Crash Course: Entertaining YouTube “Courses” On History & Biology

April 7, 2012 | In: Uncategorized

Stop watching the same old crap on YouTube. Check out this great set of history and biology lessons instead. They’re hilarious, engaging, entertaining and enlightening, all at once. I promise you, they’re not boring and not a waste of your time.

YouTube can be a cultural wasteland at times. A cornucopia of cats, cleavage, crazies and other crap. Every once in a while however, something great comes along. “Crash Course” is one of those things, and I find myself looking forward to every episode.

It’s two different classes. One is world history, hosted by author and video blogger John Green. Another is biology, taught by John’s brother Hank Green, an entertainer and musician.

The Basic Premise

Like I said, there are two “courses” here, each planned to include 40 episodes. Both courses are well underway, having launched in January, and one new episode of each show is released each week.

Let’s go over the history course first. Here’s the idea: 15,000 years of human history is going to be summarized in a collection of YouTube videos. Each week John focuses on a different topic, starting with the dawn of history as we know it – the agricultural revolution.

The first minute or so of this video is a great defense of why studying history is important. It helps us understand why the world is the way it is. It’s also a great outline of what to expect from the videos to come.

More interested in science than humanities? Check out the biology course instead. This course starts with the element central to life as we know it – carbon – and builds its way outwards in terms of complexity.

Like the history lessons, these videos are entertaining and educational. I’m having a lot of fun watching them, and learning the basics to two disciplines I wish I knew more about. The Greens are doing great work here, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Other Educational Videos

Do you want to spend more of your online time learning? We’ve covered a few educational videos before. Check out these articles:


I want to live in a world where well-reasoned, engaging and entertaining content like this goes viral instead of videos of skateboarders getting hurt and propaganda pieces about long-powerless warlords. I feel it would make the world a better place.

So please spread these videos. I have no connection to the project, but sincerely would like to see it take off. Quality should be rewarded with millions of views, so let’s do what we can to spread this. If you know any students struggling with biology or history, send them these videos. Don’t stop there, though. These should be interesting to most humans.

Do you know of any other gems like these? I’d sincerely like to hear about them, so please share them in the comments below. I’ll put together a collection of the best examples for a future article.

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