There’s more to YouTube than silly animal clips

April 11, 2012 Blogs, Former Pioneer Staff Print Print

YouTube is a magnet for stupid (albeit funny) videos.

The site is full of dancing animals, crotch shots, lip dubs and abridged animated series. The only genre of video (other than stupid/funny) that may be more pervasive on the ‘Tube is music videos by famous people because apparently the radio and Pandora aren’t good enough.

I’m guilty of searching for all of the above (except crotch shots, because OUCH). But I’ve also found videos tackling science and math, and they’ve managed to make the most boring elements of my education well, fun.

Take for instance SciShow. Hosted by Hank Green (a YouTube celebrity who is one-half of the vlogbrothers), the show inspects current events in science, and Hank explains why these events are so important.

Hank has done a couple shows about the Higgs-Boson particle, explaining to those of us who are not particle physicists what exactly it is and why the Higgs is so damn important to understanding the foundations of modern physics.

Speaking of the vlogbrothers, Hank co-hosts Crash Course with his brother, John Green. Hank explains biology while John explains history. The show launched at the end of January and so far Hank has explained why chemistry is vital to understanding biology and John has contrasted hunter-gatherer societies with agricultural-based societies.

Apparently you can make math fun to watch as well.

Vihart, who labels herself a “mathamusician,” films herself doodling to explain mathematical concepts. Most of her videos focus on the theoretical instead of practical but it’s still cool to find out that the leaves of plants spiral in a specific way to allow optimization of light, or how fractal doodles relate to infinite number sequences.

Both the Green Brothers and Vihart present dense educational material in a way that’s both easily understood and fun to watch.

Who said learning was boring?


Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this blog are the opinions of Mary McAtee and do not reflect the opinions or views of any other Pioneer employees.

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