Learning from YouTube – Who is teaching science?
The addictive behaviour on YouTube differs strongly from that on Google. Either the visitor wants to be entertained or is searching for support, tutorials or instructions.
“YouTube has more than a billion users which is almost a third of all internet users. YouTube videos with a total time of several million hours are played and billions of hits are generated daily. Youtube as a whole reaches more users between the ages of 18 to 49 than any other cable TV-network in the US.” (YouTube Statistics)
Especially teenagers take up an ever-growing role as a target audience. In their free time they primarily prefer the following YouTube categories: education, comedy, DIY, creativity, lifestyle, music/musicians, tutorials and science. For students the great number of tutorials is of particular importance.
I’m a student in 11th grade and I personally have experienced it. We, the students, may miss or misunderstand certain things that are explained during class and that is reflected in our homework.
A particular situation is common where you sit at your desk and want or need to study for an exam, but you lose track of all the topics that are essential for it. In these two situations, students often use YouTube as a tutor and search for videos of certain channels, in which the subject area that needs to be studied for is properly explained.
Personally, I discovered YouTube as a virtual tutor in 10th grade and ever since then YouTube has become my number one search engine when it comes to the comprehension of certain subjects.
The first channels that convinced me were „Mathe by Daniel Jung“ and „The Simple Biology“. Already in 10th grade it was clear that mathematics and biology were going to be my two so-called “Leistungskurse” (=classes I would take five hours a week, which were much more in-depth going than any of my other classes). Since the 10th grade serves as a base for the so-called “Qualifikationsphase” (=the last two years of school which prepare you for something similar like the A-Levels), I was trying to leave no knowledge gap especially in these two subjects and I used both of these channels as a support with homework and as a preparation for exams.
Daniel Jung joined YouTube on November 3rd, 2011. His goal was to create a mathematics-themed channel with no ads and for free for students and college students, which now has 239,454 subscribers and 64,366,656 hits. By now he has more than 2,000 videos explaining mathematics online, sorted by school year and topics with playlists.
Alexander Giesecke and Nicolai Schork are the founders of „The Simple Club“. They offer private lessons for free on eight different channels. The subjects cover history, computer science, geography, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics and economy. With different categories and difficulty levels they prepare students and college students for their exams. They joined YouTube on September 2nd, 2014 and have 68,858 subscribers and 836,008 hits by now.
Other recommendable channels:
Kurzgesagt: „Videos explaining things with optimistic nihilism. We are a small
team who want to make science look beautiful. Because it is beautiful. Currently
we make one animation video per month.“
– Joined: July 9th, 2013
– 3,641,530 subscribers
– 200,147,974 views
MinutePhysics: „Simply put: cool physics and other sweet science.“
– Joined: June 20th, 2011
– 3,696,535 subscribers
– 304,524,545 views
Alles Physik: „I am Thomas and on my Channel you find videos about our universe
and the interesting sides of physics.“
– Joined: October 13th, 2013
– 11,648 subscribers
– 217,079 views