YouTube – A lot of people consider it a website for turning off your brain and relaxing. It’s often blocked at schools and workplaces for that reason. However, YouTube has all kinds of videos, even some educational ones that make learning new information fun, interesting, and easier to digest than reading a book.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about 5 YouTube channels that make learning fun with engaging graphics, narration, and relating school subjects to everyday life.
1. Chubby Emu: Medicine
Chubby Emu, also known as Bernard, is a clinical adjunct professor who makes YouTube videos about (anonymised) patients who present to the A&E with various medical problems. All of these dramatised are based on true stories. He’s been doing these videos since August 2017.
In a typical video, Bernard tells the story of what got the person to the A&E (with actors playing the role of the patient), what happened to them in the end, and what their diagnosis is, breaking down the terminology and what it means. For example, you’ll often hear these: “hypo-” meaning low, “hyper-” meaning high, “-emia” meaning presence in blood, etc. His explanations are thorough and
These breakdowns of terminology can be a fun way to revise for the HPAT. In this video below, you can learn about the tragic case of Dartmouth College chemistry professor Karen Wetterhahn, who passed away of mercury poisoning due to accidental exposure after two drops of organic mercury landed on the thin lab gloves she was wearing.
2. Lab Muffin Beauty Science: Chemistry and Makeup/Skincare
Makeup and skincare isn’t a shallow and superficial topic. There’s chemistry involved in it and you can learn a lot from it from the channel, Lab Muffin Beauty Science, hosted by an Australian science educator with a chemistry PhD named Michelle. This isn’t your average beauty channel. If her channel isn’t enough skincare science, she also has a blog and an Instagram packed full of information and facts about skincare.
In a typical video, Michelle will talk about a skincare/makeup misconception or common question people have. Often about ingredients or how a product works. She’ll break it down in a simple, easy to understand way.
With the sun being out longer and summer coming up, here’s a video she made about sunscreen and SPF myths.
3. Geography Now: Geography and History
This YouTube channel hosted by LA based YouTuber Paul “Barby” Barbato makes videos about every country in the world from A-Z in order, with a video focusing on a different country released once a week on Wednesdays (there are weeks when they don’t release a new video because it takes time to film all these videos, but they release a filler week episode about other geography/country related topics). On Fridays, there’s an extra video with fanmail and talking about the flag of the country and what the different colours and symbols mean.
These well researched videos have segments on:
- Political geography: Where the country is located, what countries it borders, what are the subdivisions (states, provinces, counties, etc), what sights there are, etc.
- Physical geography: climates, landscapes, bodies of water, plants, animals, etc.
- Food and culture
- Famous people from the country
- Currency, which side of the road cars drive on, plug outlets
- International relations: which countries they get along with and which ones they don’t get along with.
All episodes are well-researched, with lots of jokes, and they don’t shy away from talking about controversial histories in the countries they cover. A really fun series if you like to travel or learn about different cultures.
Here’s the Geography Now episode about Ireland:
4. Wendover Productions/Half as Interesting: General Educational Videos
Young YouTuber, American born, based in Scotland Sam Denby, is the brain and voice behind the channels Wendover Proudctions and Half as Interesting. He studies International Business at the University of Edinburgh.
His videos are about many different topics, mostly about planes and travel, but you’ll also find videos about history, economics, and geography. One of his most popular video series is about various world superpowers and how their geography works against them. Below is a video about China’s geography and how it benefits and hurts the country.
If shorter educational videos are what you prefer, Wendover Productions has another channel called Half as Interesting, with the videos explaining different topics in 5 minutes or less. In this video, you can find out what’s the longest drivable distance between two points on earth:
5. Real Life Lore: Geography, History, Economics, and Science
Like Wendover Productions, Real Life Lore covers similar topics and makes easy to understand videos exploring different events in history and scientific phenomena.
In this popular video, Real Life Lore talks about the size of the universe:
While YouTube videos are great ways to learn about different topics, they’re no substitute for tutoring or going to class. If your child is struggling in class, it’s a good idea to speak to their teacher and consider extra tutoring classes.