As an avid student I often wonder what the future of the school system holds. With an increasing amount of education now open online the old notion connecting school with knowledge has been destroyed. Presently, it would be utterly impossible for anyone with an internet connection to study even a fraction of what is available online.
The school system will continue to exist as it hides behind the notion of credibility (as if history majors or economists require credentials for example), however the question will be how the system either embraces the change that technology has granted us with or stands pat to traditional and outdated approaches.
There may be no better program for the understanding of basic mathematics than the Khan Academy online. Hopefully a sign of things to come, some schools (check here) have piloted Khan Academy in the classroom. Esplori is in the process of taking things one step further. Federico Pistono, the founder of Esplori, hopes to bridge the language gap between open online education tools and the language barriers known to humanity. The potential of this idea is fantastic and has the ability to change the world on a large-scale, giving people who never had a chance, the tools to make a difference. The future of education is bright. The responsibility is now on humans to realize the importance of education and make a difference.
Here are some of the tools I now use in my journey to learn basic computer science, physics, science (in general), all forms of math, and other various fields.
Khan Academy – As previously discussed, the single best tool to learn math (3rd grade to Basic Calculus). The Khan Academy has also been branching out to fields such as physics, chemistry, and even humanities. Although, the tools are much more limited in those fields. Recently, Khan Academy has developed a pretty in-depth Java programming course.
Physics Forums – A forum is a great place to go to duplicate the school atmosphere as you will have professors, enthusiasts and other students there to bounce ideas from. If you happen to have an interest other than physics, search your particular field! I’m sure there are forums out that would fit your needs.
Codeacademy – Learn computer programming for free!
Educator.com – I’ve just signed up here and have enjoyed checking some of the countless lectures that they have available. I will be using their lectures to supplement my physics courses.
List of free science books – A list of over 100 free science books! Textbooks and popular science books are available free to download. I imagine for whatever particular field you are interested in that free books list exists via a simple Google search.
Whereas these are just the tools that I use, there is a plethora of other options available online. Coursera, MIT lectures and even simple java scripted programs to help you understand topics exist. Personal blogs are another excellent resource for the determined reader.
I leave you with Salman Khan’s 2011 Ted talk: