I’m a visual person. I always learn (and retain) information more effectively when watching a documentary or video than by other means. I tend to think in a visual way, so naturally I gravitate to visual teaching about the world. Call it educational, documentary, nature show, science programming, I love to watch a show that gives insight into the natural world. Here are some of my favorite places to go when I want to learn something new:
1. Cosmos (Carl Sagan) – Nothing really compares to the original mind blowing documentary series by Carl Sagan. It was one of the first series to make complex information about the universe easily accessible. While the graphics and music may reveal its age, the information in the series is still enlightening and insightful.
2. Cosmos (Neil Degrasse) – A worthy successor to the original, this reboot of the Carl Sagan series picks up right where Carl left off. With new and improved computer generated graphics we are given a more in depth presentation of our complex reality.
3. BBC Nature Docs (David Attenborough) Planet Earth, Human Planet, Frozen Planet, Blue Planet – I could have tried to pick one, but it was too hard, they are all so good. The BBC has a long history of creating narrative and imagery that keep you engaged and amazed at the natural world. With narration by famed naturalist, Sir David Attenborough these videos have taught me more about the biology of our planet than all of my high school classes combined.
4. Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design – In addition to being one of the greatest minds of our life time Stephen Hawking is also a great writer/narrator. His ability to talk about complex theories and what they mean to him on a fundamental and spiritual level is inspiring.
5. Crash Course – Youtube is the perfect platform for these short videos packed with information ranging from Philosophy to Sociology all the way to the history of video games. Great for those who want to learn with limited time.
6. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell – Another Youtube channel that chooses fascinating subject matter and gives a succinct and colorful introduction to them. I am always excited to see a new video by this team.