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5 Useful eLearning Resources for Students Around the World

Wilekh
16th Aug 2012
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Over the last few years, the internet has evolved from an information source to an interactive learning medium. This change has been primarily driven by the development of new web technologies and penetration of high speed internet connections. Students have a lot to gain out of the e-learning movement as many free and paid e-learning resources are now easily accessible from premiere institutions in the world adding to an enriched learning experience. Some of the interesting and useful e-learning resources for students around the world are:Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created by Salman Khan, a graduate from MIT and Harvard Business School. The website is aimed at providing high quality education to anyone, anywhere and has a collection of 3000+ video tutorials which cover subjects like Mathematics, Physics, History, Astronomy, Economics, Computer Science and a lot more.

With backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Google, Khan Academy has eclipsed MIT’S OpenCourseWare (OCW) in terms of videos viewed. Its YouTube channel has more than 172 million views compared to MIT OCW’s 38 million.

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW)

OCW is initiative of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to make its educational material from undergraduate and graduate level courses available online and openly available to anyone, anywhere. Lecture notes, practice papers, text books, audio lectures as well as video lectures are available for a wide range of courses in the fields of Science, Engineering, Economics, Humanities, Arts and Languages.

The OCW project was announced in October 2002 and uses Creative Commons license for content sharing and distribution. As of now, it has over 2080 courses available of which about 46 have complete video lectures. In 2011, OCW even launched an iPhone app, LectureHall to make video lectures accessible on the go.

NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning)

Jointly carried out by 7 IITs and IISc Bangalore, NPTEL is a Govt. of India sponsored collaborative educational programme. It is aimed to enhance the quality of engineering education in India by developing curriculum based video and web courses for basic undergraduate science and engineering courses.

There are more than 250 courses available on NPTEL with an option of either streaming or downloading the lecture videos.

Codeacademy

This New York based, Y-Combinator company describes itself as “the easiest way to learn how to code”. The founders Zachary Sims and Ryan Bubinski had an initial idea of matching programmers with jobs based on tests and basic programming challenges. During their Y-Combinator journey it evolved into a website that could teach people how to code first and then help them with the job prospects.

Codeacademy currently offers browser based online courses on JavaScript, Python, JQuery, HTML and CSS. It has a simple window in the browser and prompts guide the user to actually learn, write and run the code. To make the learning process more fun it awards badges for completed lessons which can be shared over social networks to help you learn along with your friends. It also keeps a tab of the total score, lessons completed by the user and the trophies earned. To top it all, its free!

Lynda.com

Started way back in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, Lynda.com is the largest online software training company. They started off by opening a training school, writing books about design, moved on to recording video lectures on VHS tapes and then made the courses online in 2002.

Currently Lynda.com has 1,423 courses on subjects like Animation, Business, Design, Photography, Web Development and Video Editing. The learning process is through well detailed and documented video tutorials which can be either accessed online or ordered on DVD. Most of the courses on Lynda.com are not free, but a few are available for free as well.

So how many of these or other learning portals have you used till now and what was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

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