8 Top YouTube Channels To Boost Classroom Lessons

Video can be a powerful tool for classroom learning, and it’s safe to say that teachers have never had more videos at their fingertips than they do today.  But with so many videos on YouTube, how do you find the good stuff? You know, those perfect, one-of-a-kind, just-right-for-your-lesson videos–the ones that make you think, “Oh, my students have to see this!”  For now, our list skews more toward middle and high school, but we know others are out there. Do you know of one that we should add? Tell us in the comments!

The Art Assignment

An engaging look at contemporary art, as well as art history through a contemporary lens. While not specifically for K-12 students, plenty of the videos here can nonetheless work in school. The best of them are shot on location and bring art from around the world into your classroom.

The Brain Scoop

As “Chief Curiosity Correspondent” at Chicago’s Field Museum, YouTube star Emily Graslie offers dispatches on a variety of natural science topics. Topics cover a range of (mostly natural) science content, and some videos have a certain gross-out factor. But Graslie gives the videos a decidedly friendly and personable tone that may resonate with some younger kids.

Numberphile

Updated regularly, Numberphile is made by people who truly love math, which is one of the best reasons to share these videos with students. Much of the math can be higher level — likely too esoteric for most kids. However, the friendly hosts also tackle engaging, off-the-beaten-path math topics that can make for some great conversation starters.

SciShow

Celebrity YouTuber Hank Green and friends cover a bevy of fun science topics tailored to the curiosities of their massive YouTube audience. Overall, the channel’s a bit talking-head heavy and covers lots of standard subjects (chemistry, astronomy, etc.). However, plenty of other playlists dive into a variety of pop-science topics. Also: For younger kids, consider checking out the sister channel, SciShow Kids.

TED-Ed

An education-focused offshoot from the now-famous TED talks, TED-Ed pairs experts in education and animation to create engaging videos covering an array of curiosity-fueled topics.

THINKR

Compelling human-interest stories that tend toward the exceptional, remarkable, and out of the ordinary. THINKR bills itself as “smart entertainment,” but the topics are wide-ranging, from profiles of an innovative science class in a Bronx high school to interviews with Weird Al Yankovic.

Veritasium

These videos don’t merely describe — they actually show interesting and unique science in action. Every video starts with engaging essential questions, then dig in. Beyond conversation pieces, the videos here would probably make great hooks for a lesson or unit.

Vihart

Vi Hart’s (mostly) math and music videos are genuinely off-the-wall, but in a really great and unique way that’s bound to have broad appeal. Plenty of these videos are fun and engaging enough for younger kids, yet still complex enough to challenge high schoolers (and adults!) to think outside the box.

Note: A lot of videos on YouTube come with advertisements, including those that seem targeted to users’ browsing history (both on YouTube and elsewhere on the web). This is, unfortunately, one of the big trade-offs when using YouTube in the classroom. Many of the channels on the list above have ads. As you select videos to show, be thoughtful about the ads that might come with them and whether or not you want your students to see these.

The information for this post was taken from an article by Jeff Knutson in eSchool News, for more details and some suggested playlist, follow this link.