YouTube University?

Please, before reading this post, watch this video (Content warning, severe language):

Why is educational YouTube so popular? It seems like pretty much everywhere you look, there are new educational YouTube channels popping up. To name just a few of my personal favorites there are: CGP Grey, SciShow, CrashCourse, How to Adult, The Brain Scoop, Healthcare Triage, VSauce, Sexplanations, Scam School, Minute Physics, Mental Floss, Numberfile, Khan Academy, which totally got me through College Algebra….okay, you get it. I watch a lot of YouTube. But back to my original question…Why is Youtube education so popular? I think that there are a few reasons why this is the case, but the most important one, at least in my opinion, is that we, as humans, have a desire to learn. We want to know cool things, and that’s what these YouTube channels provide us: a medium to gain access to cool new information. It’s the same reason that we love to read cool and interesting facts. It’s the same reason that we love to hear TedTalks. We want to learn.

And it’s not just the stuff that we think is going to be important for us to know further down the road. For example, I don’t think any of us need to know what happens when we shoot a gun at a row of iPhones, but it’s really interesting to know that the sixth iPhone is where the bullet stops. I don’t think any of us need to know what happens when we use a hydraulic press on a bar of 24 karat gold, but it’s really interesting to watch this. We want to learn. We have a desire and a drive to learn.

Now, I know what you’re saying. “Scott, where does the politics come into play here?”

It doesn’t. This isn’t a political post. This is an educational post. As I come to the end of my undergraduate career, I am learning more than I have in the past 8 years since graduating high school, and, a lot of that, has come from YouTube. I’m very happy that we live in a time where we have all of the information in or pocket in the form of our cell phones, but we also need to be able to have application to the information that we have so that we can retain this information, and I think that is why YouTube Education is so popular. We can see it and retain this information, whether we need to know it or not, because we want to learn. We need to learn. We have a desire and a drive to learn. We must keep learning.

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