Online Education

          I love watching videos online, especially if they’re trying to teach me something. That’s why I look up tutorials on YouTube a lot of the time, when I had long hair or when I did my make up a lot of the time I’d watch those types of tutorials or when I’m stuck in a certain part of a video game I’ll watch a walk through of how to do something. But tutorials on YouTube give me life… not literally, figuratively. But it’s awesome, I do recommend tutorials for anything you need help with. I also love not just tutorials but learning things, I watch Vsauce a lot of the time for sort of my ‘information fixation’ and sometimes Buzzfeed… but it’s mainly Vsauce.

          However, there are a lot more online educators that many people can use to learn about new things that they wouldn’t have thought of before. I’ll be focusing on five websites, TeacherTube, TED, National Geographic Videos, Australian Screen and CosmoLearning.

          First off is TeacherTube, it’s like a YouTube copy with the colour scheme, they don’t use the YouTube video player but has their own that feels like 2007 YouTube (funnily enough the site launched in 2007). They have videos, audio, photos, documents, groups and classrooms (where it’s like a blog for teachers to have an online classroom). It’s pretty easy to find, it’s a popular site and has it’s own Wikipedia page, for an almost not well known brand. It was slightly easy to use, a tad confusing on what each thing is, but some of them I understood mostly. Searching was difficult because I wanted to look at space things, but there weren’t that many videos, groups, collection etc. on the topic. Overall it was an alright site, but something I won’t get excited about.
How easy is it to find: 5/5
How easy is it to use: 4/5
How well did it cover the topic: 3/5
Overall rank: 3½/5

          Second is TED talks, I do have to say it’s one of my favourites, even though last year in my writing course one of the teachers who taught poetry and non-fiction would always play a TED talk during the start of his lesson. Nonetheless, I enjoy TED videos, they’re pretty amazing, specially the slam poetry. TED is an easy site to find because mostly everyone knows about it, a lot of the videos on Facebook that have some sort of ‘prominence’ or some meaning will be from TED talks. It’s an easy site to use as well, it has it drop down menus with more menus on it, and you can find something you want and so on. The site covered space more then TeacherTube because TED has personalised playlists made by the staff of articles and videos about the topic of space. I watched the video What I learned from going blind in space by astronaut Chris Hadfield (my favourite astronaut, who is now retired), and the playlist had other videos from people who knows a lot about space. I might be biased in this, but TED talks is one my favourite sites, it looks beautiful, I’ve learnt some new opinions and new thoughts on things I never knew I’d want it.
How easy is it to find: 5/5
How easy is it to use: 5/5
How well did it cover the topic: 5/5
Overall rank: 5/5

          The third website is National Geographic videos, it’s National Geographic’s site but with videos on certain things. The site itself is of course easy to find due to it being National Geographic, and the nonprofit educator has been around since 1888. The use of the site is easy, there isn’t much for links so it’s nice that they have their videos set out. But the autoplay function on the videos is frustrating as well as the fact that you can’t just click the video to pause, you have to actually pause on the little pause button. Their space archive is as good as TED’s due to NatGeo being a company about science and other things. They have a large archive and many videos to choose from, with space being a major topic on the site. Overall, it’s a good site, seems cramped from all the videos but good enough pick.
How easy is it to find: 5/5
How easy is it to use: 4/5
How well did it cover the topic: 5/5
Overall rank: 4/5

          The fourth site is Australian Screen, it’s an educational tool to showcase Australian media like feature films, documentaries, television programs, newsreels, short films, animations and home-movies over the past 100 years. I wouldn’t say it’s easy to find because I didn’t know about it, because Australian media isn’t as promoted as such. But it’s still somewhat easy to use, there’s a few bugs here and there I’ve noticed but overall it’s still a usable site to find information on Australian media. There were no space orientated videos because Australia and space don’t mix apparently, but overall the site was okay or so. Not an amazing site but you know okay?
How easy is it to find: 4/5
How easy is it to use: 4/5
How well did it cover the topic: 0/5
Overall rank: 3/5

          Lastly, we have CosmoLearning… which I’m actually pretty gutted that it’s not just about space. But you know, what are you gonna do? CosmoLearning is free educational tool for both students and teachers, there’s a large amount of topics to choose from and is mainly aimed at helping homeschooled youth. I hadn’t found the site before so it seems easy enough to look around for. However I don’t think it’s easy to use. It seems rather… clunky? I guess is the word. For me it is also rather confusing to look around for something I liked, and once I found what I wanted, I just didn’t understand why there were no videos on the topic at hand. Thus I don’t think it covered the topic, sure there were multiple forms of astrology, but I’d love something less confusing. Overall, it was rather confusing and I’m a bit disappointed the whole site wasn’t about space! Come on, space!!!!
How easy is it to find: 3/5
How easy is it to use: 2/5
How well did it cover the topic: ???/5
Overall rank: 2/5

          Educational websites are funny, I guess is the word. Sometimes they can look cool and are up to date with society an the modern world, or look like they’re from 1999 or hosted on something like geocities (which isn’t a thing… and my age is somewhat showing even though it was created before I was born okay that’s not the point here). I did enjoy the videos that were hosted, and what they had to offer but I guess the only ones I’ll continue to use would be TED and NatGeo.



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