YouTube is rapidly becoming the world’s television set, soapbox and diary. Less talked about, however, is its role as the world’s classroom. Channels like the CrashCourse, SciShow, Vsauce, and Khan Academy have merged YouTube’s potential to entertain with its potential to educate and have become some of the platforms most popular along the way, attracting millions of subscribers. Add to that the millions of hours of tutorials on everything from tying a tie to making a soufflé to solving quadratic equations, and YouTube starts to emerge as a dynamic source of information. This year YouTube plans to capitalize on that status to give back.
The video giant has tapped some of its biggest stars to participate in “School of YouTube” a week long schedule of programming aimed at raising awareness and money for education in the developing world. The program was announced in a blog post, and, of course, with a video. Participating creators like Charlie McDonnell, Ashens, The Diamond Minecart, V-Sauce, Ali-A, Fleur de Force , Threadbanger, and Caspar Lee will all create videos for the campaign in which they either teach a lesson or learn something new themselves.
The campaign was developed in partnership with the UK charity Comic Relief which combats global poverty. All the videos will run this week to line up with the start of the 2014-15 school year and will include a call for donations to a Comic Relief campaign to fund schools in some of the world’s poorest countries. The program is also the latest effort by YouTube to highlight the many different communities that exist on the platform. Educational programming is a less talked about but still vital part of the YouTube ecosystem and throwing a spotlight on that potential is certainly good for business.