100 Incredibly Useful YouTube Channels for Teachers

YouTube has earned a reputation for featuring brain cell-slaughtering fare such as the truly abysmal Fred and playing host to the some of the most depressingly stupid comments this side of Yahoo! News. But for every participant liberally dishing out misspelled racist, sexist and homophobic talking points, there is at least one whose channel genuinely offers something provocative and educational. For teachers hoping to infuse multimedia into their classrooms, YouTube makes for an excellent starting point. Plenty of universities, nonprofits, organizations, museums and more post videos for the cause of education both in and out of schools. The following list compiles some of the ones most worthy of attention, as they feature plenty of solid content appealing to their respective audiences and actively try to make viewers smarter.

Multidisciplinary and General Education

  1. Smithsonian Videos: The beloved museum’s official channel mostly serves as a hub for its other offerings, but still hosts its own series of videos covering everything from biology to art.
  2. TED Talks: Dedicated to “ideas worth spreading,” TED Talks features incredible lectures, demonstrations and performances spanning every discipline imaginable.
  3. Discovery Channel: Explore a nice variety of subjects through this channel, which also serves as the YouTube home of the always amazing Mythbusters crew.
  4. PBS: Public broadcasting opens up viewers’ minds to the wide range of wonders the world has to offer, particularly when it comes to current events, the arts and science.
  5. Biography Channel: Learn the life stories of people who have impacted the world in some way or another. Unfortunately, one must wade through a few useless celebrity fillers to find the educational stuff.
  6. Yale University Courses: Faculty members at the Ivy League campus provide lecture series on a broad range of educational topics.
  7. UC Berkeley: Browse UC Berkeley’s extensive lecture archive for long, informative talks on engineering, biology, computer science, physics, history, public health and much more.
  8. The Nobel Prize: Watch interviews with Nobel Prize winners past and present, gaining some insight into their creative and technical processes.
  9. Stanford University: Another excellent channel by a university offering a diverse selection of free lectures, courtesy of the faculty and staff.
  10. NPR Radio Pictures: Fans of NPR’s programming will enjoy watching their educational channel packed with science, philosophy art and more.
  11. Expert Village: Stop by this channel for some potentially useful how-to guides covering almost every topic imaginable.
  12. The University of Houston: As with many institutes of higher learning, UH has allowed cameras in the classroom to capture some of its most educational lectures and discussions.
  13. U.S. Department of Education: More for the teacher’s lounge rather than the classroom, use this channel to stay updated on the national policies affecting the education industry.
  14. College.gov: Encourage high school students to seize control of their educations by striving to secure scholarships and applying to colleges catering to their interests.
  15. National Geographic: History, anthropology, science, archaeology, psychology, art, sociology and other topics collide into one incredibly valuable, intelligent and highly educational resource.
  16. The Open University: This distance-learning institution turns the cameras on its faculty and staff for lessons and commentary.
  17. The Khan Academy: Salman Khan at CNN hosts a video series on academic subjects (mathematics, sciences and economics), test prep advice and life skills such as basic banking.
  18. Wellcome Film: Although the retro videos Wellcome Films archives revolve almost exclusively around health and medical topics, the lessons in trends, historical perspectives old moviemaking techniques earn it a place right here on the list instead.
  19. UCLA Courses: Attend some undergraduate courses in a broad number of subjects on this incredible channel. Everything is completely gratis, of course!
  20. UCTV: The University of California campuses contribute different videos on different subjects for the benefit of educators, students and interested visitors alike. There are both artistic performances and academic lectures!
  21. Edutopia: This organization devotes its resources to promote multimedia, interactive and online learning in classrooms worldwide, making it a wonderful channel for tech-savvy teachers.
  22. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture: Blending the scientific with the sociologic, this seriously cool museum at the University of Washington has something for almost everyone.
  23. USNW: The Sydney-based University of New South Wales presents videos on politics, science, technology, design, engineering and much more that all work as classroom supplements.
  24. CSU Dominguez Hills: Like other institutes of higher learning affiliated with YouTube, CSUDH also posts up free lectures for anyone curious about the subject matter they teach.

Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Technology

  1. Robert Krampf: The former Pink Palace educator’s positive, upbeat enthusiasm is as infectious as it is informative.
  2. The Real Bill Nye the Science Guy: Beloved children’s show host Bill Nye presents a number of quality videos on a wide range of scientific disciplines.
  3. NASA Television: Take students on a wondrous voyage through space, courtesy of NASA researchers, developers, staff, astronauts and equipment.
  4. Utah Museum of Natural History: Introduce students to dinosaurs, rocks and other fascinating facets of natural history through this small-but-mighty channel.
  5. Gizmodo: Introduce budding young engineers, computer specialists and technicians to the programming behind today’s coolest gadgets.
  6. Animal Planet: Biology comes alive through this incredible educational resource perfect for science teachers.
  7. Science Channel: The Science Channel’s YouTube presence mostly focuses on broader core components, physics, technology and astronomy.
  8. Wired: One of the world’s most trusted resources on technology and gadgetry brings its unrepentant geekiness to YouTube.
  9. MIT: When looking for some of the best lectures and videos on technology and engineering, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology likely has whatever’s needed.
  10. Steve Spangler Science: Steve Spangler’s science demonstrations are best suited for young audiences or older students needing a quick and easy refreshers on the basic principles at play.
  11. Science Magazine: As the channel’s title suggests, the videos featured here explore multiple scientific facets.
  12. Carl Sagan’s COSMOS: Perfect for physics and astronomy classes, these classic videos of the beloved Carl Sagan engage and educate.
  13. Garland Science: The textbook publishers share some amazing videos and animations pertaining to cellular and molecular biology.
  14. Nat Geo Wild: This National Geographic channel narrows its focus to animals, their behavior and their relationships with the surrounding ecosystems.
  15. The Periodic Table of Videos: From the University of Nottingham comes an in-depth look at the core elements of the universe, each with its own detailed video about history, uses and more.
  16. British Geological Survey: Any teachers who deal with geology and the other earth sciences in depth should consider incorporating these videos into their lessons.
  17. Wildlife Conservation Society: Introduce kids to the importance of conservation and environmentalism using these videos as informative guides on what works, what doesn’t and what would happen if humanity just quit caring.
  18. California Academy of Sciences: This massive museum features exhibits on natural history, astronomy and marine sciences — so, of course, their videos follow suit.
  19. Centre for Inquiry Canada: Use this channel when promoting general scientific inquiry, freedom of thought and secularism.
  20. National Audubon Society: The National Audubon Society strives to protect animals and their ecosystems alike, knowing that both rely on one another for survival.
  21. MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory: Computer science and engineering students and teachers should check here for some seriously cool news on the latest artificial intelligence developments.
  22. Sixty Symbols: Another University of Nottingham venture, this time demystifying the common symbols used in astronomy and physics.
  23. YourTeacher.com Channel: Suggest this excellent video series to students who find themselves struggling with different mathematical concepts. It will not take the place of tutoring, of course, but the channel does work as a supplement.
  24. Mr Robb’s Math Videos: This channel originally started out as a means for students to remember their lessons after class has been dismissed, but grew into an exceptionally comprehensive resource on almost all things mathematical.
  25. Climate Conference: Public policy meets climate science at the UN’s channel dedicated to discussing global warming and other environmental issues.

Social Sciences, History and World Issues

  1. BarackObama.com: Love him or hate him, Barack Obama is still America’s president. This video provides some insights into his views and actions appropriate for a political science classroom.
  2. Feministing: Suitable for high school and college-aged students, this proud feminist channel educates visitors on the latest women’s rights issues.
  3. History Channel: Yes, their YouTube presence focuses on more than just Hitler and Nostradamus.
  4. Associated Press: Stay on top of the current events impacting today’s world. Associated Press covers both domestic and international stories.
  5. The White House: Follow this YouTube channel for the latest developments in American politics.
  6. Witness: Walk through the realities of human rights violations and injustices continuously plaguing the world — and learn about what needs doing in order to reverse them.
  7. National Institute of Mental Health: NIMH is dedicated to bringing viewers honest insights into how mental illnesses really work and the recommended treatment options.
  8. CitizenTube: Hosted by YouTube itself, this channel features current events and frequent political updates from around the world.
  9. Penn Museum: The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology dissect both disciplines in a way that general audiences can understand and appreciate.
  10. World Economic Forum: This Geneva-based organization concerns itself with finding viable solutions to the planet’s fiscal problems.
  11. United Nations: Perfect for model UN clubs and history and political science classes, this channel features over a thousand videos about the constantly changing human shape of the globe.
  12. Inside the NYPD: For criminal justice classes or any others pertaining to law, this look into NYPD will make an excellent educational supplement.
  13. Media Education Foundation: Sharpen critical thinking skills both in the classroom and beyond with these short documentaries encouraging open discourse on sociological, political and historical topics.
  14. WHO: The World Health Organization keeps viewers updated on global initiatives combating everything from diarrhea and colds to possible epidemics.
  15. Mind Your Mind: Mind Your Mind targets young adults with the hope of educating them on the realities of mental illnesses, how to help loved ones, the necessity of treatment and the damaging stigmas surrounding psychological disorders.
  16. AIDS.gov: Open students up to the reality of the global AIDS crisis using this informative resource, which discusses efforts made to combat the virus.
  17. Routledge Textbooks: This publishing company specializes in social sciences and humanities, and their videos work in line with and independently from their texts.
  18. USC Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism: University of Southern California faculty, staff and students present talks on social media, journalism, global initiatives and current events.
  19. It Gets Better: Sociology classes studying the LGBTQIA movement and the heightened rate of suicide amongst teenagers alienated by their sexuality needs to check out this channel. Adults who encountered the exact same stigmas and bullying in high school band together to touchingly offer their love, support and encouragement as a means of reaching out.
  20. Sociology of Gender: This Penn State University channel presents PSAs relating to gender and sexuality — most especially overall perceptions and portrayals.
  21. Psychology in Seattle: It may not be the most popular of stops, but Kirk Honda’s video podcast of, obviously, psychology in Seattle is still worth exploring.
  22. American Cancer Society: With cancer a serious issue plaguing the world over, students should know about more than just the medical repercussions.
  23. The MacArthur Foundation: This organization bestows money to individuals whose goals and talents go towards making the world a little bit better.
  24. UNICEF: Learn about efforts by the United Nations to feed, clothe and educate impoverished children worldwide.
  25. C-SPAN: Follow this channel for the latest news and views straight from Capitol Hill.

