Dear Mr. Google, how can you find me something new to learn online? I’ve been to the regular boring e-learning sites. I want someone unique, something different that I can sit lazily at home while discover how to do some cool stuff. So, any ideas?
In today’s era of digital technology, eLearning is becoming a mainstream activity where virtually everyone must had learned something useful from the world wide web. eLearning websites have been around for decades with pioneering sites like HowStuffWorks.com which has been educating us for almost 20 years. Today, online learning has evolved to MOOC (massive open online course) where you get to enrol in free online courses to getting online degrees from respectable universities.
But within the hundreds of online educational websites out there, there are some that stood out by offering unique learning experiences. Here are some of those unsung heroes who are contributing to the basic human right to education, albeit the online way.
You may have heard of this website but it’s certainly worth mentioning here. “Instructables is place that lets you explore, document, and share your creations”, as conveniently stated on their site. It’s very much a cross between the ever-popular classic magazine, Popular Mechanics and YouTube. Anyone could upload their own creations and show people how they did it. You can learn from others on how they built their own solar-powered bicycle to how to get a free yacht! The most popular DIY projects are about electronics, practical homemade tools and gardening.
CreativeLive is an online education website that broadcasts live creative classes for free. They focus on art-related lectures such as audio and video, art and design, music and more. Once they had as many as 150,000 students watching in their live broadcast. Their classes are actually hosted from their four in-house studios. For those that can’t make it to their online live show, you can get the recorded version for a fee. A very intriguing business model I must say. According to Geekwire, instructors get a share of that revenue and the company has paid out $3.5 million. Several instructors have pulled in more than $100,000, but the average runs in the $10,000 to $20,000 per class.
Qoach (pronounced as “coach”), is a firm a believer of progressing sports coaching into the online mainstream. Although some of us do prefer face-to-face coaching but you may not have the best coaches living around your area. Being a former athlete, I struggled with the trouble of getting the right coach or club to train with. Hence, the sole purpose of this website is to break down this geographical barrier by offering hundreds of free sports eLearning courses. The courses contain thousands of online videos curated from the best trainers from around the world. Today, this site covers 27 different sports with different levels of competencies, from beginner to professional. Some of the popular disciplines are football (American), soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, swimming and even eSports.
I believe it’s pronounced as “wise ant”. This website is not your regular online learning site per se because they actually offer one-to-one learning. But they do give you the options to learn in-person with their instructors or meeting them online via their free online tool or mobile app. It was reported that they have 2 million registered users, from kindergartners to PhD candidates and their highest-paid tutor earned a whopping $120,000! The website helps to match students with their instructors and they cover different grades of education, from elementary to college and adults.
If you’d want to share your presentation slides, you would probably share it on SlideShare. But slides can be too brief for anyone to understand without the speaker. So, why don’t someone figure out a way for speakers to present online with their slides. That’s exactly what the creator of PresentationTube is doing. They curate hundreds of presentation slides with narrations from the authors and literally list them all on their website. Here’s an interesting feasibility study slides on opening Starbucks in Afghanistan.
If you or your kid is struggling to grasp the understanding of mathematics, this site could be a life-saver. BetterExplained.com, as its name implies, helps to better explain math without memorization. There are over 85 articles dedicated to help us understand complex equations in calculus, algebra and more. The author, Kalid Azad from Princeton University, uses creative concepts to teach especially by utilizing analogy such as relating learning math to playing Tetris or Mega Man video games. Or imagining trigonometry like the anatomy of the human body. Azad is gracious enough to make all his compelling mathematical contents available to all via the Creative Commons license.