Top Five Educational YouTube Channels

Shannan Singletary ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

YouTube can often be referred to as a “black hole” or “vortex.” Its endless slew of videos can keep even the most diligent of workers distracted for hours. Thankfully there are tons of high quality, entertaining educational videos available, too, so not all of your time spent procrastinating has to be a waste. So next time you find yourself stuck in the YouTube vortex check out one of our top 5 educational channels.

5. PBS Idea Channel

idea channel

The PBS Idea Channel, funded by the US Public Broadcasting Service, is a weekly show that examines the relationship between pop culture, technology, and art. Beginning each episode with “Here’s an idea,” the show is hosted by Mike Rugnetta, and with over half a million subscribers the PBS Idea Channel makes you think more deeply about many pop cultural phenomena. For example, recently Rugnetta discussed the Disney hit Frozen’s widespread success, in the video “Why Were People & Critics So Infatuated with Frozen?” and examined its role as a critique of the traditional fairytale.

4. Mental Floss


The YouTube channel Mental Floss provides you massive amounts of trivia and fun facts. With over one million subscribers and hosted by author and vlogbrother John Green, Mental Floss puts out weekly videos such as “26 Amusing Facts about Amusement Parks” and “29 Misconceptions about Alcohol.” Following the success of Green’s list show they have also launched another show hosted by Craig Benzine (aka WheezyWaiter) called “The Big Question.” The Mental Floss YouTube channel is an online video branch of Mental Floss magazine, a nine-time a year publication focused on knowledge and trivia. Here’s a fun trivia fact: Green actually worked for the Mental Floss magazine early in his career.

3. Vsauce


Vsauce is an educational YouTube channel with videos structured around scientific and philosophical questions hosted by the channel’s creator Michael Stevens. Vsauce has become one of the most subscribed to educational channels on YouTube with well over seven million subscribers. Vsauce is the place to go to get answers to the questions you’ve always had but maybe never thought to ask, such as “What Is the Earth Worth?” and “Why are Bad Words Bad?”

2. Crash Course


Watching the Crash Course YouTube channel is a lot like being back in your high school classes. That is if your high school classes were all around ten minutes long and taught by the VlogBrothers Hank and John Green. Crash Course consists of multiple shows covering several different subjects ranging from Ecology and Biology to Literature and US History. Because each subject receives numerous episodes, produced in sequential order, it provides a good understanding of the various topics to the viewers. The channel usually produces new content for two subjects at a time, the current subjects being World History and Psychology. Each course releases a new video every week.

1. TED


The TED slogan is “Ideas Worth Spreading” and the success of their YouTube channel proves just that. The TED channel features clips of the speeches given by the, often influential, speakers at the annual TED conferences. The TED conference got its start in 1984 and originally had a focus on science and technology. Today’s conferences, however, cover a wide assortment topics. Currently a few of the most popular talks on the channel include Sir Ken Robinson’s speech “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” and Stephen Hawking’s talk from 2008 called “Questioning the Universe.”


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