I’m pretty sure at some point I made a joke about the fact that YouTube channels like ASAPScience were going to make textbooks in classrooms obsolete. If I didn’t then, I’m making it now, so that in a year or two I can point to this very post and say “I TOLD YOU SO!” like a big jerk. However, one thing I never suspected was that new media educators like ASAPScience might decide to go a more traditional route and just release a book of their own, and that’s what they’ve done.
The book, available now on asapscience.com, contains physical versions of some of the channel’s most popular video explainers as well as plenty of new content never before seen on YouTube. The idea got us thinking about something else. Educational channels are positively killing it these days, with videos from channels like Crash Course, SciShow, It’s OK To Be Smart, and ASAPScience routinely landing in the top ten most watched. If they all released books, could we replace a whole school day’s worth of textbooks with YouTube channels?
Science: We’ll start the day off in science class, and who better to cover this essential subject than the people that inspired this list. ASAPScience, which has boasted guests as rad as Superwoman and Bill Nye (tragically not at the same time) can answer all of our burning questions from mitochondria to life on Mars.
History: It’s impossible to talk about educational content on YouTube without at least one Green Brother showing up. At the end of the day, history is basically the world’s longest and most compelling story with a lot of total bummer endings. Who better to present an AP History lecture with that arc than the man who gave us The Fault In Our Stars, John Green. The novelist, VidCon founder and Vlogbrother is also the host of the latest session of Crash Course focusing on World History.
Math: Math was never my favorite subject in school, that’s probably why I ended up a writer. If you want to avoid my terrible fate, you could do worse than to learn math from YouTube’s own cheery mathematician, the incomparable Vi Hart.
Language Arts: Sadly, Marina Orlova has retired popular etymology series Hot For Words in favor of being Hot For Other Things (nutrition at the moment), but back in the day YouTube’s first and only sexy philologist would have made a pretty epic English teacher.