Posts about online courses

Online Education in Science, Engineering and Medicine

The National Academies state that they want to develop websites, podcasts, and printed information featuring the topics in science, engineering, and medicine that concern you the most, and that you’d like to understand better. Great. I am very disappointed in how little great material is available now (from them, and others).

Fill out their survey and hope they hire some people that actually understand the web. I must say the survey seems very lame to me.

The internet provides a fantastic platform for those that have an interest in increasing scientific literacy. But there is still very little great material available. There are a few great resources but there should be a great deal more. The National Academies of Science have a particularly stilted web presence – it is as though the web were just a way to distribute pages for people to print out. Though they are very slowly getting a bit better, adding a small amount of podcasts, for example. While hardly innovative, for them, it is a step into the 21st century, at least.

Some of the good material online: Public Library of ScienceScience BlogsEncyclopedia of LifeThe Naked ScientistsBerkeley Course WebcastsBBC Science NewsMIT OpenCourseWare (though it is very lacking in some ways at least they are trying) – TEDMayo ClinicNobel PrizeSciVee

It seems to me universities with huge endowments (MIT, Harvard, Yale, Standford…), government agencies (NSF, National Academies), museums and professional societies should be doing much more to create great online content. I would increase funding in this area by 5 to 10 times what is currently being dedicated right now, and probably much more would be wise. I believe funding this would be most effective way to spend resources of those organizations on what they say they want to support.

General Biology Berkeley Course Webcast

General Biology Course at University of California – Berkeley, Fall 2007. Instructors John Forte, R Fischer and R Malkin. “General introduction to cell structure and function, molecular and organism genetics, animal development, form and function. Intended for biological sciences majors, but open to all qualified students.” A great service from Berkeley with video and audio… Topics include: Macromolecules structure and function, How cells function-an introduction to cellular metabolism and biological catalysts, Microbes – Viruses, Bacteria, Plasmids, Transposons and Homeostasis: The body’s defenses.

Related: Science and Engineering Webcast DirectoryHarvard Course: Understanding Computers and the InternetBerkeley and MIT courses onlineArizona State Science Studio PodcastsGoogle Tech Talks

UC-Berkeley Course Videos now on YouTube

About a year ago I posted that UC-Berkeley Course Videos were available on Google Video. Well now the
Berkeley YouTube site includes even more videos of Berkeley lectures. They include those listed on Google Video that I mentioned last year such as Physics for Future Presidents and Search Engines (by Sergey Brin) and more.

They currently have 201 videos posted. Hopefully they will add many more.

Does anyone else have the annoying delay on pages with YouTube videos? My entire browser locks up for probably 15 seconds on average now for any page that has an embedded YouTube video (not always but very often now). I find this very annoying.

Related: Science and Engineering Webcast DirectoryMore Great Webcasts: Nanotech and moreGoogle Technology Talks

Harvard Course: Understanding Computers and the Internet

Harvard Extension School – Computer Science E-1: Understanding Computers and the Internet

This course is all about understanding: understanding what’s going on inside your computer when you flip on the switch, why tech support has you constantly rebooting your computer, how everything you do on the Internet can be watched by others, and how your computer can become infected with a worm just by turning it on. In this course we demystify computers and the Internet, along with their jargon, so that students understand not only what they can do with each but also how it all works and why. Students leave this course armed with a new vocabulary and equipped for further exploration of computers and the Internet. Topics include hardware, software, the Internet, multimedia, security, website development, programming, and dotcoms. This course is designed both for those with little, if any, computer experience and for those who use a computer every day.

Nice job. via: Learn How The Darn Thing Works … from Harvard

Related: University of California, Berkeley course videosTechnology Talks at GoogleEngineering and Science Webcast LibrariesLectures from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Open Course Ware from Japan

Soccer Robots from Osaka University

A number of Japanese Universities are creating open courseware, in cooperation with MIT’s OpenCourseWare initiative (which has spawned the OCW Consortium).

Osaka University OpenCourseWare offers courses in English including: Theory in Materials Science | Fluid-Solid Multiphase Flow

Kyoto University OpenCourseWare aims to:

share information in consideration of the fact that sixty percent of visitors to MIT’s OCW project come from Asia. We will make active use of Japanese in building OpenCourseWare, to recruit talented students from all over Asia as well as to promote the Kyoto University education, with Kyoto’s culture and traditions, to the world at large.

Many of the courses are available in Japanese, some are available in English, including: Applied Pharmacology

Tokyo Tech OpenCourseWare courses include: Advanced Signal ProcessingGuided Wave Circuit Theory and Mixed Signal systems and Integrated Circuits.

The Nagoya University OpenCourseWare brings free courseware to the Internet. Currently several courses are available in English including, Basics of Bioagricultural Sciences. They aim to post 25 courses initially.
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Berkeley and MIT courses online

Huge amount of University of California Berkely webcasts of course lectures. Subscribe to RSS feeds and listen to podcasts or listen online.

Courses include: General Biology, Solid State Devices and Introductory Physics. Course websites include handouts for the lectures.

A great open access resource.

I can’t believe I have mentioned MIT open courseware before but a search didn’t find anything. MIT’s effort is an excellent resource, many on science and engineering: Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, etc..

MIT also includes the excellent: Visualizing Cultures – a gateway to seeing history through images that once had wide circulation among peoples of different times and places by John Dower (author of National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winning: Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II) and Shigeru Miyagawa.