10 YouTube channels to follow that will definitely make you smarter

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Entertainment such as podcasts, television shows, and YouTube channels have multiple usages. Sometimes after a long day at the office one wants to simply sit and relax with a nice murder mystery or baking show. Conversely one may want to expand their knowledge and learn something new. After all knowledge is power and if you are not growing you’re dying. This is where Youtube can be surprisingly handy. 

Me at the Zoo

If you ever wanted to learn about a topic, chances are there is a YouTube channel dedicated to it. YouTube was founded in 2005 by three former employees of Paypal: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. The first video uploaded to the site was titled Me at the Zoo and was exactly what it sounds like: Karim walks around the San Diego Zoo talking about the elephants. Google purchased YouTube the next year in 2006. Flash forward to February 2020 when 500 hours of video was uploaded to YouTube every minute. With so much content on the site it is easy to get overwhelmed, but never fear: here are 10 YouTube channels to watch if you want to learn something new and get a little bit smarter.

Eddie Woo

Eddie Woo

Eddie Woo’s YouTube channel began in the most wholesome way. Woo is a secondary math teacher in Australia and like any good teacher, he goes above and beyond for his students. In 2012, Woo began filming math lessons for a sick student and a YouTube channel was born. Woo has 10 years of classroom experience so that was the perfect training ground to be in front of a camera. If you can keep a group of teenagers entertained, you can do almost anything. Woo has a talented for breaking down complex mathematical concepts for even the most hesitant of learners. If you are looking to brush up on your “maths” as the Australians and Brits put it, this is your channel.

Veritasium

Veritasium

Veritasium was created in 2011 by Derek Muller, who said he started the YouTube channel with the intention to “make science beautiful”. Over time this has evolved into “addressing counter-intuitive concepts in science”. Muller is extremely qualified having secured his Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Mueller also has a PhD in physics education research from the University of Sydney. If you are looking to learn more about science, Veritasium is a great place to start.

Smarter Every Day

Smarter Every Day

Destin Sandlin is the mastermind behind Smarter Every Day, a YouTube channel that explores the world through science. Sandlin received a BS from the University of Alabama in mechanical engineering, and an MS from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in aerospace engineering. Sandlin currently works as a missile flight test engineer at Redstone Arsenal while also pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Alabama Huntsville. Because of his background many of his videos deal with the science of flight, but he covers a wide range of other science based topics as well.

Vox

Vox

If you want to learn more about current events and headlines, try out Vox’s YouTube channel. Vox Media is an American news organization and website that was originally founded in 2014 by Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and Melissa Bell. What sets it apart from other news organizations is its attempt to explain and give context to the news it covers, instead of merely presenting the breaking story. The Vox YouTube channel acts as an extension of the articles published on its website giving a visual representation and in-depth look at news stories and current events.

Big Think

If you are pressed for time but still want to learn, Big Think is for you. Founed in 2007 by Victoria Brown and Peter Hopkins, this YouTube channel’s videos are shorter in length, are released daily, and features interviews and discussions with prominent leaders in their fields ranging from scientist Bill Nye to actor Jonathan Pryce. The Big Think channel covers a smorgasbord of topics all designed to get you thinking.

Wisecrack

Wisecrack

Wisecrack is the perfect channel to watch if you love dissecting all things movies, television, and popular culture through the lense of philosophy, sociology, and psychology. A recent video discussing Everything Everywhere All At Once and the philosophies of existentialism and nihilism is a great example. Wisecrack is the perfect channel to watch if you finished binging a show or seeing a new movie before your friends did and need to explore it further somehow without worrying about spoilers. Wisecrack was created in 2014 by Jacob Salamon, Jared Bauer, Greg Edwards, Drew Levin, and Todd Mendeloff. In 2019, it was bought by Blue Ant Media.


The Nerd Writer

The Nerd Writer

The Nerd Writer is a channel that features a series of video essays by Evan Puschak, who creates weekly videos about art, culture, philosophy, science, and politics. Some of Puschak’s most popular videos include Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban: Why It’s The Best, and How Donald Trump Answers A Question. Puschak previously worked as a multimedia editor at MSNBC and hosted the show Seeker Daily on the Discovery Channel. He has a degree from Boston University in film protection. He is also the author of the book Escape Into Meaning: Essays on Superman, Public Benches, and Other Obsessions.

Minute Physics

Minute Physics

Love physics but have no time? Or hate physics but need to learn more in short bursts? Either way Minute Physics is for you. These short length videos use whiteboard animation to help break down complex physics and science into simple, easy to understand concepts. The Minute Physics channel was created by Henry Reich in 2011. Reich’s educational background includes studying math and physics at Grinnell College, and theoretical physics at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Crash Course

Crash Course

Crash Course is a family affair created by brothers John and Hank Green who wanted to help teachers and students learn more about world history and biology. It has since expanded its scope to include a little bit of everything from chemistry to film. Crash Course is very popular with teachers and many use it in the classroom. The Green brothers also hope their channel reaches beyond that and is a great tool for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge because, as they see it, “learning is the meaning of life.”

Draw With Jazza

Draw with Jazza

When the artistic mood strikes, try watching Draw with Jazza. This channel features all kinds of art tutorials from painting with bleach to needle felting. Jazza is the YouTube “stage name” for Josiah Alan Brooks, an Australian artist with a background in animation. Brooks began his channel in 2012 after he noticed there was a need for good drawing tutorials. He is also the author of the book Draw With Jazza: Creating Characters: Fun and Easy Guide to Drawing Cartoons and Comics. So if you want to take your creative side out for a spin and learn new art techniques, watch this channel.

All of the channels on this list will help will your mind with lots of great knowledge. What you choose to do with it? Well that’s up to you.