In the world of technology the methods of learning have changed significantly, from traditional means like reading books to revolutionary methods like watching and learning from videos. Nowadays, users can find on Internet almost everything that concerns the process of learning, such as online educational video libraries and the recently added services of massive open online courses.
Users can find answers to their problems, improve their knowledge or they can just learn and study new things over the Internet. For this reason, we thought to present the best choices one can have when deciding to start using this kind of services to study from home.
Best 5 Online Educational Videos Websites
Massive open online courses (MOOC) are a new method when it comes to learning that became very popular in the first part of 2012. Its big advantage is that students can organize their own schedule in order to maximize their spare time.
Watching a video represents a good way of learning because users can pause, zoom or rewind it to hear again the information when something is not clear. This kind of things cannot be done in a normal class and that’s why the online services offer a good way to resolve all problems that a student can encounter in a normal classroom.
Coursera is an educational company founded by two professors from Stanford University that offers through its website over 400 massive open online courses. It works with many universities to make their courses available online for worldwide users and organizes them in categories like engineering, biology, mathematics, computer science, food and nutrition, social sciences and more.
Courses are structured in chapters and at the final of every week users have to make assignments and homework and fulfill it before a particular deadline. If users complete their homework and respect their deadlines, they will gain a certificate of completion that is usually accredited by the professors that lectured the course. The interesting thing about it is that it offers courses for foreign students in their own language too: Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Arabic and German.
Users have to be committed to do all these things in order to really learn something. Usually, there are different sets of problems and quizzes that have to be made every week in order to strengthen their knowledge and videos with lectures that last between five minutes and one hour length. Furthermore, the videos can be watched using Flash Player or HTML 5, both having the option to display subtitles in English. In order to offer a common space for students, they created a forum where users from all over the world can meet and learn from one another.
Coursera’s services are free for everybody and all that is needed to start using it is to sign up here for an account and enroll to any course. Keep in mind, that almost every course offers some sort of accreditation which can be very useful in every CV.
Udacity is a website which contains massive open online courses that has the motto: “audacious for you, the student”. The thing that stands for this particular website is that all of the courses are openly available. Basically, there are no starting or finishing dates so each student can make his own schedule and work in his pace in order to complete the course.
This service is the result of the growth of the number of students that wanted to attend to the free computer science classes that were offered in 2011 at Stanford University. With time it evolved and now it has 28 online courses for all types of levels that are organized in 7 categories: Biology, Business, Computer Science, Design, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.
The course format consists of several units that contain video lectures and different quizzes that are intended to help students to reinforce the things that they studied. In addition, each chapter is followed by a homework which also doesn’t have a deadline, so nothing constrains students to change their schedule. Also, they can go back and take the quizzes or to read the material again in order to revise everything before the final exam.
The final exam can be taken whenever the user feels that he is prepared and after passing it, Udacity gives a certificate signed by the instructor indicating the users’ level of knowledge. All in all there is a good chance to find the course needed on this website, so sign up now for free and start learning like in the 21st century.
Academic Earth is a website that was launched in 2009 which offers a big library with online video courses from universities with big fame, such as Berkeley, UCLA, Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Oxford and Yale. All of the courses are categorized in subjects like Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Medicine, Law and many more.
Practically, this website offers the chance for worldwide students that don’t have the resources to access the class rooms of one of the elite institutions from USA and other countries. It has a simple interface and includes over 500 full courses and thousands of lectures that are accessible for free to all students.
Unlike the usual courses that can be found on other massive open online courses websites, Academic Earth takes everything to another level because they record the actual class rooms where professors are lecturing in front of the students. Also, they offer “Playlists” where students can find some lectures from famous speakers (Larry Page, Tim Draper or Guy Kawasaki) concerning present-day topics.
A nice thing that users can find on the website is the “Video Electives” section, where students can find answers to their questions in a neat and funny way. They can find courses like “Practical Math: How to take a punch” or “How the End of World War II Made Us Fat” and watch, share or debate them with other users.
WatchKnowLearn is a portal where students and people who want to learn more things can find educational videos on the Internet. It has over 50 thousand videos indexed placed in over five thousand categories and subcategories. For example, in the Mathematics category students will find subcategories like “Measurement” or “Algebra” that are themselves divided in other subjects.
All videos are selected from all over the Internet, direct links and important information (rating, description, age level and more) are provided for each one of them. It’s a place where parents don’t have to worry about letting their children to surf over the website, because it has a toggle where they can specify and set an age filter, between 1-18 years.
Another nice thing is that the videos are available for everybody without having to pay any fees or to create an account. Furthermore, professors and educators can organize different videos into a “classroom” where students can fathom all their acquirements. In addition, the website’s interface can be changed in Spanish or Chinese, two of the most spoken languages worldwide.
Having over 41 million videos watched and being one of the biggest online educational video libraries, WatchKnowLearn represents a good starting point for somebody that wants to study something new or just to reinforce his knowledge about a particular subject.
Brightstorm is a website where students can prepare online for taking the SAT, ACT, PSAT and other national tests. Besides the test preparation videos, this site has classes for other subjects that are organized in 3 major categories: Math, Science and English where users can find over 3 thousand short videos lectured by professors with PhD or Masters.
The most interesting feature implemented in this site is the InstaMath application. With the help of it, students can resolve math problems regarding subjects like basic math, pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus and statistics. Basically, users of a subscribed account can type a math problem and the app will do it for you, showing every step that was made including a video with them.
If Brightstorm managed to have a good grip on you, go to their official site and subscribe to their services or watch and learn from the limited number of free videos. They have three types of payment plans: Starter for $9.99 monthly (all videos from only one subject), Plus for $17.99 (for two subjects) and Premium for $29.99 (for all of the 19 subjects).
Developers created also an application compatible with iOS devices where students can watch short videos, save subjects and textbooks that can be downloaded for free from iTunes.