I’ve posted previously about accessing lectures from prestigious universities via the Academic Earth site. Today I found Udemy – Academy of You. This too is a site that has videos of courses from several well know universities, including Stanford, UCLA, and Yale. With a whole range of subjects covered. At a glance, there doesn’t seem to be as many available here as on Academic Earth, but the significant thing is that anyone can register and create courses on Udemy, in “less than 5 minutes” is the claim.
You can use video and presentations, and there is the option for tutors and students to interact live using chatrooms and whiteboards. There is also integration with video hosting sites and Slideshare the presentation hosting site to make things easier if you already have content online you want to use.
Tutors can charge a fee for their courses and Udemy charges for this.
This video explains:
To me this is an interesting and exciting concept.
Sometimes you encounter something that changes your own mindset, the way you work, the way you want to do things. You want to get involved, to make this better. I’ve just come across one such idea.
The work of the CK-12 Foundations is mindblowingly excellent. Their mission is to create access to cheap textbooks both for the US and Worldwide. How will they achieve this? Well, they’re pioneering the ‘Flexbook‘, which is an open-content, web-based collaboration model where it’s possible to take Creative Commons Licensed content from one of the available standard text on the site and repurpose it for the learning experience required. This is achieved using the online software to extract chapters or sections from the text, mix it with your own content from a Word file for example, and package it together into a ‘book’ that can be exported to a pdf file for printing out and use with learners.
This seems like an interesting concept. It’s a site set up by students looking at bringing together in one location freely available online textbooks. The idea of introducing and using such material in lecture courses by both academics and the student population is rather an appealing concept in the present financial climate. This also works well for the idea of informal learning and open educational resources (OER).
The categories across the top of the page seem a little sparse at present, hopefully this will change soon. However, passing your mouse over the Books link reveals two menu items By Subject and By License. The By Subject item shows a useful list of subject to choose from.
Then clicking on any of these items provides a list of available books, with title, author and license arrangements listed.
If you have knowledge of any books that could be added to the lists, then there is an option to submit them.
Each of the different sites is of the same format, generally with terms categorized into theories and theorists, or their equivalent for the particular subject. Each of the terms is then defined, in a similar way to that in a dictionary or glossary of terms. The definitions are trawled from primary or secondary sources, and you can suggest amendments or additions.
There also tends to be a couple of useful links out from each site, be that to a discussion forum or online journals, etc.
These appear to be useful sites to students of the subjects, however, these aren’t my particular subject areas, so, as always, you’d need to assess them against other sources to validate accuracy.