Being a big Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and Coursera fan already for quite some time, I stumbled upon another internet platform that promises to bring video education to you just today: SlideRule. It searches several online course providers and “helps you discover the world’s best online courses in every subject”. In extension, there also is iversity, which is not yet searched by SlideRule. Have fun studying!
Nowadays, a lot of time of everyday research is spent in front of computers. Especially in data analysis, of course, computers are an elementary part of science. Nevertheless, most researchers still seem to have not gotten a real training in computer science, but tend to just develop their own manners for getting the job done.
Greg Wilson, together with the other members of the software training group Software Carpentry, devotes his time to promoting best practices of the computer science community into other fields of the scientific community. I highly recommend his newly published paper Best Practices for Scientific Computing, in which he lists a number of recommendations for an improved workflow in scientific computing. Also, make sure to check the Software Carpentry homepage, which provides a number of short video tutorials for a bunch of topics that are fundamental to any data analysis.
When it comes to education, I believe in two simple things:
- the more entertaining and exciting we make education, the more people will focus while learning, and the better they will concentrate
- the more senses we manage to involve, the better people will remember what they have learned
One simple way of dealing with both issues is through animated videos. Such animations can be a quite entertaining way to transmit knowledge, while simultaneously addressing both auditory and visual senses.
For a prime example of such animated videos, take a look at the RSA Animate video on Changing Education Paradigms, which is only one of a series of many animated videos of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Even complex economic topics can be presented quite entertaining this way. Simply take a look at the animated video on How the Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio:
These days, I stumbled upon a page on Inktank.fi that contains an extensive list of websites with educational content. Of course, I didn’t have the time to check out all of them yet. However, as some of my favorite websites are on the list, I assume that the others could be worth a glance, too. To give you a short teaser, some websites on the list are:
- Watch thousands of micro-lectures on topics
ranging from history and medicine to chemistry and computer science.
- Educational site that works with universities to get
their courses on the Internet, free for you to use.
- Collection of TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design)
talks in which knowledgeable speakers address a variety
of topics in short videos (< 18 minutes)
- Website packed with introductory courses for
various programming languages and web