My high school teachers sucked.
Okay, they didn’t suck in the conventional use of the word: they weren’t those evil teachers you see in most high school-themed sitcoms who are always yelling or speaking in monotone. They just didn’t seem to know how to prepare us for tests. One day we would be eating M&M’s and watching a movie instead of having a lecture, and then before we knew it we’d be handed a college-level calculus exam covering all of the things we should have learned while we were slacking off.
So, it was up to us to find ways to learn things like anti-derivatives and graphing trigonometry. We all turned to different things, but the most effective way I found to learn the course material was through educational vlogs.
I started out watching the “khanacademy”, an older tutorial site run by a man with a passion for all things math and science. I nearly memorized all of his calc-related videos in preparation for my final, and I began to feel a strange sense of familiarity every time his voice started explaining the mathematical concepts that blew my mind.
My obsession with vlogs grew when I realized that I could find videos for every subject. I used them in all of my classes, cramming on YouTube until the day of the exam, and my grades improved as I spent more and more time watching movies online (ohhh, the irony of web videos actually increasing knowledge…)
My love for vlogs then led me to watch them outside of simple academic purposes. I found John and Hank Green’s Vlogbrother channel, and I started to watch every video for fun, along with most of ZeFrank and other popular vloggers. I stopped watching so much television and instead spent my time in front of the computer.
I can’t even begin to say how much information I’ve learned from the free time that I’ve spent on YouTube. These days, all good vlogs seem to come with a promise for laughter and an even greater promise for knowledge.
Because of the time I’ve spent watching these videos, I can sit here and tell you things like why the universe has no edge, how the Syrian revolution came to be, and how to write a moving essay on Holden Caulfield’s journey in The Catcher in the Rye. I grew in my understanding of almost every subject imaginable, and I even know a vast array of nerd jokes thanks to my devotion to my favorite vlogging channels.
But, these lessons are more than just random pieces of knowledge. My love for vlogs has led me to become a part of a community, one with inside jokes and funny tshirts and strange sayings: an intangible place where my thirst for knowledge is welcomed.
The Vlogbrothers call their followers “Nerdfighters”, and it is with pride and honor that I associate myself with the fandom of intellectuals that watch every Vlogbrother video the second it gets released. It’s made me smarter, funnier, and a lot more comfortable with being a total nerd.
Isn’t that what we want from the future generations?
Vlogs are the future of education. Popular vloggers tell a joke into their computer screen and people thousands of miles away laugh in response. Even better: vloggers tell an idea into their computer screen and the hundreds of thousands of viewers nod along and discover their own ways to improve the world.
The power of vlogs is rapidly growing, and I, for one, demand to be a part of it.