In a world that moves so quickly, time feels shorter than it already is. While free time might take a backseat in the face of deadlines and goals to achieve, gaining new knowledge need not suffer the same fate.
Here, we have 5 YouTube channels, and our choice picks of videos to get you started on your journey of entertainment and education.
1. Crash Course
Crash Course is a channel dedicated to – you guessed it, crash courses on various topics ranging from the physical to the social sciences. Want to know more about recession, hyperinflation and stagflation? Not a problem. What about the immune system, and why some colleagues are taking more MCs than others? Check it out in a three-part mini series here.
Through the combination of engaging speakers and endearing animations, Crash Course has gained more than its fair share of fans. At time of writing, their channel has over 4.5 million subscribers and 408 million views on their over 500 videos, so you can be sure that you will get more than just a sloppy, boring 101.
Ever wanted to be more than just a consumer of movies? Are you envious of how reviewers and film buff friends are able to discuss at length how the directorial style of a certain movie ruined it? Want to go beyond a simplistic, “Uh, it was nice/okay/not good.”?
Every Frame A Painting, created by San Francisco-based filmmaker and video editor Tony Zhou, goes in depth into techniques used by directors that tend to escape the eyes of the typical movie-watcher.
With the videos ranging from over 2 to 10 minutes, each one is filled with insights that keep subscribers entranced. During a “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit, it was revealed that each video takes a few weeks of his free time.
With so much time and effort spent on each idea, it’s no wonder why his videos are valuable for both movie fans and those interested in creating dynamic and effective media.
Take for example our pick below; the emerging technique of beyond screen text messages. This filmmaking technique is a subtle, yet efficient way to tell audiences what the conversation is about, without characters awkwardly reading off their phones. It also allows for action and reaction in the same frame, so it is really handy for both aspiring filmmakers, and those creating short videos for their project work.
3. CPF Board
With millennials entering the workforce, financial literacy is all the more important these days. While many are consulting insurance agents and purchasing savings plans, how many are actually aware of local financial policies and day-to-day costs accumulated?
In a bid to educate the go-getting generation on being sensible with their dollars, CPF has revamped their YouTube channel and launched a series of videos focusing on financial literacy.
Want to know more about what CPF statements are, without poring through chunks of text? Here’s a video listicle on 4 things that you will definitely need to know.
The channel has also just introduced a game show-style series, embedding valuable takeaways in each instalment. The first episode had me literally rolling on the floor with laughter as the popular influencers got ‘sabo-ed’ into hilarious forfeits.
With essential financial information packaged in a concise, yet entertaining format, confusing concepts can be easily grasped. The channel is still fresh, but judging from their current videos, I will definitely be looking forward to more updates.
4. Big Think
Described by its creators as a “YouTube for ideas”, the channel is the multimedia arm of Internet forum Big Think, which brings together the brightest minds from various fields through interviews, presentations and even roundtable discussions.
Well-known figures in science like television presenter/scientist Bill Nye, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku and astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson have also boosted both the channel and discussions on topics beyond our daily lives into popularity among the mainstream; garnering over 1.5 million subscribers and close to 165 million views on their plethora of videos.
From tips on how to win in a negotiation, to how con artists succeed in tricking people, you can be sure that each video will leave you more aware of your surroundings and people around. The fact that some of the rather ‘heavy’ discussion topics are verbalised in video form also makes the content so much more digestible, especially when after already being drained from a long day at work.
If you guessed that this channel is all about numbers – you’re right!
Don’t be too quick to dismiss it as something only math majors would enjoy though, because the presenters explain the takeaways with the layperson in mind, the content on this channel engages, even when the subject eludes.
Created by filmmaker and video journalist Brady Haran, who is well known for producing educational videos and documentary films produced for BBC News, Numberphile was launched on a very cleverly dated 11/11/11.
The channel dedicates its video features to numbers and how they play various roles in our lives – there’s even a video on the scientific way to cut a cake!
Whether you’re looking to impress your friends or simply find the best and worst way to shuffle a deck of cards during Chinese New Year…festivities, the channel has something for everyone.
With over 1 million subscribers and over 194 million views, I think we can safely say that the videos have not only attracted those skilled in numbers.
Our Pick: Catching Kendama Using Physics
So there you have it, our top 5 picks of YouTube channels that will definitely make you smarter and more informed. A busy schedule should not be an excuse for not acquiring more knowledge, so let these channels fruitfully fill up your downtime!
Did we miss out any? Let us know!