Lack of Expertise on Education Channels: A Case Study

Can we trust YouTube creators to educate us properly?  I think not.

I have been amazed over the years.  By how much I can pick up while watching educational content.  And how many errors I detect—which go uncorrected and unacknowledged.

What has been your experience?

I offer some clips as examples.  Each is short—the longest is 2 min 14 sec.  I took them from a video¹—made by a creator whom I tend to watch for Schadenfreude, more than for education.  For me, David Bombal occasionally provides useful information—only after long stretches of stimulating my face-palm response.  My favorite examples of face-palm stimulation—they all feature the same guest.


See if you can spot the errors.  I will return to discuss (or reveal) the details in a few days.  I'm curious if others are spotting the errors, but not mentioning them.  Or are others simply oblivious?

Video clips are each 1920×1080.  Watch full-screen, preferably on a large display.  Otherwise, some of the details will be illegible.

(1) Link to original content opens new tab or window.  I include the link to Odysee, because there are no video advertisements—and downloading the video is easy.  Watch the whole video if you like.  See if you catch any mistakes I missed.

David Bombal: Android Bluetooth Hacking (w/ OTW)

  • I didn't include this in the primary topic.  The error in this "bonus clip" was corrected.  But, without mentioning the error—after a hard cut.  See if you can spot it:

    Hint: apt is the package manager for Debian-based (and Ubuntu-based) Linux distributions.  To my knowledge, there are no Linux repositories on GitHub.  Here is a list of valid CLI¹ modifiers:

    • apt update ...
    • apt upgrade ..
    • apt full-upgrade ...
    • apt install ...
    • apt reinstall ...
    • apt remove ...
    • apt purge ...
    • apt autoremove ...
    • apt satisfy ...
    • apt search ...
    • apt show ...
    • apt list ...
    • apt edit-sources ...

    (1) CLI → Command-Line Interface

  • It's always important to double check from credible sources. If I am that interested, I will go look for the source myself. If I am not that interest, I just label it as a possibility, but never a certain.




  • Can you trust All Teachers anywhere to be your sole source of education?  Like any profession (or media/methodology), there are 10 to 30% that are Great, 50 tp 50% that are just average, and 10 to 30% that don't seem to care or even have a clue how to do their jobs.   Think Doctors, Lawyers, Auto Mechanics, Dentists, etc.  It's hard to find the Best/greatest in any of these profession.  And sad when you get someone who should no longer be doing it.   I find online/video learning to be good at getting pinpoint help in a specific area.

  • It is best to seek industry pros or those who verify their sources and material and have positive community feedback.

    Although sometimes accidental, misinformation can be dangerous and misleading!

  • Agree. I would stick to accredited sources.

  • With any information put your filter on. 

  • It's getting harder and harder knowing who to trust nowadays. I agree that teachertube and khan academy are definitely credible!

  • Yeah, as much as I often talk about the utility of having "high quality" educational content on so many subjects on Youtube, and that it's at times better and more efficient than traditional classes, it has to be said that most of the stuff around is entertainment by laypeople, not rigorous or considered material. 

    I think it's something we just have to learn - like in school, along with "Wikipedia is only a starting point, not a source", or "TV ads are there to manipulate you (and so is the rest of TV). Youtube videos - many of them from big channels anyway - may be less bad, may be from enthusiasts, but they are there to get clicks and should not be treated as automatically authoritative, depending on who is making them.


    Of course we must verify our sources in school and in our career.  But, that's kinda my point.

    Many tout the virtues of "new media" over "legacy media".  But, I grew up in a time when I could both learn from PBS and trust what I learned from PBS.  As a young adult, do you know what they showed on The History Channel?  Shows about Napolean Napoleon, Genghis Khan, and the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.  Do you know what they showed on The Science Channel?  Shows about the universe, great inventors, and great inventions.

    What do they show now?  There are more shows about real history on The Science Channel.  And there are more shows about real science on The History Channel.  And neither are showing much of either.

    As a "seasoned" adult, I discovered YouTube (and other platforms).  At first, I was learning things I did not know.  But, I'd hear new information on one channel—echoed on another channel—but, with slightly different details.  Why?  Usually, one of the channels simply misspoke.  The person reversed some numbers, used the wrong unit of measurement, or mispronounced or misused a key word.  Not great.  But, forgivable.

    Other times, like when OTW appears on David Bombal's channel, the topic is in my area of expertise.  Then I catch blatant errors.  Blatant errors... from an expert?  Without offering a correction?  Or pointing out the mistake? smh

    What about when the "expert" is speaking about other topics?  Topics about which I know little?  How often I'm I misinformed?

    Which brings me to my main point.  How many topics are in a child's area of expertise?  Children don't have "areas of expertise".  Some children may know more than average adults about a particular subject.  Depending on the child and the adult, some children may know more about every subject.  And only exceptional children know more than their teacher—about the subject the teacher teaches.  But, that happens.  When I've seen it, I feel embarrassed for the teacher.

    Most children—and many adults—have no idea when they are being misinformed.  An honest educator will not only correct their mistakes, but they will make a lesson about the virtue of admitting when we've made a mistake.

    So much of YouTube is filled with charlatans.  Novices pretending to be experts.  Nitwits pretending to be great thinkers.  And doing such a poor job editing out their mistakes, that they become easy to catch.

    But, only for those who are carefully looking—and carefully listening.  To everyone else, the novices are experts.  The nitwits are great thinkers.

    I take it personally.  I've had at least one disastrous relationship—with a misinformed woman—who also loved to argue.  If only one or the other had not been so, I may have proposed to that woman.  Instead, I dumped her over a dozen times—each lasting 1 week—before we finally broke up.

    The final dumping stuck.  That's lasted for 27 years.  I wonder where she is now? lol

    btw- I know she became an attorney.  The courtroom is a perfect place for her.  A place where the facts don't matter as much as the doubt she creates in the mind of the juror. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