Showing posts from 2012

Initiatives for Online Education (part 2), Coursera vs. Udacity

After finishing CS101 at Coursera, I decided to give Udacity a shot. At first, I was a bit skeptical, particularly that most of the comparisons between Coursera and Udacity that I have met, most of them have praised Udacity's style but none has delved deep into comparing the content.

Let's begin with first things first. What shall I compare here?
- Programming Languages,
- Instructors,
- Content of course,
- Platform,
- Forums, and
- Grading.

* Programming Languages:
 a- Udacity        --> Python 2.x (2.6 or 2.7, not sure)
 b- Coursera     --> Modified version of javascript

In this respect, I am completely biased against Coursera. The modified version of javascript is really easy to grasp and use, but, at the end of the day it is a __modified__ version. The real javascript is much more difficult. Moreover, the course just scratches the surface using javascript.

For me, I think Coursera should have used an unchanged version of a programming language rather than a modified…

Tracking Time, the first step to powerful time management

I am very picky when it comes to adding a piece of software to my favourite apps list. By `my favourite apps list' I mean standalone applications that do not need a browser to run.

 Yet, a very sleek application quickly made it to my fav apps list. The application is called *** Kapow ***. Honestly, I just searched the meaning and it seems to be sort of an impolite word (according to Urban Dictionary) so we will try to ignore meaning of the word, and get to the function of the application.

    Kapow is so simple that it will soon become indispensable to track your time. No much clutter. Just a left panel to add / remove projects, large (start / stop) and cancel buttons to indicate starting or stopping a task, and a simple view with customized columns to see what you have accomplished.

The clue to having life-reflecting data is to start / stop tasks when you really begin or end (pause) working on them. The relatively large buttons make it easy to do this. Tracking your time per da…

Initiatives for Online Education

Online education is growing, and I am glad!

Indeed, some initiatives have been there for a few years now and a handful of well-known universities are maximizing the opportunity for netcitizens to learn.

My favourite part about online education is not being free, but rather is comfort and flexibility.

For example, you can always watch the lectures or read course material during the times that best suit you. If you are a working mother or a busy individual, you can do this over weekends. Even better, you have access to the material everywhere you have an internet connection.

This simply throws the course into your `comfort-zone'. Once there, chances are you will grasp things better and accordingly can benefit yourself and the society from what you have learned.

I bet now you would like to have a list of online-education initiatives. Trust me, at least a couple of the below take knowledge seriously but makes it easy and fun for you.

Here are my favourite initiatives / sites:

1) Cours…