Friday, April 19, 2013

Educational websites: Learn

cyberia: on campus

Scouring the web for useful educational resources

Interactive Classes
Udacity is an initiative to “bring accessible, affordable, engaging, and highly effective higher education to the world”. The service seeks to help you invent your future through free interactive college classes that anyone can take at any time. You can find courses in subjects including computer science, web development, artificial intelligence, algebra, differential equations, statistics, physics, and a whole lot more. The website will provide you with the tools to track your progress and manage your courses; perform interactive, project-based exercises; benefit from real world examples; and become a part of an active community. You will also earn a certificate of completion as soon as you’ve finished the course to show what you know. So whether you want to supplement your current course material, brush up on concept you learned years ago, or take subjects that are not offered at your school, then simply sign up for an Udacity account and start taking classes for free right now. (You will, however, need a relatively high speed internet connection to browse the courses seamlessly, and you might not be able to access the videos as they are hosted on YouTube; luckily though, the courses can be downloaded to overcome these access issues, but keep in mind that the zips are quite bulky.)

Directory of Open Access Journals
Everyone working on an elaborate project or thesis will, at one point or another, have to look for published research journals for reference. And with the Directory of Open Access Journals, that search just became a lot easier. This website helps users find open access journals that “use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access”. All the content it links to is freely available. DOAJ wants to “increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals, thereby promoting their increased usage and impact”. The site covers all subjects, and goes through periodicals that publish research or review papers in full text, making use of academic, government, commercial, and non-profit private sources. DOAJ aims to “be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content”, and, in short, hopes to “be THE one stop shop for users of open access journals” online.

General Knowledge
How Stuff Works
How do Swiss bank accounts work? How does the rotating detonation engine function? What is relativity? How is an electric guitar different from an acoustic guitar? How does the PlayStation 4 work? And what would happen if you travelled faster than the speed of light? You can find out all that and more at Discovery Communications’ HowStuffWorks, a treasure trove of general knowledge about everything under the sun. A source of “credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works”, the website aims to “demystify the world and do it in a simple, clear-cut way that anyone can understand”. From technology, culture, and entertainment to science, money, and home & garden, you can find content in a wide array of categories. Be it car engines or search engines, cell phones or stem cells, or thousands of subjects in between, HowStuffWorks has it covered, offering comprehensive articles, helpful graphics, and informative videos to explain every topic clearly, simply, and objectively. The website is chock full of informative content that is both interesting and well presented. So if you want info on something related to your studies, want to increase your general knowledge, or want to discover a concept just for fun, then HowStuffWorks is there to help you understand the topics of your choice.

- S.A.

Us Magazine, The News - 18th April, 2013

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