YouTube is mainly known as a video platform with an abundance of cats and their capers, vloggers’ preoccupations and those clickbait lists with the five (or ten) best, biggest, most shocking, scariest things that will permanently change your life. And in keeping with this last theme, here are five educational YouTube channels which are actually about something.
These five channels are always up to date with the latest developments in innovation, future technology and science. No clickbait lists, where number 4 will change your life forever or where there is any sensational excess. Just smart innovators who talk about smart subjects and who, with their interesting insights and accessible presentations, get hundreds of thousands or even millions of views.
1. Real Engineering
The creator at the heart of Real Engineering comes from Ireland and has a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He started the channel out of dissatisfaction with the ways in which his profession was discussed on the internet and in journalism; too simplistic, incomplete or simply incorrect. Three years later, he has almost two million followers.
His videos are chock-full of information that is presented in ways whichare bite-sized and visually appealing. And all that in less than ten minutes. The subjects he discusses, as the channel name and the its maker’s background suggest, focus on construction projects, aviation, vehicles, space technology and energy.
Number of subscribers: 1,800,000 – Active since: early 2016 – New videos: once every two weeks (usually Saturday)
How does a Tesla teach itself how to drive? Did you know that Steve Jobs couldn’t program before he met Steve Wozniak? And why do military personnel work for the South Korean technology company Samsung? The answer to such questions – and countless others – is discussed on the YouTube channel from the Australian Dagogo Altraide. ColdFusion debunks myths, explains, unravels secrets and looks towards the future.
Altraride deals with a wide variety of subjects at an extremely fast pace, and needless to say, in his own informative way. Most films last between ten to fifteen minutes and feature engaging animations and narration with clear vocals. ColdFusion predicts the future, provides background stories and analyses on tech companies, IT, smartphones, electronics, innovation and artificial intelligence (AI).
Number of subscribers: 1,800,000 – Active since: end of 2013 – New videos: once a week (Tuesday)
Polymatter expounds on all sorts of things. It is mainly concerned with China, Apple technology and innovation, but it actually covers a very wide range of modern issues. Analyses and questions about how and why play major roles here. On this channel you can find out what Amazon’s business model is, why China invests so much in railways and African countries, and all the things Apple is up to.
The makers take the viewer on a journey into their world. Here, social norms are questioned and sharp analyses about politics, technology and the future are made. In particular, the films by Polymatter about China under Xi Jinping reveal a world that you probably don’t know very well. Also of special interest: Polymatter does not lapse into making value judgments. The channel also uses wonderful animations in order to further clarify the subject matter. Quality is more important to them than quantity.
Number of subscribers: 800,000 – Active since: 2016 – New videos: once every two weeks (Friday)
At the beginning of this article, there was a promise that there would be no clickbait lists. Yet in some cases, this presentation form can also work very well. This is not just the case for articles about YouTube channels, but also for the channels themselves. Techzone is an excellent example of this, as when you read past the rather loud captions which are written in capitals, the content is actually quite good and the narration voice is surprisingly comforting.
This channel takes you on a journey of the latest technologies allaover the world. In fact, every sector is covered at Techzone, as long as it’s smart and modern! The fast pace at which innovative ideas pass by is especially rewarding if you want to see as many new developments as possible, as soon as possible. Be amazed, inspired or amused by all the very latest developments in the area of public innovation.
Number of subscribers: 1,700,000 – Active since: 2017 – New videos: every working day
What does Innovation Origins have in common with perhaps the most successful YouTube educational channel of all? They both have offices in Germany’s most innovative city: Munich. This channel revolutionized the world of educational film and showed that complex information can also be told with gorgeous animation. The videos are all in plain language without compromising on content, and according to the Germans -who, by the way, speak English rather well in their films – this usually won’t take longer than ten minutes.
The friendly boffins at Kurzgesagt actually cover an entire spectrum of subject matters. However, there is a greater focus on a number of topics: healthcare/biology, futurism, humanity, astronomy and science. Although they make look like cartoons, themes such as the Fermi Paradox, string theory, nihilism, CRISPR or ebola are actually explained in the most accessible way that there is.
Number of subscribers: 8,900.000 – Active since: 2014 – New videos: irregular on Sunday (1-3 per month)