Blog: Is YouTube the future of education?


In 2010, YouTube announced its Partner Grant Program and followed up in 2011 with an announcement regarding the rollout of

Hank (left) and John Green helped YouTube pioneer its YouTube EDU program. (Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore)
Hank (left) and John Green helped YouTube pioneer its YouTube EDU program. (Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore)

new channels dedicated to expanding YouTube’s entertainment possibilities. Fast forward to February 2012, YouTube launched its new lineup of educational channels.

We did some math of our own recently, and found that views of educational content DOUBLED in the last year. We also found that nearly 80% of the views for this content came from outside the U.S., suggesting that our vision for a global classroom might be becoming a reality.

YouTube and its parent company, Google, saw both the want and need for educational channels, delivering them in an impressive fashion. As part of the YouTube EDU program, these educational channels are all about getting people to “Educate. Engage. Inspire.”

Since last year, Crash Course and SciShow, two of the most popular education channels on YouTube, have gained well over 500,000 subscribers each. Thanks to the YouTube grants, brothers John and Hank Green, who make up the Vlogbrothers, finally got the opportunity to create the educational videos they always wanted.

Their videos are now showing up in high school and university classrooms all around the world. Not only are teachers using YouTube to complement their own teaching but parents find the videos helpful for teaching at home. In a story for Wired, Bart Lieb said the Green brothers’ videos were amusing and simple enough to understand that his 5-year-old son could follow along.

 Scishow and Crash Course are both clever, fast-paced, and entertaining. More importantly, the information they deliver sticks … Hank and John are great examples of geeks who use their powers to do good, and they deserve separate posts for all their many awesome projects. Their educational videos are a terrific way to engage your kids in history and science without boring them to tears.

Videos put out by creators on channels like Vsauce, Minute Physics, CGP Grey, Khan Academy and Smarter Every Day cover basically any topic a person might want to learn about.

Khan Academy provides online tutoring via video. (Photo courtesy Khan Academy)
Khan Academy provides online tutoring via video. (Photo courtesy Khan Academy)

Khan Academy is possibly one of the most developed educational services online today, which is saying something considering it’s a not-for-profit organization. What started as a man tutoring his family members around the country over the phone eventually turned into one of the most elaborate educational YouTube channels to date. Not to mention it’s completely free to use for students, teachers, parents or anyone else who wants to learn. The Khan Academy website says their team believes “it is our obligation to relentlessly focus on what the learner values, and we make every decision with the learner in mind.”

We’re a small team trying our best to improve the way the world learns. Too many people around the globe don’t have access to good education materials, or they are forced to learn through a system that doesn’t properly cater to their individual needs. We think the technology exists today to fundamentally change this, and we’re trying to build the tools and resources every student deserves.

With all of the world’s information at people’s fingertips, there seems to be no reason why all levels of education can’t, or shouldn’t, be supplemented by a little education courtesy of online content creators and YouTube.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email