An education-focused offshoot from the now-famous TED talks, TED-Ed pairs experts in education and animation to create engaging videos covering an array of curiosity-fueled topics.

Standout Playlists:
Can You Solve This Riddle? — These elaborate, complex, and brain-bending riddles are made more comprehensible through animated explanations.
New TED-Ed Originals — Over 500 (and counting) of TED-Ed’s latest videos, ranging from “How Aspirin Was Discovered” to “What Makes a Poem … a Poem?”


Compelling human-interest stories that tend toward the exceptional, remarkable, and out of the ordinary. THINKR bills itself as “smart entertainment,” but the topics are wide-ranging, from profiles of an innovative science class in a Bronx high school to interviews with Weird Al Yankovic.

Standout Playlists:
Prodigies — An inside look at the Science Genius program, melding hip-hop and science at Compass High School in the Bronx, New York.
Why with Nye! — The notable “science guy” entertains with some interstellar trivia.
Bookd — Authors, stars, and other notable personalities get literary and react to a handful of popular books (though most aren’t for kids).


These videos don’t merely describe — they actually show interesting and unique science in action. Every video starts with engaging essential questions, then dig in. Beyond conversation pieces, the videos here would probably make great hooks for a lesson or unit.

Standout Playlists:
Misconceptions — A handful of simple, common misconceptions are explained and exploded.
Science Experiments! — This playlist shows actual experiments, some of which could be difficult to replicate in a classroom or school, oftentimes with helpful explanations, motion graphics, and super-slow-mo video.


Vi Hart’s (mostly) math and music videos are genuinely off-the-wall, but in a really great and unique way that’s bound to have broad appeal. Plenty of these videos are fun and engaging enough for younger kids, yet still complex enough to challenge high schoolers (and adults!) to think outside the box.

#youtube can be a treasure for #classrooms. Here are 8 amazing channels for #education

Standout Playlists:
Mathmusician Stuff — An interesting DIY investigation into the intersections between math and music.
Thanksgiving: Edible Math — Ever wondered how to shape your mashed potato trough to hold the most gravy? Now you can find out.

Note: A lot of videos on YouTube come with advertisements, including those that seem targeted to users’ browsing history (both on YouTube and elsewhere on the web). This is, unfortunately, one of the big trade-offs when using YouTube in the classroom. Many of the channels on the list above have ads. As you select videos to show, be thoughtful about the ads that might come with them and whether or not you want your students to see these.

To learn more about effectively using video in your classroom, check out our collection of resources on the topic: Use Video in the Classroom to Stimulate Critical Thinking.

Photo courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.

 [Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Common Sense Education.]

About the Author:

Jeff Knutson is the senior manager of education content for Common Sense Education. Common Sense Education helps educators find the best edtech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Go to Common Sense Education for free resources including full reviews of digital tools, ready-made lesson plans, videos, webinars, and more.