Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

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harrumph
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Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by harrumph » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:15 am

I've been reading a textbook in molecular cell biology and to supplement the material I wanted to see animated drawings (cartoons, if you will) of the DNA replication process, etc. So on Youtube I found a series called Crash Course Biology. Hank Green is the instructor. He seems to know the material well, and though he speaks too fast you can pause and go back when needed. He has also recorded Crash Courses in biology, chemistry, philosophy, psychology, ecology, anatomy and physiology, and philosophy. (Crash Course has a number of other subjects with different hosts). While he has a background in biochemistry and ecology, I'm skeptical that he can be expert in so many fields as to be able to produce and deliver textbook worthy instruction. But I haven't been able to find reviews or commentary on the series. Does anyone here have an opinion on the series?

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by IronNeck » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:46 am

Since you mentioned it, I decided to watch a random Youtube videos of his on World History.

As a well-edited, sleek, fast-paced, advertiser-friendly Youtube video with good production values that will draw lots of views, it's great! Props to Mr. Green for thinking of this. As an actual examination of the subject (the Agricultural Revolution, in this case), it's shallow, sloppy, often exaggerated, occasionally incorrect, and generally poor.

Who knows? Maybe he does a far better job on the other subjects he covers, but I would trust your textbook or hell, even a well-written Wiki article over this Youtube series.

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by harrumph » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:15 pm

There's two Green brothers in the videos, one handles the science based fields, the other does the humanities.

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by badgerfellow » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:39 pm

I checked out two videos on Philosophy (Aquinas and the Cosmological Arguments and Intelligent Design). Given what can be fairly heavy topics (St. Thomas Aquinas, after all, spent almost a decade on the Summa Theologica, and still didn't complete it), I thought the creators did a very good job of summarizing the data in a fairly neutral manner.

If the intent of the videos is to inform and give the viewer cause to do further research on larger topics, this was accomplished.

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by RandyG » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:26 pm

harrumph wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:15 am
... He seems to know the material well, and though he speaks too fast you can pause and go back when needed....
You can slow down YouTube videos under Settings. (Not sure, though, whether that requires watching on a computer browser.)

Speed up is also available.

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by Peter the accountant » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:34 pm

I've watched a large number of the crash course videos. I've found them to be highly informative.

Keep in mind the presenters are not necessarily the subject matter experts - they're the on-camera personalities. They have a good sized research and production team behind them. Take a look at the credits at the end of the videos to see how many people are behind them. Their team has grown a bit over time, and they almost always have an outside expert or two consulting for the series.

Their approach is not always the traditional approach to the subjects. For example, when the various history series reach wars, they rarely discuss the battles and tactics of the war. They prefer to take a closer look at why the war happened, the reactions to the war as it progressed, and the fallout from the war.

Yes, the pace of delivery is pretty quick. Keep in mind these videos are generally geared toward high school and early college students, who can absorb the faster pace. I like the quick pace, but that's a personal preference. As mentioned, you can always replay the videos to get material you missed.

These are not intended to replace more traditional instruction, they are meant to supplement it. I personally have learned quite a bit from these videos.
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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by Sherm » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:00 pm

Not a Crash Course, but if someone wants to learn a lot about Physics, Dr Richard Muller's class, "Physics for Future Presidents" from Cal Berkeley is on line. He teaches the class without emphasis on equations and calculus. I remember reading that the class was one of the most popular general coarses taken by students at Cal. I haven't watched them in years. The one on waves, is one of the most interesting presentations I've ever seen. Or course, I'm also a nerd engineer.

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by IronNeck » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:21 pm

Sherm wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:00 pm
He teaches the class without emphasis on equations and calculus.
They used to call this "Physics for Poets". Seriously. It was a generally unpopular class that the students were forced to take and despised.

Which makes sense. Analyzing physics situations when given the bodies, some general information ("moving parallel at constant velocity"), but not the numbers is incredibly important in developing the mind of a good physicist. But the only people who will enjoy this or become good at it are, wait for it...budding scientists or engineers already. (And you mentioned being an engineer yourself)

Thus, every physics class that does a great job developing physics qualitative reasoning also does a fine job analyzing the various differential equations, wave equations, etc. that make up the meat of the subject.

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by oduguy22 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:57 pm

I love them, Crash Course is fun and extremely informative! I've watched them since they first started years ago and especially enjoy John Green's videos. Even though he is a famous author (Fault In Our Stars, Paper Towns), I'd like to believe John is more known for this. I also believe that John and Hank are major contributors to Crash Course's creation. John also does videos for Mental Floss on Youtube, which he has been doing for many years. If you haven't seen them definitely check it out. Mental Floss is fantastic!

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by twelvefootboy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:56 pm

I just found these after burning through all of the Minute Physics videos and different math series that just are too slow and time consuming with few graphics and mostly slow talking heads. The off camera interviewer isn't much help either. I love the numberphile topics, but jeesh - writing on paper and showing every arithmetic step is a drag. The sixty symbols videos are just slightly better. The minute earth series are good as well, if you like the planet and stuff.

The Physics crash course videos are awesome. Just enough special effects and graphics to make the point and an amazing presenter that goes at the speed of light. Maxwell's equations in 10 minutes - bring it on! It is almost an exact syllabus of a physics curriculum and it's interesting to see what I used to know. :lol:

The thing that I like the most gets the most negative comments - the extremely fast talking. I'm not interested in doing sample problems so there's enough equations but not enough math for a serious tutorial.

I'm glad to see good comments about the other series. I'll dabble in them when I get a whim.
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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by OntarioQuizzer » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:05 pm

I enjoy them all.

Except the Mongols.
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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by syrinx32123 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:05 pm

I love this series. Learn something new in 10 minutes.

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by Peter the accountant » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:18 am

OntarioQuizzer wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:05 pm
I enjoy them all.

Except the Mongols.
+1 for the Mongols.
--Peter

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Re: Crash Course (The Youtube Series)

Post by nklotz » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:49 am

IronNeck wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:21 pm

They used to call this "Physics for Poets". Seriously.
Patton Oswalt has a great bit on this.

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