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When the general public hears the word “YouTube,” it’s likely a few key things come to mind. Perhaps it’s the place one finds the latest music videos. Perhaps its the place to watch cat videos. Perhaps it’s the place full of young, entitled “influencers” who use their platforms to show off their excess wealth.

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Though these are some of the most readily available perceptions of YouTube, they hardly even scratch the surface of the diversity of content on YouTube. For many people, YouTube is more than just a source of mindless entertainment– it is a fountain of free education.

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Let’s say you’re doing a kitchen renovation, and to save money, you want to do as much as you can on your own. You turn to YouTube to learn how to safely remove tile floor. Once that project is done, you do the same for cabinets. From that point on, you can find videos on anything you need– from how to take proper measurements, to installing new cabinets and appliances, to even learning about wiring (though I’d advise not doing it on your own), all for the low price of nothing.

To learn this information in the past, you would have had to go from bookstore to bookstore in search of instructional texts that can be difficult to fully comprehend due to dense terminology. Now, with the widespread availability of smartphones, most people have this information at their fingertips. One could read up on these texts, certainly, but given that a large portion of the world’s population are visual learners, a free website like YouTube makes that information more accessible.

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Slowly, but surely, those in the sphere of education are realizing just how impactful YouTube can be for their student’s learning. Students can find in-depth information on whatever their classes are teaching, often in a more entertaining fashion than a majority of their learning materials, all with cited sources like a research paper would be.

While YouTube is not going to replace physical classes and research papers any time soon, it provides great supplemental material for students of all ages. For those wanting to hone a skill like sewing, painting, or woodworking, YouTube is the way to learn more on a budget.