The rise of YouTube as an online platform has created new opportunities for millions. For the majority of us, it’s a chance to be entertained for free, through our TV, laptop, tablet, or phone, while for others it’s turned into an entirely new career path.
Such is the popularity of the channel that the world’s most most-watched YouTubers earn incomes that total well into seven figures, with partnership deals proving particularly lucrative for all parties.
Under the ownership of Google since 2005, YouTube is today one of the world’s most visited websites, with millions of active users every month and millions more producing and sharing new content with the world.
With the majority of modern phones boasting great cameras, it’s easier than ever to create your own YouTube channel and broadcast an opinion to the rest of the world. And it is perhaps here where the website’s true power lies.
Many of the world’s biggest YouTube stars started small and built from nothing. A handful of viewers can quickly turn into half a dozen subscribers, and the power of word-of-mouth can see your content go viral quicker than you might ever imagine.
As a result, the platform now is home to practically every genre of visual entertainment imaginable, from music videos to political debates, and video games to physical fitness. But it’s also emerged as a platform for education and information, and in this article, we will be exploring some of the ways that YouTube has changed the way we learn new skills.
What you missed at school
One of the most obvious ways that YouTube is upskilling its users is through the classic subjects we studied at school. One of the most popular examples here is history, with many of the most captivating topics brought to life in new ways.
For many of us, studying history meant dusty textbooks, grumpy teachers, and endless homework, but YouTube is helping to change perceptions of the past by making the subject matter accessible, entertaining, and even humorous.
One great example is OverSimplified, a channel that uses simple animation and witty story-telling to bring some of the greatest moments in history to life, from the Mongol Empire to the Cold War and plenty in between!
Skills to pay the bills
Others are using YouTube to learn a creative skill that they could one day turn in to living – or at the very least a lucrative side hustle. From lo-tech to hi-tech, you can learn to do pretty much anything on the platform.
The best tutorial videos offer step-by-step guides, with clear on-screen annotations and natural points to pause the footage so that you can keep up. The hosts should use simple language without being patronizing and, of course, not talk too fast!
You can learn anything from building a table to coding a website, but one of our favorite channels, Improvement Pill, offers advice and guidance around relaxation and wellness – with courses so advanced you could even become a Yoga teacher yourself:
Life hacks have become an internet phenomenon during recent years. The term generally refers to the art of changing the way you use an every-day object in order to make it more efficient or adapt it to be used for something else.
But the terminology has been borrowed for a range of purposes and is helping hobbyists get the most out of their experience. Sometimes the advice centers around tips and hints, while others share the information previously reserved for insiders only. One such channel is Casino Hacks, which features walk-throughs and guides to some of the web’s best casino games, hosted by a friendly team of experts:
Not all advice on YouTube is useful, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less engaging or interesting. Many channels are dedicated to helping people discover lost languages and arts, or learn more about ancient mythology.
The information is unlikely to land you a new career or significantly improve your life, but it offers an opportunity to relax and escape from the stresses of day-to-day life in a more constructive way than just binging on Netflix box sets.
One of the best channels to check out is A Frolic Through Fiction, which features book read-along and a great selection of videos on Greek mythology.
We hope this guide has proved useful and helped you to understand the true potential of YouTube. The platform is quite often dismissed as a means of entertainment, but as you can see from our list, there are multiple ways in which it is making a significant contribution to human learning.
And because the website is largely free and available in almost every country, there are no boundaries to education. Local knowledge can be shared globally and even the most isolated people can connect to a new trade through the power of a simple internet connection.
The knowledge is out there!