Visual, Performing and Liberal Arts

  1. Smithsonian American Art Museum: Watch lectures by some of America’s most prestigious curators and artists and browse some pockets of the museum’s extensive collections.
  2. American Film Institute: AFI aims to preserve the greatest cinematic works of art ever shot for the appreciation and inspiration of future generations.
  3. MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art: Use this channel to introduce students to the hottest and most influential modern and contemporary artists the world has to offer.
  4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Learn all about preservation, art history, techniques and much, much more thanks to one of the world’s most prestigious museums.
  5. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum: Another Smithsonian offering, this time emphasizing the history of design, its role in society and any current trends.
  6. Library of Congress: Most of the videos and lectures presented by the Library of Congress involve film, books and American history.
  7. Anaheim Ballet: One of the most popular YouTube channels delivers some of the most stunning and dramatic dance pieces available online.
  8. Smithsonian Folkways: Expose students to world music they may not otherwise know about, courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways’ devoted recordings and videos.
  9. Beliefnet Community: The men and women of Beliefnet.com discuss spiritual matters from a comparative perspective, meaning atheists and agnostics are just as welcome to participate as individuals of faith. Videos also touch upon mental health and political topics as well.
  10. BookTV: CSPAN peers into the latest nonfiction releases and supplements reviews and summaries with relevant interviews, discussions and other materials.
  11. Vancouver Poetry Slam: Watch (and listen to!) some of Vancouver’s best slam poets as they share their writing and performing talents with the world at large.
  12. Stratford Shakespeare Festival: The event itself may only come once a year, but the channel offers 24/7 lessons on Shakespearean plays and performances.
  13. Michelle Phan: Drama teachers need to push their makeup crews towards Michelle Phan, whose boundless artistry serves as a great source of design inspiration.
  14. Craft: Encourage creativity and productivity amongst students by using these how-to guides as starting points.
  15. Dance Channel TV: As one can easily ascertain from the name, Dance Channel TV celebrates all styles and all movements.
  16. Royal Opera House: Take in music, singing, dancing and art without having to travel all the way to Covent Garden! Full operas are not available here, of course, but the interviews do provide some excellent supplementary materials.
  17. Longtimers: The Life in the Arts Series, specifically tailored to meet the California State Art Curriculum Framework statutes, covers almost every facet of human creativity and expression.
  18. Words of the World: Punch up semantics and linguistics lessons with some intriguing glimpse into the very nature of spoken and written words.
  19. The CIA: Sharpen an appreciation for the culinary arts and pick up a few useful kitchen techniques along the way with this useful YouTube channel.
  20. National Writing Project: National Writing Project hopes to educate teachers on the best classroom strategies to help strengthen one of the most integral life skills.
  21. HP Graphic Arts: Digital art grows more and more popular every year, and Hewlett-Packard enjoys encouraging experimentation with new products and techniques.
  22. USC Cinematic Arts: Explore the latest in film, television and multimedia production trends with the students and faculty at University of Southern California.
  23. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities: Even those living outside of DC can still benefit from this organization’s efforts to promote the arts and humanities in a math and science-oriented world.
  24. Steppenwolf Theatre Company: The legendary Chicago theatre company keeps fans updated on their current shows and provides drama teachers tools to illustrate the art of stagecraft.
  25. Walker Art Center: Explore arts of all kinds via walkthroughs and interviews with some of the world’s most creative minds.

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