Best YouTube Channels for Education

youtube for education
(Image credit: Unsplash/Christian Wiediger)
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This article was updated October 2023. 

The online video and social media behemoth YouTube is not only a repository for millions of free videos, but also the second-most visited website worldwide. 

For educators to make the most of YouTube, they first have to screen out content that’s inappropriate—or simply not educational. Then the task becomes finding and curating engaging and relevant educational videos. Fortunately, YouTube learning channels feature thousands of educational (and often fun or quirky) videos on every possible academic subject. 

The following safe-viewing tips and best YouTube channels will help teachers take advantage of the fantastic free educational videos YouTube provides.

How to Watch YouTube Videos Safely

YouTube restricted mode
In restricted mode, YouTube search filters out potentially inappropriate videos and automatically hides comments below videos. Click on your account icon to find the restricted mode toggle setting at the bottom of the menu.  

Safe Share TV
Create a “SafeView” video simply by entering the video URL of any YouTube or Vimeo video. Then watch videos free of ads and distractions. Includes editing function to trim videos to any length and the ability to share directly to Google Classroom. 

Enter a YouTube video URL in the search box, and VideoLink generates an ad-free, safe URL that can be shared easily via QR code, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media apps. Includes the ability to quickly edit the title, background color, length, and other features.

The Best YouTube Channels for Teaching

What’s better than a free standards-aligned digital library chock full of engineering and design-thinking topics? How about brief, engaging videos to demonstrate principles ranging from solar power to drifting continents to musical images? From the nonprofit TeachEngineering and the University of Colorado Boulder, these videos are lively, fun, and highly educational. Use videos as stand-alone mini lessons or combine them with TeachEngineering’ free lessons on its website.  

Learn Bright Videos
A wide variety of diverse educational videos, from four to twenty minutes in length. Topics include history, science, math, nature, art, astronomy, geology, and more. If you’re not sure how to choose from among the hundreds of videos, check out the playlists, where you’ll find content arranged according to topic. The playlist of narrated videos featuring American Sign Language are ideal for Deaf viewers.   

The Brain Scoop
Led by Emily Graslie, the “Chief Curiosity Correspondent” of Chicago’s Field Museum, The Brain Scoop’s videos feature stunning live footage of animals in the Amazon, the joy of cooking with bugs, as well as investigations of museum exhibits, from mummies to dinosaurs to fishes. Have you ever wondered how a museum prepares its animal exhibits? That’s covered too!

KLT (Kids Learning Tubeshop)
Kids love music, which has long been associated with activating learning centers in the brain. KLT’s educational videos combine knowledge with catchy tunes and singing. Will your students learn more? Maybe, maybe not. But they will definitely pay more attention! Subjects sung about include the adorable tiny sea slug, the geography of Michigan, astronomy, produce, and more.  

Art for Kids Hub
Goofy and delightful, the family-run Art for Kids Hub won’t share the secrets of Renaissance painters, Cubism, or Expressionism. What it will do is show kids, in line-by-line action, how to draw fun characters, whether familiar or strange and hilarious (cartoon avocado toast, anyone?). Rest assured that the drawing instruction provided is top notch as well as entertaining.  

Khan Academy Kids
The renowned education nonprofit Khan Academy populates its Khan Academy Kids YouTube channel with hundreds of videos aimed at kids aged 2-8 that explore subjects such as literacy, math, art, phonics, and dinosaurs.  To narrow down the topics, browse playlists including Halloween Learning Fun, Baby Animal Storytime, Colors, or Reading Comprehension, to name a few. 

Super fun and eccentric videos about music and math, with appeal to kids of all ages. Using animated sketches and slightly sardonic narration, Vihart turns math topics such as the many flavors of infinity, visual multiplication, or a Möbius strip into weirdly engaging videos.

Crash Course offers more than 32 free courses on subjects including literature, philosophy, organic chemistry, world history, biology, theater, and ecology. Each topic comprises dozens of videos, delivered with a breezy tone that nonetheless dig deep into the specifics, whether it’s “How We Make Memories” or “Venice and the Ottoman Empire.”

With more than six million subscribers, it’s clear that SciShow’s science videos go beyond basics into the realm of the unexpected. Browse videos with curiosity-provoking titles such as “5 Beautifully Complex Ways to Fly,” “Do You Need a Copper Pot?” or “Without Volcanoes, Earth Might be Dead.” Playlists feature topics including COVID-19 updates, historic women in science, the Apollo moon missions, and many other compelling subjects.

With nearly four million subscribers, Numberphile is one of the top YouTube math teaching channels. Down-to-earth video journalist Brady Haran can turn any student into a math lover, with hundreds of entertaining and educational videos exploring the scientific way to cut a cake or perplexing paperclips. Great fun. 

Cool STEM videos that will have you wondering what the fatal flaw of math is and what the longest-running evolution experiment tells us. Be sure to check your reasoning skills with the Test Yourself! Playlist, featuring physics and biology experiments. 

Diana Restifo

Diana has been Tech & Learning's web editor and contributor since 2010, dedicated to ferreting out the best free tech tools for teachers.