December 7, 2011

Education masters on web

We’re in the age of information. There, I put that straight up. We are not in the dark ages where our only source for information was the public library. It is just a Google query away. Or if Siri is the next big technology, its just a matter of picking your phone up and asking it.
We are free to learn whatever catches our fancy, from the most fascinating to the most bizarre. The web also makes learning a two-way street, enabling you to learn at your pace and adding a certain amount of intuitiveness while at it.
But for education to be meaningful, it must have a certain amount of structure and it is best delivered in the form of a ‘course’. The web sites listed below help you do just that.
On Udemy, you can find courses here from dance to making coffee to the obvious realm of coding and design lessons. Being a Silicon Valley firm, they also routinely put up lessons about startups and the like. I signed up for a course of the basics of Photoshop CS5 and its been a good experience.
You can also design your own course with slideshows or videos or both.
The Khan Academy started from a simple idea when an doting uncle made small, simple videos for his nephews. He decided to make this videos open to everyone and people wanted to see more of this. That’s how the Khan Academy grew and now counts The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation amongst its board. The site features an astounding range of videos on many subjects. From simple math to complex accounting lessons. They have also started adding practise exercises to make the process that much more intuitive.
This is how code should be taught. Start off with some really simple exams that even the old hag grandma next door can do and slowly walk them through as the difficulty increases. It’s just so simple that it works. I would, however, love to see a voice guide. Some people respond better to audio aid.

Here’s another awesome platform to learn coding online. Website’s designed to mimic the feel of a school. Tonnes of videos, interactive tutorials and the use of ‘gamification’ to improve grasping.

When the big daddy of the web starts offering tutorials, you better sit up and take note. With courses divided into 8 sections, we have quite a comprehensive list of coding goodies. My only gripe is that they don’t have video content from their insanely talented engineers.

The learning phase in education is all about consuming media. Be it a blackboard, a paper book, videos or anything else for that matter. Stepping away from the class of online video/interactive learning, we have who provide textbooks for the iPad.
Kno fully utilizes the iPad for what it is, a great consumption device. It is a joy to read a Kno textbook on an iPad with all the interactive features the books have on offer. Another huge advantage I see is that kids wont have to lug heavy textbooks to class, incur the huge costs of the textbooks and actually learn better while at it. can be accessed via Facebook and the Web apart from the iPad. While I wouldn’t really recommend the Facebook app given all the social distractions, the Web readers gets a thumbs up from me.

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