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educational YouTube

Interested in something new? Just watch and learn.

The rise of Jake Paul, YouTube drama alert channels and debates over monetization have fed the belief that YouTube has been going downhill. Although all of these nefarious forces still have a home on the website, there are still those who wield their powers for commendable ends — knowledge. Educational YouTube content is just a few clicks away if you know what to search for. Smaller creators often provide the best videos, even though they are not widely popular.

Here are six channels to check out if you are interested in expanding your mind. They’re just as interesting as any of the more popular channels on the platform, and you might learn something in the process.

1. The Art Assignment

By looking deeply into art of all kinds, this educational YouTube channel provides great resources for interpreting art critically. Whether the YouTubers are looking at specific photographs and paintings or dissecting an art movement as a whole, The Art Assignment takes great care in viewing art from a variety of perspectives.

Viewers learn to ask big questions through art. By digging into both art history and art theory, the channel provides viewers with an altogether unique experience that cannot be found elsewhere on YouTube.

The channel provides context to famous works of art, which allows audiences to gain a deeper understanding of paintings while discovering new favorite art pieces. With a huge variety of art content, The Art Assignment is sure to feature something you’ll love.

2. Minutephysics

As one of the most challenging and complicated school subjects, physics is often misunderstood. Minutephysics is an educational YouTube channel devoted to physics content that is short and digestible for viewers.

Their videos are generally between one and five minutes long, and they break down a variety of complex issues. With creative and simple drawings to guide the viewer, Minutephysics can help you pass a class and understand the universe a little better.

3. Mental Floss

If fun facts and trivia are more your style, look no further than Mental Floss. It’s different from some of the other educational YouTube channels because it’s a list show for various subjects. Without a specific content area or a ranking system, Mental Floss simply helps you learn fun facts about whatever you are passionate about.

Interested in the rides at Disneyland? Mental Floss has 21 facts for you. Love weird laws, sharks, household items or space? They have lists on every one of those subjects. With over 400 videos, there are definitely some features that will catch your eye — like bestselling author John Green testing life hacks.

4. Khan Academy

Started by Sal Khan, Khan Academy’s goal is to provide high quality educational materials to students for free. By removing barriers between students and their education, Khan Academy has been a huge part of leveling the playing field for students. Along with a huge variety of content on their website, Khan Academy has been producing educational YouTube videos since 2006.

Khan Academy strives to help students of all ages. Whether you’re an education student looking for resources or a nursing student in need of some extra help, Khan Academy has content that you can use. Explore a vast library of content (that is available in different languages) to help you through the semester.

5. PBS Idea Channel

The PBS Idea Channel focuses on applying complex thought to pop culture. Covering everything from pizza to Instagram to “Frozen” to cocktail glasses, these educational YouTube videos will helps you think differently about the big ideas you encounter every day. The channel was run by Mike Rugnetta, and although he no longer posts content regularly, the archives are well worth a dig.

The most important product of Rugnetta’s work is creating discussion and inspiring millions of minds. After each video, a “comment response” is created that allows Rugnetta to discuss the ideas presented in the video further, while engaging with new and exciting viewer ideas.

The channel reminds viewers that one person’s thoughts on YouTube is not law when it comes to complex subjects. By starting a productive dialogue on creative topics, this channel serves as one of the few places on the internet where the comments section is dynamic.

6. It’s Okay To Be Smart

For more curious viewers, It’s Okay to Be Smart answers interesting and specific questions about the universe. Sometimes, the YouTubers tackle small questions, like how to drink coffee in space, while other times they consider big things, like what is the farthest away something can be. Focusing mostly on science (with some math and other STEM topics thrown in) this channel is perfect for those pursuing careers in the hard sciences. But fear not humanities fans, because the channel often features these important science lessons in interesting narratives, including an entire series on the science of different foods. One of the great elements of It’s Okay to Be Smart is the channel’s ability to connect scientific concepts to daily life.

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