The 10 Best Educational YouTube Channels: For High Schoolers, Teachers, and Lifelong Learners
By: VHS Learning
Since its creation almost 20 years ago, YouTube has grown to over 2 billion users each month, and over 500 hours of video content are uploaded each minute. With all of this content, it can be overwhelming to filter through YouTube’s massive library to find quality educational videos––whether you’re looking for your kids, your students, professional development, or for yourself.
To simplify your search, we sifted through YouTube’s countless educational channels and picked out our favorite creators of enriching and entertaining educational content. Here are a few of the best educational YouTube channels for every kind of learner:
For High School Students:
Crash Course offers quick, detailed overviews of a wide range of topics. Brothers and channel creators John and Hank Green are well-known for their pop culture presence––John Green has written many young adult novels and Hank Green has gained recent popularity on Tik-Tok for his educational and fun content. Crash Course videos are well-researched to provide the most important information about the subject and include engaging animations that help visual learners synthesize the information that’s presented. The channel has over 32 courses available, which are useful to review subject matter from past courses, act as a detailed preview of upcoming lessons, or guide students through subject matter as they learn it.
Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. On the Khan Academy YouTube channel, find videos explaining complex concepts in math, biology, chemistry, physics, history, economics, finance, grammar, and more. There are even videos to go along with practice problems for these subjects, walking students through problems step-by-step.
AsapSCIENCE is a weekly series that explores fun and interesting topics through a scientific lens. Their tagline is “Making science make sense,” and they do so through engaging and funny videos with real-world examples. These videos teach scientific principles in just a few minutes by focusing on topics students are interested in and using hand drawn visuals to engage students. AsapSCIENCE videos are a great way to get students thinking about real-life issues in a scientific light.
Similar to AsapSCIENCE, It’s Okay To Be Smart offers exploration of scientific concepts, usually by diving into more abstract ideas like “”What is impossible in evolution?” Host Joe Hanson, Ph.D. grabs viewers’ attention by combining his comedic attitude with actual scientific principles. It’s Okay To Be Smart strives to solve many of life’s unanswered questions, encouraging students to be open-minded, investigate their questions, and think creatively and abstractly.
For Professional Development (for Teachers):
This channel provides educators with the strategies, tools, and professional development resources necessary to fully utilize digital learning. PBS LearningMedia has focused deeply on content to support social-emotional learning, cultural responsiveness, and student empowerment. During the pandemic, PBS LearningMedia began streaming live webinars and virtual discussions––which can still be viewed on their channel––such as their series that provides educators with tools for anti-racist teaching.
Edutopia is an online community for educators, and their YouTube channel offers a wide range of videos that help support teachers’ professional development. Teachers can learn about best practices for teaching students in a variety of subjects and grade levels through Edutopia’s videos that highlight educators, classrooms, and schools that have found success through unique pedagogical approaches. Edutopia also creates helpful content for teachers to learn how to support students’ social-emotional learning and address academic, financial, racial, and other disparities that students face.
Richard Byrne is the creator of the award-winning blog Free Technology for Teachers, and on YouTube, he also posts informational videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials of popular edtech. His channel is full of short, easy-to-understand videos that walk teachers through different features and tools on popular tech apps and sites like Google Earth, Jamboard, Flipgrid, Google Forms, Google Docs, and more.
For Lifelong Learners:
SmarterEveryDay explores real-world questions and our everyday lives through science, with a heavy emphasis on creating shocking and engaging video content. The videos––many of which are taken with a slow motion camera––are exceptionally well-made and visually captivating. This channel is great for anyone who wants to more deeply understand the world around them and continue to learn about unique topics past their traditional education.
While Vox is considered a news media site, their YouTube channel is so much more than the current headlines and events in the news. Vox’s video content investigates and explores complex topics, foreign policy, diverse cultures, forgotten history, and pop culture through several different video series they’ve created. Most of these series utilize Vox’s standing as a major news media site to connect with world-class professionals and specialists who can speak on the topic of the video. Plus, many of the videos are supplemented with engaging animations and other visuals in Vox’s unique artistic style.
Part of the expansive TED community, TED-Ed pairs talented educators, professionals, and specialists with animators to create educational videos that share creative and scientific concepts and ideas alongside beautiful and engaging animations. TED-Ed videos are both captivating and informative; viewers will find themselves mesmerized for hours learning about topics they have never even considered.
These are only a handful of the thousands of YouTube channels dedicated to education, but they all provide entertaining and informative content for students of any age. YouTube videos are a great way to supplement digital learning, engaging learners with unique and captivating educational content.