why humans sneeze or how fruit fly models of depression could change our understanding of the illness, Alex Dainis created a YouTube channel called “Bite Sci-zed.” She tackles scientific questions large and small, researching each topic and translating the findings into layperson’s terms. The Brandeis University grad will tackle questions that you never thought you had — such as why water won’t freeze when salt is added or whether there was cannibalism in Jamestown. These engaging videos earned Dainis a spot as one of the 10 content creators chosen for the YouTube Next EDU Guru project.

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