When we talk about places to learn online, we have to include a discussion about YouTube. YouTube was a gamechanger in the online learning space because anyone in the world could share their knowledge with others. All they needed was a camera and an internet connection! This free resource is one that should absolutely be in your online learning arsenal.
For one thing, YouTube is absolutely free to use. It’s a great way to get some exposure to topics, instructors, or courses without having to invest financial resources.
You can also find some truly wonderful learning experiences on YouTube. Check out my list of favorites below.
My Favorite Channels
- The School of Life. Watch videos that try to answer the great questions of life while developing emotional intelligence.
- TED. Inspirational talks from innovators in the fields of technology, education, and design.
- Grammar Girl. Answers to common (and not so common) questions about grammar.
- Crash Course. Short videos about a very wide range of topics, including science and history.
- Tasty. Short cooking videos.
As with any open platform, it can be easy to get sucked into the vortex of options.
Check out the examples below:
How on earth are you supposed to choose from literally millions of options?
Use the following strategies for getting to a video that will help you learn what you want to learn.
Choose a small goal.
The smaller the goal, the more likely you’ll quickly find a video that will actually help you. For example, you could search for goals like “hard boil an egg” or “say my name in Spanish” or “add filters to an image.”
Use specific search terms.
As you can see from the examples above, searching with general terms like “cooking tutorial” will give you lots of options, but they won’t necessarily meet your needs.
Consider the ranking.
The more views a video gets, the higher the ranking. This is often an indicator of the quality of the video and whether it is really about the search term you entered.
If you’re not sure if a video might be helpful, play the first few seconds. You can get a good idea of the content of the video within the first 5-10 seconds.
Of course, general best practices apply when learning from YouTube. This includes setting goals, taking notes, summarizing what you learn, tracking your progress, and being consistent. For more information on these best practices, check out this post on how to be a good online learner.