The conventional way to learn new materials is either enroll into a course or read a book. However these are no more the only options that we have nowadays.
Actually the previous two methods have certainly their advantages such as getting some sort of certification after the completion of the course and this gives you credibility that you really know what you claim to know. As for reading a book it is still a handy and convenient way since you can take it with you while travelling in the train, plane or even on the beach. Note that even with these features books are being challenged by technology with the advent of iPad.
However, there are disadvantages related to those methods. Course involves displacement to a certain location on a certain date at a certain hour. For working people this is not always easy to do and even when done they might not be in shape to fully assimilate the explanation especially after having a bad day. On the other hand, books also require some energy to read and assimilate. In addition, if the content needs to be practiced there will be switching from reading to practicing and vice-versa.
Luckily, this seems to be changed by YouTube! Until recently I used YouTube to watch some funny movies. But the other day I had the idea to search for a technology related subject and I was surprised to see tens of videos to that topic. When running few of them I realized how efficient this method is. The explanations are directly backed by a demonstration, so the viewer won’t lose focus switching from book to computer. When, in doubt or you miss something you can repeat the clip as much as you need. You can pause to have some rest and resume later. In short you have all the advantages that you don’t have when you take a real life course. Plus it is totally FREE.
This reminds me of the open-source model, where people spend considerable amount of time and efforts to build software only to give it away for free. Same thing seems to happen in here; people are doing a series of learning videos and put them on YouTube for free. Surely they expect to get something in return by becoming well known in the domain they are talking about, but nevertheless the public is profiting from this model to get free learning and educational stuff.
Could we see in the future students logging to their YouTube class?! Nobody knows for sure, but one thing is certain; technology is reaching every aspect of the human life.
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