Now more than ever I have so many friends taking their post secondary education online and it got me thinking. I work from home so I can relate to the experience, and can see how well this sort of thing can work. I'm less distracted at home even though I'm connected to the greatest time waster of all, the Internet. I can also worry less about starting at that beautiful blonde two seats over, which is a bad thing.....right?
At first, the thought of going to school online didn't sink in too well with me. I'm so comfortable with the way I was brought up learning that I had to look past it to change a little. I at first thought that there would be little to no interaction with other "classmates", or how would you get face time with a teacher. Can you guess what I'm going to say next?
Well I was wrong once I saw the education platforms you get access to with most of the established online colleges. Education is big buiness so a good deal of developing has gone into a few platforms that allow you to do just about everything. With a laptop and a good webcam you're able to chat with classmates, talk with your teacher face to face(well sort of) and have instant access to anything you're going to need. Bonus..no need to spend money on paper, pens and whiteout!
While there are new online school's popping up you can still get your education online from dozens of reputable and established universities. Not all of them are unknown's that you'd be embarrased to even admit you went to, digitally. But really that doesn't even matter because soon just about every university and college in the world will have degrees available online
Since I spend a lot of time reviewing and researching web apps I figured there must be a handful of online educational related ones, and I was right. So this goes out to all my friends who otherwise would have no clue that these online resources existed. These are great even if you're not in school, and I've even enjoyed watching lectures for free from some of the greatest minds.
1) Youtube EDU
This is easily my favorite online education resource. Combine the ease of Youtube and the genius of minds across the world and you get Youtube EDU. There have been many channels from school's that you could watch lectures and lesson on, but finally Youtube dedicated a section to it all. Already you have thousands of hours of video on most of the main subjects so brace yourself! Then check back tomorrow and be shocked when you realize how much new stuff is being added daily!
Calling all science nerds! My favorite topic is Physics and Biology so I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of Scitable. So just what is this wonderful new educational social media site? Well Scitable is a free science library and personal learning tool brought to you by Nature Publishing Group. You may have heard of them, they're only the world's leading publisher of science! Scitable is a great place to share you work and view what others are doing in the field of science. It's a great way to get noticed and create some buzz. And if you're working on a paper or project and need some help, then take advantage of the already large userbase. You can engage other people through chat and the online forums that is all available for free.
3) Live Mocha
Live Mocha caught my eye quickly because the concept is so new and fresh it just had to make the list. If you're into learning a language, helping other's learn one or just plain curious then check out Live Mocha. The world is changing at a rapid pace but most of us in North America only speak one language. While a lot of the developed world speaks two or three, we should have the opportunity to learn a language in a fun way. This is where Live Mocha comes in to the web 2.0 world, and yes it is all for free...wahooooooo!
"Livemocha is an exciting e-learning Web 2.0 startup founded by a group of experienced and successful entrepreneurs based in the Seattle area. Livemocha addresses a $20 billion worldwide language learning market fueled by rapid globalization, immigration and travel. Livemocha is a first of its kind web based language learning solution integrating online instructional content with a global community of language learners. Livemocha is a venture funded company backed by Maveron, a leading Seattle based venture firm with tremendous consumer and e-learning expertise."
4) Rate My Professors
Most of you should all be aware of Rate My Professors and while it can be a site for fun, it can also be educational. Researching your teacher's allows you to know what you're in for, and make informed decisions on where to go to school or what classes to take. If you search by school you can find dozens online teacher's for review, and if you're taking school online take a minute to rate your prof's.
5) Prep Me
One of the most successful online test prep sites is without a doubt Prep Me and it's for a good reason. Prep Me is a well rounded test aid that not only teaches you the tricks of making tests easier, but makes sure you're actually improving. While this service isn't free but that's still no biggy. You can't have everything at no cost no matter how much you want it. Prep Me comes with real tutors that help you succeed and help keep you on track.
One of the most important things in life, especially if you're taking on al ot is organization. It has been one of the hardest things I've had to figure out in my life, and I haven't even fully got my life in order. With access to PDA's, netbook's and whatever else you can always be organized and on top of thing. Combine that with Notely.net and you're on your way to handling your entire course load, and perhaps keep track of social events when you have the time.There is a lot of to-do and calender's out there but nothing too geared towards students in general. Notely has features such as a calender, class notes, to-do-list, notebook, organize links and contacts and a lot more so check them out.
7) Grade Guru
Grade Guru is a really cool idea and it has grown quickly and is making waves in the online education realm. Grade Guru lets students easily find notes and test prep from other students to use as a study aid. You can also earn money by uploading your notes which is a great way for students to earn a little extra cash. You can also start groups with peers who are studying the same things as your, and all share in the notes. This feature alone makes it worth signing up with.
8) Vocab Sushi
One thing that I always have struggled with was my vocabulary(and my grammar which is obvious in this article alone). I used to have that toilet paper that would teach you big fancy words but I quickly ran out of it all. Vocab Sushi is the online answer to that toilet paper and then some! The main concept is through fun and free games in which you learn by using the words in real sentances. The key is to make it fun and you'll quickly see your vocabulary raise da roof!
9) Exam Professor
No this isn't a free for all of past tests you can use to cheat with. Exam Professor is however an online test creation tool that allows you to practice and share with your peers. I would say it is kind of like flash cards but in test format which helps get your mind in the mode, and prepared for the real deal. You can do one exam for free and then there are prices for different plans and more exams. The cost isn't that high so it should be fine for any students budget.
10) Green Note
Education isn't cheap, and it seems to be getting more expensive which kind of makes me sick. Online education is great because a lot of your costs are cut WAY down. But everyone still needs help and everyone(hopefully) has a large network of family and friends. Green Note allows you to take advantage of this by getting pledges from your peers to put towards your education. Green Note allows you to take advantage of social media and networks while handling all the legal aspects of taking in the small loans.