- Learning by Youtubing - June 8, 2017
- Ransomware VS Your Thesis Files - May 18, 2017
- Festival season in the Netherlands - April 18, 2017
- Learning from other’s experiences- an interview with Dimitra Karmi - March 23, 2017
- Working in the Netherlands as an international student - February 23, 2017
Online education has become a very popular mean of learning in present times. The raise of the internet has allowed for people of all backgrounds and interests to access thousands, if not, millions of resources of information of any field. The best thing is that many of these resources do not constrain people in terms of money as they are free and sometimes, very cheap. In this article, I want to talk about the type of information we consume out of curiosity and in our free time. This is a kind of informal education that has become very popular in the last years with the raise of the internet. After all, we as humans are very curious by nature and we will ask questions when we face something that interests us, even if it’s not in our field of expertise.
In the age of the internet, resources overload has become both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because we can by simply reaching our pockets or opening a new tab in our browser access thousands, if not, millions of sources of information that are put at our disposal. A curse because much of this information might be false or just not completely accurate. It is then the job of the user himself to decide and judge whether certain information is credible or not. Fortunately, there exist many places on the web that have as goal the sharing of knowledge to as many people as possible only so that we can be better informed or so that we can have something to watch while we eat. There are thousands of these places, but I want to focus on the ones that exist on the popular video platform- Youtube.
On Youtube, there are countless of voluntary (and sometimes commercial) producers who have as their goal the sharing of knowledge to the public with their channels. There are channels for every type of fields and thus I would like to mention a few that I believe are quality channels that have grown over the years and have shown reals signs of wanting to teach people, let it be for a curiosity reason or an educational one.
The first channel in this list is called Crashcourse which was started by Hank Green and John green (the same writer of “The fault is in our stars”). Just as the name suggest, the creators produce short crash course videos about many topics, using very intensive visual representation to keep the viewer interested and attentive. The channel covers a wide variety of topics such as astronomy, anatomy, ecology, chemistry, psychology, politics and even economics in a very easy to digest and unique way.
Another channel which was also created by one of the founders of Crashcourse (Hank green) is called Scishow. The Scishow project focuses on topics related specifically to science. Better explained by themselves: “The world is marvelous and weird, and SciShow is here to explain it. Whether it’s earthquakes in Italy, meteors in Russia or why some people’s pee doesn’t smell like asparagus, SciShow explores the surprising and exciting realities of our universe that science is uncovering daily, introducing completely new ideas and information, as well as explaining stuff we’ve known for ages, but maybe haven’t been great at conveying accurately”. The channel started in 2012 and has gained much popularity online as a trusted and interesting source.
If your interest is more in topics such as hard physics, the channel Minutephysics delivers exactly just that. By using a very cartoonish style of visualization that seems to come out of a 11-year-old notebook (in a good way), the creators take the viewers through some of the one of the most difficult fields that exist in the universe. Minutephycis tries to explain fundamental concepts of physics and even sometimes, pretty complex theories in a very short and unique way.
Many of you might have heard of Michael Steven, the creator of the Vsauce channels. Vsauce is an educational set of channels which cover topics such as technology, science, mathematics and many other areas but with a bit of a philosophical approach. The unique personality of Michael Stevens and his approach to (many times) unanswerable questions, give these channels a touch of uniqueness and sparks curiosity amongst most.
“Kurzgesagt” which is German for “in a nutshell” is another educational channel and personally, my favorite. Their wide coverage of different topics such as social and political issues, technological advancements and limits and facts about the universe makes it one of the most extensive and relevant channels in terms of topics. Furthermore, the creators put a lot of work and emphasis on visualization and artistic expression in order to engage the viewer as much as possible. This keeps their story telling colorful and very attractive. The channel has been recognized by many organizations and institutions for their work and effort such as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Australian Academy of Science, just to name a few.
The internet of full of weird information but it is also full of individuals wanting to teach every person not matter what their age, sex, ethnicity or background is about something new. After all, what is a better way to empower people but through knowledge?