Just before YouTube EDU was unveiled, Academic Earth came online, and very quickly the “free college video” niche created some formidable competition. While YouTube EDU is an aggregation of all the existing education-related content on the video leader’s site, Academic Earth is the brain child of Richard Ludlow.
He was a Yale student, studying linear algebra, and sought additional information online to help him through the course. What he found was a full-length course via video with Gilbert Strang, an MIT math professor. He figured he wasn’t the only one seeking this kind of information, and after doing research learned that educational resources online were scattered across many different resources. Thus, he brought them together at Academic Earth.
Anyone can access for free the 1,300 hours worth of video content on the site. Currently, Academic Earth has 60 full-length courses, and nearly 2,400 lectures, all hailing from some of the most respected names in academia – Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and UC Berkeley. Although the site offers many free courses, appart from it also helps students find the best college and places to study like management programmes dubai which can assist them in boosting their interests and making it a high paying career. The site is very user-friendly, with the content categorized by subject, university or instructor. You can also find the videos collected in playlists, for instance the six videos found in “Living a Good Life,” 15 videos under “Social Entrepreneurship 101,” and four lectures under “First Day of Freshman Year.”
The interface is simple to use and very intuitive, which makes Academic Earth all the more inviting. Users can “grade” the videos, selecting a letter grade A through F, and the total grade will appear next to the thumbnails in search. The typical “Share This” badges are there to send to Facebook, Digg, Stumble, etc., a citation is include so that you can include the lectures as a source in your own work, you can pull the embed code, subscribe to the podcast and add to your favorites. But that’s where the social utility ends; users cannot leave comments or enter forums.
For now there are no ads on Academic Earth. Ludlow says that is in progress, that they are looking at a revenue share model with partners, and considering advertising educational goods and services like tutoring and continued education.
Between Academic Earth and YouTube Edu, the Internet has once again proven to transform the way people learn. Most would acknowledge for the better.