Saturday, January 2, 2010

Next Vista for Learning

I wrote about Next Vista last winter when I first discovered the site. Since then I've met the founder of Next Vista, Ruston Hurley, and learned more about the site. Next Vista is a non-profit organization dedicated to hosting and sharing original, educational videos. There are three main video classifications that Next Vista uses. The Light Bulbs category is for videos that teach you how to do something and or provides an explanation of a topic. The Global Views video category contains videos created to promote understanding of cultures around the world. The Seeing Service video category highlights the work of people who are working to make a difference in the lives of others.

The collection of videos has grown substantially since my original review of Next Vista. In particular, the mathematics section of the Light Bulbs category has grown a lot. To continue the growth of the video libraries, Next Vista is interested in hosting and sharing videos created by students. Next Vista is designed for classroom use so all videos are screened for inappropriate and inaccurate content. Next Vista videos can be downloaded directly from the site. The download option is great for teachers that work in schools that have very restrictive web filters.

Applications for Education
Next Vista is a good video resource for classroom use. A good classroom project could be to have students create videos in which they share their favorite mathematics tips. Students can then contribute those videos to Next Vista where they can help other mathematics students.

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30+ Alternatives to YouTube
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Want to Learn a Foreign Language? Free Lessons!

At the risk of stating the obvious, one of the things that I love about the Internet is that there are so many formal and informal learning opportunities. In fact, back in August I wrote about how much easier it is to learn something new today as compared to just fifteen years ago. Open access to learning opportunities is one of the reasons I enjoy Open Culture so much. Open Culture is devoted to the idea of sharing learning opportunities.

Open Culture has an extensive list of free resources for learning thirty-seven different languages. All of the resources in the list can be downloaded to your computer or iPod. When available, Open Culture has linked to the iTunes feed for the learning resources.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Smart.FM - Independent Learning Platform
Learn a Language Through Open University
Learn Spanish -