We are so lucky in 2017 to have access to a wealth of knowledge and entertainment that has been generously created by others for us to consume for FREE. Those who love to learn have access to Wikipedia, YouTube, Khan Academy, Wolfram Alpha and MOOC portals like Coursera. Today, I am so thankful for the video sharing platform created by Google. Because of YouTube, I’m smarter, happier, and I’ve saved money. This post isn’t really about Google, though, it is about the amazing people who create wonderful content for the benefit of others.
Most of my time on YouTube is spent learning. Looking back at my viewing history, over the past six months, I picked up a used Mac and learned about it from Mac Tuts Plus. I got some woodworking tips from Matthew Cremona. I dove into the basics of music theory courtesy of Michael New. Part of the beauty of YouTube, though, is that you don’t have to learn from just one teacher with one learning style. I learned Git from a bunch of different videos with different styles. I probably watched 8 different videos on how to tune a rear derailleur when the gears on my road bike were slipping. Just this week I was able to find some footage of Roger Troutman demonstrating his talkbox so I could show my 4-year-old son what was making those funny noises on “More Bounce to the Ounce.” YouTubers saved me tons of money by showing me how to fix my EXACT MODEL of both clothes dryer and freezer. I lean on YouTube every day in my current work, curating resources to create online professional development courses for teachers. The number of high-quality video tutorials available greatly reduces the lengths to which I have to go to create these courses. All of these life-enhancing benefits that were unheard of at the turn of the century are available to us for FREE! All the time! For that I am grateful.