June 15, 2016
As addictive as Buzzfeed videos are, I think we can all agree that the moment we catch ourselves clicking on another ‘Weird Things You Do When You’re Alone’ video, we get the sense that our brains may or may not be melting into silly putty between our ears. But hey, who says YouTube can’t be educational? Sure, you may have to brush aside the music video parodies, video game commentaries and conspiracy theory videos, but there’s definitely a treasure trove of YouTube channels out there who will help you with those mind-numbing time-travel tropes and get you that A+ you deserve.
From Physics to Culture to Art, Vsauce has the answers to all those weird questions that you thought were just completely ridiculous. Side note: they’re not, and they actually make for great conversations, for the record. Vsauce also provides links to their sources, whether they’re in print or online, which makes your citing your essays a whole lot easier. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend solely using Vsauce for your homework, their videos definitely act as a great jumping-board for wider exploration and analysis of your relevant topic.
CrashCourse (by John and Hank Green)
We’ve all found ourselves desperately trying to cram for an exam while realising that we can barely remember the basics. Where are my notes? Where is that old worksheet I did during my first Chemistry class? What’s the definition of “Globalization” again? But don’t fear, CrashCourse is here. While we’re probably more familiar with various quotes from John Green’s novels (thanks, Tumblr) and/or the fact that the Green brothers are the creators of the massively popular YouTubers gathering known as “VidCon”, it’s safe to say that CrashCourse is probably my favourite venture of theirs, so far. John takes on World History, American History and Literature, while Hank leads the Biology, Ecology and General Chemistry videos. They’re all 10-15 minutes long, but they’re pretty substantial if you’re desperately trying to grasp the basics. Not to mention, the animation is pretty cute too.
The Nerdwriter (Nerdwriter1)
While The Nerdwriter channel doesn’t always explore topics that are necessarily school-related, the videos definitely help you widen your understanding of various facets of culture, particularly pop culture. Expect to see critiques on various forms of Art, Film, Music, etc., and you may even learn how to approach subjects which may seem a little more daunting like analysing Picasso’s works or even understanding how Donald Drumpf’s language is pretty influential, as deadly as that sounds. The videos are also beautifully edited, which is always a plus.
Okay, I’ll admit it: Mythbusters tricked me into thinking that academic Physics would be a breeze. Cue the soft sobbing noises. But if you’re like me and have absolutely zero understanding of how to approach Physics, MinutePhysics is the perfect place to start. Armed with Crayola pens and yes, (approximately) one minute, Henry Reich will delve into every and any Physics-related questions you can think of. The time-lapsed stick-figures of the video are also a definite plus for visual-learners, especially if you hate listening to your teacher drone on and on about gravitational forces. Physics actually is pretty fascinating, you just have to find the right forms to learn it.
Every Frame A Painting
This one’s for the film fanatics out there. Tony Zhou’s Every Frame A Painting channel releases videos a little bit slower than the other channels listed on this list – a new video is up once a month or so – but they’re honestly worth the wait. Each video essay typically focuses on the work of a filmmaker or a film, whether classic or contemporary. What’s great about this channel is that Zhou is an editor and has his roots in filmmaking himself, so you can trust that he knows what he’s talking about. Ultimately, if you love a film and find a video on this channel about it, you’re sure to love it even more – and if you hate a film/filmmaker, well, you might find out why. It’s a great channel to appreciate art, without the art snobbery.
Featured Image: The Death of Socrates: How To Read A Painting – The Nerdwriter