Sensible Snack: CrashCourse (Free and High-Quality Educational Videos)

Sensible Snacks are bite sized nuggets of information to help feed your wallet and nourish your mind.

Here’s a little something to snack on that will fuel your mind: CrashCourse on YouTube.

What is CrashCourse?

CrashCourse is a channel on YouTube that I’ve been watching for awhile now. They produce free and high quality educational videos on a huge variety of topics.

I am happy YouTube isn’t just for watching Tide-pod challenges, cat videos, and fail compilations (which it definitely is ALSO for). If you don’t want to get sucked into the YouTube rabbit hole, you can also view their videos in a slightly more organized way on their main website here.

Free and High Quality Educational Videos

Each week CrashCourse posts multiple videos on everything from Economics to Linguistics, World History to Artificial Intelligence and Engineering to Mythology. The range of topics is awesome but the quality of content is even better.

The videos are about 10 minutes long, with entertaining and knowledgeable hosts and good production value. With over one billion channel views, they are a well-known and respected source for free education.

My favorite part about CrashCourse is the partnership they have with thought café to animate segments of each show. They are a catchy, clean and delightful addition to each video.

I personally recommend the US History, Intro to Economics, and Big History courses. These courses may be refreshers of interesting topics you learned about in school, or completely brand new for you. They are accessible and in-depth enough to cover both sides of the spectrum.

Here’s an example. This is the first video from the course World History with a great intro by John Green about why to study a broad range of topics, including World History:

Way back when the channel started, the main host was John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska (both of which I recommend) which makes it seem crazy that he had enough time and energy to start this YouTube venture, too. Then again, in 2014, he was in Time magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People in the World so it makes a bit more sense. Since then, more and more expert hosts have joined the team.

The humor that the different hosts bring to their videos is perfectly peppered in. Even when it is cheesy, it’s in an endearing way because they are making learning more engaging than reading from a textbook.

Online education, both free and paid, is having its time in the sun. Other platforms include Coursera, Khan Academy, and Udemy to name a few.

In a world where “the generalist” has seen a surge in importance and demand, having a broad base of knowledge to call upon in any given scenario is more important than ever. Studying random topics in your free time allows you to more fully understand systems. Said in another way, you can see the forest for the trees while still standing in it.

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