OPINION: Hank and John Green are revolutionizing online education


Photo credit/ Hank and John Green (Vlogbrothers) 2017.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=hank+and+john+green&title=Special:MediaSearch&go=Go&type=image

YouTube pioneers Hank and John Green are working to make a college education more accessible

You may recognize John and Hank Green from their best-selling books or from their Youtube Channels, Crash Course and Vlogbrothers, but now the brothers are venturing into new territory: college education.

In January 2023, the brothers announced their partnership with Arizona State University and Youtube to make education more accessible.

The collaboration is called “Study Hall” and features college courses and other important resources.

The Greens have been working to make education accessible since the creation of the Crash Course Channel in 2012. In fact, you probably have watched some of their videos in your classroom or while studying for an exam (I can say with certainty that I would not have survived AP Chemistry without Crash Course!).

Crash Course videos are designed for high school students and consist of face-paced information and engaging graphics, but Study Hall resources are designed specifically for prospective and current college students.

In 2020, Crash Course and Arizona State University collaborated to create educational videos designed to help college students with topics ranging from a variety of subjects such as Chemistry, Algebra, and Composition.

This year, they’re kicking it up a notch by offering YouTube courses that will provide students with college credits that are transferable to other universities, all for a fraction of what a course typically costs.

Students can watch videos for free on YouTube for basic subjects such as English, Math, and History. After students feel confident enough with the material, they can take a corresponding online class through Arizona State University for only $25.

Once students finish the online courses, they can pay $400 for college credit that can be transferred to any school that accepts Arizona State credits.

In addition to these four courses, Study Hall also offers a free series called “Fast Guides”, which presents information about popular majors for prospective students who are not sure what to study.

Once students begin college, Study Hall also provides a “How to College” series to help students navigate the transition into college life. Videos in this series include topics to help students understand how student loans work, how to take care of their mental health, and even how to transition into the workforce after college.

These resources may be just as important as the courses offered and can help students better understand and navigate college life.

Why is this so important?
College is incredibly expensive. According to EducationData.org, the average student will borrow over $30,000 to pursue a bachelor’s degree. If students are able to save some money on their basic courses, they could save some money in the long run.

A college education is a privilege that only some have access to. By making courses affordable and easy to access anywhere via the internet, Study Hall is bringing education to students that otherwise might not have access to it.

Even if a student does not have access to a computer, most public libraries have computers that are open to the public, and public wifi too.

When asked about the importance of Study Hall by NBC News, Hank Green said, “College education is a tremendous tool for individuals and society, so I think we should be exploring every possible tool for understanding what stands in the way of student success and lowering or eliminating those barriers whenever possible.”

We all benefit from a society that has access to education. I think that it’s important to assess what sort of things prevent people from pursuing higher education if they want to, and, like Green said, do our best to eliminate those barriers if we can.

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