Breaking hearts and building minds


John Green educates students about English, history, and science in his online Crash Course videos. Courtesy of Brooke Wilkins ’16

The New York Times bestselling author and YouTube video blogger (vlogger) Mr. John Green attained acclaim by breaking teenage hearts in his popular novels Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. However, Mr. Green is more than just a teen romance writer. He also enlightens teenage minds through his YouTube crash courses videos.
Mr. Green and his brother, Mr. Hank Green, created their YouTube channel Vlogbrothers in January 2007. The channel currently has over two million subscribers.
Among the hundreds of videos on the Vlogbrothers’ channel are Mr. Green’s crash course videos covering various history, English literature, and science topics. Mr. Green strives to help students understand these subjects by presenting information in a simplified and humorous way.
With their accurate information and animated graphics, Mr. Green’s videos have become widely known among students and teachers at Convent of the Sacred Heart.
Upper School history teacher Mrs. Anne De Sutter shows Mr. Green’s crash course videos to her classes to enhance her students’ understanding of World History.
“I think he really condenses the essential information about the topics and he’s very humorous, which I like. He really has a lot to say and he says it well,” Mrs. De Sutter said.
These videos are helpful tools that are often used in order to understand subjects more easily. The scintillating teaching style found in these crash courses draws students into the subjects, and promotes an enjoyable way of learning about the material.

John Green educates students about English, history, and science in his online Crash Course videos.  Courtesy of Brooke Wilkins '16
John Green educates students about English, history, and science in his online crash course YouTube videos.
Courtesy of Brooke Wilkens ’16

Junior Tori Carley, a former student of Mrs. De Sutter, also finds Mr. Green’s videos to be a good learning resource.
“They are very expansive and they clarify ideologies that were made blurry for certain people,” Tori said.
Along with their educational videos, the Green brothers also discuss their opinions about everyday topics on their Vlogbrothers channel. These videos are just as engaging to their young audience, though less academically-focused.
The brothers have also set up an annual festival called VidCon for YouTube enthusiasts, according to Vanity Fair.
“I’ve seen the Vlogbrothers videos,” senior Anneliese Hummel said. “I really like Hank Green even though he’s not as famous as John Green. I think he’s genuinely funny and nerdy, and I really like how close the two of them are as siblings. I have a twin sister, and I like to see how adult siblings like to act silly even though they’re famous.”
John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars was released as a movie in June 2014.  The movie grossed over $250 million during its time in theaters worldwide, according to imdb.comLooking for Alaska and Paper Towns, two of his other best-selling books, are also movie-bound, according to TIME. 
The brothers’ enlightening and inviting online videos add to their popularity and their fame. Not only do the academic videos enhance student’s knowledge, but they also show an increase in the amount of different online learning resources that are becoming more popular with students. The “crash courses,” along with the math online resource Khan Academy, are two of the online venues that students at Sacred Heart find useful for studying English, History, Science, and Math subjects.
Young readers and adults alike enjoy Mr. Green’s unique writing style.
“I think that he’s a very different writer because obviously he’s no Hemingway and no Hawthorne, but he does portray the human condition to a certain extent. He brings enlightenment to the world of human nature and emotion. ” Tori said.
-Brooke Wilkens, Staff Writer