This is the 1st article in a series about using the Internet and social media as an educational resource.
Cute kittens and people getting hit where the sun don’t shine. That’s what YouTube’s all about, right?
Wrong. Though the funny, adorable and delusional have all found their niche on YouTube, a lot of people aren’t aware that the website gives you access to some of the best educational resources in the world, for free.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the YouTube channels that can excite those brain cells instead of letting them sit lethargically, watching another blooper reel.
Best D.I.Y. Channel:
- eHow (http://www.youtube.com/ehow) With over 200,000 subscribers, this site is home to a slew of Do-It-Yourself videos. Having a great layout, the eHow YouTube channel is really easy to navigate, breaking down their channel into seven sections: Home, Pets, Food, Style, Fitness, Family, and Tech. The site is constantly updated with helpful content for self-improvement, home-improvement and more.
- Khan Academy (http://www.youtube.com/khanacademy) Although this channel is under K-12, there is something for everyone here. The Khan academy YouTube channel focuses mostly on math and sciences – look elsewhere for social media training – but it is branching out into History and the Arts as well. If this endorsement isn’t enough, consider that Bill Gates and Google have placed their stamps of approval on the site. The YouTube channel has also started posting lessons in over 15 languages. It really is a truly amazing resource.
- UCBerkeley (http://www.youtube.com/UCBerkeley) Sure, you might argue that M.I.T. is a better school for engineering, but UC Berkeley has consistently been ranked as the number one public university in the United States. Besides that, not everyone studies engineering and math. UC Berkeley’s YouTube page offers entire courses free online for topics ranging from Psychology to Computer Science.
- Associated Press (http://www.youtube.com/associatedpress) Stay on top of what’s going on in the world with the AP YouTube channel. Updated a few times every hour, this channel is filled with the kind of content you would expect from the Associated Press: mostly international news with very little fluff.
- Ted Talks (http://www.youtube.com/user/tedtalksdirector?ob=4&feature=results_main) If you haven’t heard of TED, then you are really missing out. TED videos have a global perspective: they are a collection of “the greatest thinkers” in the world who give 18-minute speeches on any variety of topics. Their motto is “ideas worth spreading” so you can count on any given lecture being thought provoking to say the least. Plus, you can join in on great discussions on the TED website, like ones about netiquette and Internet censorship, or find TEDx local events near you.
So when you’re done with those double-rainbows (which admittedly, was hilarious), try putting on that thinking cap for a nice change of pace.
Thomas Samph and Alon Eisenberg, both graduates of Boston University, spent the year after their graduation teaching English abroad in France and Argentina, respectively. Both Thomas and Alon currently work at a New York City-based Internet education website, Grovo.com, a field guide to the Internet that helps people learn everything from Facebook Timeline and Pinterest to how to use Twitter.