How many times do you find yourself at the computer doing absolutely nothing ? Some people find themselves sitting at home with little to do. Most may look at a college website like the University of Southern California to see if they can sign up for online courses, but if you aren’t looking for that type of learning experience: Here are some useful resources, websites you should visit daily for learning new stuff and feeding you brain with positive, useful information.
Utilize 10 Minutes Daily to Learn Useful Stuff, Gather Knowledge Online
1. Qwiki – Futuristic Talking Encyclopaedia, Search Engine
Qwiki (Link) is an online search tool, information aggregator application which let you audio-visually learn about all sorts of topics. Type in a query and as if by magic, in seconds Qwiki prepares a multimedia presentation with voice, video, data charts and photos. And if you’re inspired, you can always choose to see the day selection.
Here is a quick example of how Qwiki works (I searched for my city Kolkata)
Why I think Qwiki so unique is, apart from it being like a futuristic, rich experience with a voice narrating onscreen knowledge, text about the topic to you. In fact hence its a perfect wiki tool for your mobile device, tablet pc etc. With graphs, maps, visual clips and speech this is surely now one my daily sites. If you are knowledge hungry youll find Qwiki your favourite companion. Plus it can be a great learning tool for kids.
2. The Wikipedia : A Powerhouse of Textual Knowledge and Information
Who doesn’t know about Wikipedia ? It is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopaedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 18 million articles (over 3.5 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site.
Wikipedia currently supports content in 260 different languages and there are over 75,000 authors on Wikipedia, responsible for constantly maintaining and adding to the sites database.
The pages of Wikipedia are under constant supervision by over 1,500 administrators. The problem with this is that when a person edits a pages content with new information that has yet to be released to the public, said information is removed.
For example, when searching for an Episode Guide for your favourite television show, youll often find 10 to 20 future episodes and their descriptions; however, the administrators will remove all of the future episodes except for the one that airs the following week.
Most of the articles on Wikipedia can be edited by users that havent even registered an account on the site.
3. Improve Your English with BBC
There are countless number of free online resources that offer english courses. Among them, the BBC Learning English has a huge amount of online learning material as well as a wide selection of games, quizzes, crosswords and other interesting flash games that will help you take advantage of your free time to give a boost to your English and keep up with the news alongside. However, these free tools can only really be used as a test of your English skills, and are not necessarily going to help you learn the English language. However, programs such as the Effortless English Club aim to get people speaking fluent English in only 2 or 3 months. While a tool like this does cost money, it is indisputably a more sophisticated, helpful way of helping people to learn English. As mentioned, crosswords and related puzzles and games are great resources for learning, whether that be for English or another subject. Teachers may find the WordMint crossword maker a useful tool for creating resources for their students.
4. Inspiring Speeches at TED
Everyone likes to know what’s coming in the future. And if you’re tired of unrealistic stuff shown in TV, then switch to the awesome TED videos. TED is a non-profit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.
TEDTalks (Link) shares the best ideas from the TED Conference with the world, for free: trusted voices and convention-breaking mavericks, icons and geniuses, all giving the talk of their lives in 18 minutes.
Some of my best talks from TED are:
- Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of Sixth Sense
- Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools Kill Creativity
- Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better
5. Khan Academy: Free World Class Education Online
Khan Academy (Link) is a not-for-profit educational organization created by Salman Khan. With the stated mission of “providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”, the website supplies a free online collection of over 2,200+ micro lectures via video tutorials stored on their youtube channel (link), teaching mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and economics.
Students can make use of their extensive video library, practice exercises, and assessments from any computer with access to the web.
All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.