Monday, October 25, 2010

More on Self-Guided Education

I have been reading Horace (selected poems in Latin, see my reading list) and Euripides' Medea with friends. Although I do not read as quickly or as well as I would like, it is a wonderful and enjoyable experience and it's amazing that skype has enabled me to talk and coordinate with people in totally different places.

But today a fell in love again with the Berkeley webcast website. Today I have listened to the first four lectures of "History 5: European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present" (well, I'm listening to the fourth one right now). Although his voice is kind of annoying, Thomas Laqueur, the professor, is thoroughly engaging and intelligent. He seems to be a Foucault-influenced scholar with an interdisciplinary approach that involves finding the narratives of power and legitimacy in history an analyzing their progression. I wanted to listen to this for the most part because Cerinthus and I have been debating over Romanesque verses Gothic architecture (he likes Romanesque, I love Gothic) and specifically of the historical quoting and power of religion built into the architecture itself. If anyone wants to share their thoughts for one side or the other for the debate feel free to comment (we would love to have some new ideas to discuss)

Unfortunately, most of the courses do not have any links to their course material, since the material is now contained on b-space, which I believe is a Berkeley-students-only website. A few of them do and the lectures do provide a vast amount of the information so it is still an effective teaching tool.

One other thing that I found recently is a set of free e-books "sold" by Amazon that cover high school math and science from the CK-12 Foundation. This is not very advanced, although the math does go through calculus, but I think it's incredible that a company it making them accessible to students who want to get ahead, review, or just learn on their own. The coolest one is CK-12 21st Century Physics: A Compilation of Contemporary and Emerging Technologies, which intends to introduce high school students to the marvels of modern physics rather than forcing them into only learning the advancements of the 19th and first half of the 20th century. I have not read much of the book itself, but the purpose looked great.
CK-12 21st Century Physics: A Compilation of Contemporary and Emerging Technologies CK-12 Calculus
I am continually amazed at the resources out there for self-teaching. It is very cool. It reminds me of the food blog network, from which I taught myself to make bread. It is amazing that people are willing to provide their experience to a public and talk about the techniques for cooking. That is very cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment