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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Open Courseware Initiative




Notes??
                         The most asked questions throughout my entire engineering life. Engineering books are quite expensive and some college teachers are hopeless. I dont say all my teachers are bad. I really respect my teachers for making me what I am and shaping my thinking and knowledge. But its true that occasionally we meet a teacher who has no idea what he is doing amongst learners. So notes make a big difference in studies. Well my career and education have become a joke as I am still not a recognized engineering graduate in Canada. So I will be giving my engineering exams again, for the third time. Hence, I can award myself the designation as the most experienced and trusted source on engineering course material .

ocw consortium home page

                          I wanted to share these with all my friends and budding engineers who have the above question in mind. Truth Chariot will include various tutorials and thats not what this post is about. While studying for my engineering exams, I came across the Open Courseware Consortium. A gold mine for course material seekers. It wasn't as developed as it is right now, but still helped with some notes for my engineering exams. Various educational institutions around the globe came together to make education available to all via the internet. Noted institutes include - MIT, Indian Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Open University Netherelands, IGNOU etc. There are so many institutions with hundreds of courses.

                         As a jobseeker, we are always looking for better work with good pay and promotions. I can confidently say that all of us , at some point, found our Resume lacking with certain qualifications. So, these resources are for anyone who would like to learn. I will cover certain easy ways to do so. These resources are for everyone, not just engineers. Well known schools, like MIT,  have actually put up an entire year of an undergraduate degree online. MIT has actually compiled courses containing video lectures, assignment, online textbooks, projects and examples, exams and solutions, image galleries, multimedia content. etc
                        How to use these resources and not get lost? Well, lets start the journey by the resource:

WIKIPEDIA:
                        The mother of all open source websites, Wikipedia, quickly established itself and became the most reliable source for knowledge. Initially it was not seen as a reliable source, as people the articles were compiled by internet user. However, Wikipedia put all these rumours to ashes and expanded to also include study resources. Most articles cover a very thorough aspect of the topics.
  • For users who want to dig deep they can refer to the 137(completed) online books at Wikibooks . There are more books awaiting completion.
  • Wikimedia Commons is a bank of open source media that we can use. It contains pictures, videos and sounds categorized under various subjects. Easy to browse.
  • Wikispecies is a collection of information regarding species around the world. 
  • Enroll at Wikiversity, and learn by schools, type, level, participants, learning projects and completion status.
  • Wiktionary - The Wiki Dictionary.

    ITUNES:
    •  ITunes University is a wonderful tool for learners
    • Courses on ITunes U are classified with regards to discipline of study and colleges
    • Power Search allows users to look for specific courses
    • Users can download video/audio tutorials to their computer and play them ITunes offline
    • Simply download ITunes and go to the store.
    • Click on ITunesU and browse through different courses.
    The above two resources easily cover a majority of educational fields and will provide easy learning options. For instance, if one finds it difficult to understand a certain concept in physics, he/she can simply download a video tutorial from ITunes and view it whenever required. Its like having an portable classroom or a teacher at our disposal. This is only a small window peek at a grave world of online courseware. Will keep bringing more resources to the notice of my readers. Enjoy Learning.

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