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Academic Earth Offers Free Educational Videos

6 Feb/10

Look it up on the Internet. That’s what most tech-savvy people do if they encounter a problem or run into difficulties. The Internet is a vast resource of knowledge but that knowledge is usually located on different websites.

That’s what Richard Ludlow, the founder of Academic Earth, noticed when looking for help in linear Algebra. He did found a full video course online by MIT professor Gilbert Strang as well as other courses offered by other universities.

An idea to aggregate all those educational videos came to his mind and Academic Earth was founded.

Academic Earth is an educational video portal that aggregates free lectures and instructions from academic universities like Standford, MIT, Yale or Harvard.

The goal of Academic Earth is to provide free access to high quality educational videos. A total of 60 full courses and almost 2400 lecturers have already been made available on the website with additional videos being added frequently to the site.

Lectures and courses can be accessed by subject, university, instructors or playlists. Available subjects include computer science, law, economics and medicine among others.

Playlists are pre-compiled collections of lectures selected by editors that are based on specific themes like first day of a freshman year, the nature of evil or money makes the world go round.

The interface of Academic Earth is simply but sufficient. Some users might miss social features such as commenting on lectures, a discussion forum, custom playlists or a company blog which would add to the use of the site in the long run.

Lectures that are part of a course link to the other parts of the course from the individual video pages making it easy to follow the course. There is also an interesting dim the lights feature that darkens everything on the screen but the lecture itself making it easier to follow.

All courses and lectures offered are from US-American universities and therefor offered in the English language. It would be nice if lectures and courses from foreign universities would be a welcome addition.

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