I read this up on Wikipedia – Abraham Lincoln’s formal education was for a mere 18 months. The lawyer, legislator and later the builder of a nation, was by and large a self educated man. For the sake of a debate, would Abe have been as great a man if he had been born in the 20th or 21st century; with our many educational opportunities and the World Wide Web? I always believe that a great of one era can become a great of another.
Education has never been as accessible as in our present times. Disregarding the high tuition fees of some, I would say it has also never been as much a bang for each buck as now. And there are places you can educate yourself without spending a penny. For example – The World Wide Web.
The web is not only about movies, music, tweets and the unmentionable word. It is also perhaps the greatest learning miracle after the innovation of printing. Information cannot replace education but it can certainly drive it. That’s what some of the online educational websites are doing. Or looking at the variety of knowledge they make us open up to, let’s call them educational portals.
An Online Center of Learning”¦
- CosmoLearning is an educational website built around the thought that if education has to be free and accessible – the web is the way to do it.
- CosmoLearning is a free online school with video lectures, courses, documentaries, books, quizzes, lecture notes and more in a variety of media formats.
- CosmoLearning has been designed according to traditional curriculum standards, but with an added intent to bring them all together on the web.
- CosmoLearning is an educational website both for the teacher and the pupil alike. Anyone, who has a passion for learning anywhere and anytime.
- CosmoLearning is a creation of two teenaged siblings. Look them up on the About page or say hello to them on Facebook.
The First Day at School”¦
It’s neither as nerve wracking nor as expectantly exciting as the one we once faced in the real world. The reason is that online education is not new fangled as a concept these days. The novelty quotient would lie in the treatment given to an age old process.
Enrollment is not through the headmaster’s office and the cashier, but through a simple registration form and it’s free.
The Subjects in the Syllabus”¦
All learning at CosmoLearning is through the courses on various subjects and there is a huge list of them…29 in all. The Academic Subjects are arranged alphabetically on a left panel. From basic sciences to new age ones like entrepreneurship are given a class (old “˜age’ ones like Religion and Mythology too find their space).
Let’s not forget the extra-curricular subjects”¦often neglected, but many go on to careers in them. Look at the subject choices below.
The Teaching Aids”¦
This is the age of convergence and education is all the better because of it. Supporting the courses are Video Lectures, Image Files and Documentaries. Each gets a large chunk of server space.
There are 6184 video lectures as of now arranged around Video Type (Animation, Guest Lecture, Interview etc), Topics, Contributors, Alphabetically, Most Viewed, Top Rated et.al. Just let me say, that you won’t get lost searching for a specific video.
The Documentary list is on the same rich vein – 389 in all. I took a look at some truly good ones – Stephen Hawking’s speech in honor of NASA’s 50th Anniversary really perked my interest.
After these two, mentioning the bank of 733 images seems almost like an anti-climax. But it’s a small but focused collection.
Similarly tiny but open to growth is the small library of books. For now, it’s poetry centric.
All the content on CosmoLearning is arranged for easy navigation on subject specific panels. You can go to your favorite subjects or jump into the Top 10 Lists or the latest that has come in (via the News feed or the Recently Added lists).
Where does all this content come from?
No, it’s not “˜manufactured’ by the brother sister team behind the site. All of it comes from contributions from some of the most well known names and independent contributors. You can check them out on any of the pages for Courses, Videos, Images or Documentaries. You have Harvard University rubbing shoulders with Golf Tips Magazine. All content is free and the site exhorts contributors to pitch in whole-heartedly.
School ‘Report Card'”¦
A young site but a blossoming one. Some subjects could do with more content as time goes by. Inspite of an impressive lineup of contributors and contributions, CosmoLearning also suffers from a basic weak spot. I believe that for a learner it’s very important to have a roadmap for his learning”¦that’s defined by curricula. The path from the first lesson to the last, to gain some mastery in a specific study is what’s missing.
But CosmoLearning is an impressive attempt to gather together a horn of plenty of educational resources. The site is well structured and a breeze to go through. It is definitely not a last stop for your educational needs but it does deserve a stop on your learning curve.
How do you use educational websites? As a launching pad or as support material? Let us know”¦
Image Credit: Avolore