We’ve written about educational YouTube channels before here. Since then, we’ve found more! We thought to share this list of great videos being put out for free, to help students learn. These can also be great resources for teachers and tutors to find supplementary material to lesson planning. As we know, kids can love YouTube, and ‘screen time’ in general. So by getting them learning on a platform they already like, it may help them develop an appetite for the more interesting, educational style of video.
We can’t emphasize enough though that before you set your kids loose on a YouTube binge watching session, be sure to screen the videos first. Some of these channels we’ll list below may only have one part that is devoted to a learning series. Others may be geared towards teens or older learners. And some may be opinionated.
More YouTube Science channels
Adding to our list from the previous article…
Gross Science – you guessed it, it’s science, but gross! If your kids are overly curious about pee, and poop, and rotting ears from cocaine usage (you tell ‘em!), then they may just love this channel. And it may be a way for them to get it out of their system, instead of bringing up these gross ‘science’ subjects at the dinner table. How about that?
SciShow Kids – an off-shoot of our previously mentioned Sci Show and Sci Show Space, this is a channel explaining science to youngins in high production quality. These are such good quality, they could be on traditional TV (as is the case with many of the channels in this article).
Physics Girl – attention mothers of daughters: it’s time to get girls into science! You may have heard recently that a lot of science research over the years has had missing ‘gaps’ of information due to gender bias (see this example). It’s also a workforce and economic issue. This is not just an equal opportunity issue. And we’re not negating the need for men in science. But we are pointing out that science is traditionally a place girls don’t wander to very often. With role models like Physics Girl and Emily Graslie on YouTube, this can help make strides of change in our young girls’ interests.
And also, shout out to NASA for having an equal split of men and women in the astronaut graduating class early this year. We couldn’t resist mentioning that.
Fig. 1 by University of California – Made by the University of California, this is a neat channel of animated videos explaining science related topics.
It’s Okay To Be Smart – A young man and his mission to make geeky subjects cool. And they are! He does a great job researching and explaining science topics from space, to weather, oceans and more. And he makes the topics fun to learn about.
Social Science YouTube Channels
WonderWhy – a channel that explores topics related to world geography and more. For example, one video explains time zones, and another explains a little bit of history about why Ireland became the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This could also be a place to use as resources for your kids’ social science writing projects.
AlternateHistoryHub – this channel creates interesting scenarios of historical events, supposing they happened differently. The way they put it, they are “Answering the ‘What If’ of History.” What if a war was lost, instead of won, by a certain group? What if a country or region was never colonized? What would the world be like today? It’s a neat way to explore the ripple effects of historical events when teaching history.
The Good Stuff – this channel has been coming out with excellent documentary-style, short video series. They delve into topics through interviews and easy-to-understand explanations of complex concepts. For example, are we in need of an electrical grid revolution? This is a great way to get kids learning about things like, where does electricity come from? In other series, you and the kids can learn about the future of food (we’ll probably be eating bugs in the West soon), and how close humanity is to conquering space (we have a long way to go).
Educational YouTube channels for kids who ask a lot of questions
HowStuffWorks – In addition to this core channel, this seems to be a network of channels that explain the answers to some fun questions and topics like, ‘where did headphones come from?’ (exactly, right?). And also, ‘how to fold a shirt.’ Teens need that. Here are some subsets of this channel:
BrainStuff – all about nerdy things. We weren’t sure if we should put this in the ‘Science videos’ section above, but since it’s related to HowStuffWorks, and still can satisfy a curious mind, we put it in this section. This channel covers cultural and historical topics as well. For example, why DO people in old movies talk weird? And why DON’T humans ride zebras?
Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know – this channel is for your budding conspiracy theorist. You’ll love the fascinating ‘secrets’ kids may start talking about at the dinner table (as opposed to the gross science above). Don’t fear brainwashing though. These videos seem tailored to kids who may aspire to become investigative reporters in their near future. They aren’t exactly creating high profile suspicions in young minds. But check them out to see if they fit your liking before showing the kids.
Stuff You Should Know – this one might need a bit more screening by parents, but it has some interesting topics to learn about. For those trivia nights.
Stuff Mom Never Told You – this may be a sensitive one to bring up. It’s geared mostly towards girls and female sexual and gender topics. That being said, the presenter is a feminist, trying to get viewers to remove prejudice and cultural biases surrounding the role of women in society. So she’ll talk about the ‘tough subjects,’ while bringing out research studies. Maybe not for the elementary school age kids. But we’ll leave that to parents to decide.
Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell – another channel full of well produced, animated videos that explain topics from nuclear energy to the refugee crisis. It also goes into some abstract thought, which may be for an older audience of kid-watchers. For example, a video on “What is life?”
There are more educational YouTube resources!
We could definitely extend this list. And we recommend you try to do the same! When you start with one educational channel on YouTube, they often link out to, or promote others. This can create a web of discovery that you may not be able to merely use the ‘search’ function for. We’re out of room on this post. But we’ll keep you up to date with our collections of YouTube resources for teachers or students as we find and explore them!