Internet existed for long time, but nothing drastically happened. However in recent years various web sties have changed how we exchange and handle information. We list here 10 great web sites, some of the most-visited web sites in the world, that changed the life of the students and others.
1. wikipedia.org – online encyclopedia
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia. Anyone can read articles, and also can edit them. However the articles on Sri Lanka are very few, so can can become the first one to add articles on some subjects.
Wikipedia is not a source so reliable you can cite it in real academic papers. However, it houses a wealth of information – more than a million user-written articles, and that depth makes Wikipedia a good starting point for research on new topics.
Google is the most accurate, and widely accepted search engine today. After popularity of this search engine, the company is branching out into email (with Gmail), news (Google News), price comparison (Froogle), cartography (Google Maps), literature (Google Book Search), free telephony (Google Talk), and, most strikingly, Google Earth, an incredibly detailed virtual globe. It also contains other useful free software such as Picasa (photo browsing and editing), google desktop search (good search engine to search your personal computer)
3. webcast.berkeley.edu – Webcasts and Podcasts- free audio and video lessons
There are tons of internet resources that can give you a quality education every day, free knowledge is available all around us.
University of California, Berkeley in USA is ranked as one of the best colleges in USA and in the world. It records its lectures in mp3 format and some courses even with real media video. You can download these Podcasts in as mp3 files and listen to them using ipod player or even with a normal mp3 player such as winamp in windows. You can pause the videos or mp3s, take notes, research, and press play again at your convenience. The Berkeley webcast lets you be in the classroom with the students watching or hearing some amazing teachers and accomplished professionals.
UC Berkeley’s courses can be browsed from the Courses homepage (http://webcast.berkeley.edu/courses), and refreshes each semester with new stuff. Be sure to check the “Archives” dropdown in the upper-right corner for all past courses, too.
Podcasting has become a popular technology in education, because it provides a way of distributing educational content to learners.
4. MIT Open Courseware – free online courses
MIT web site gives away course materials, including syllabi, lectures, assignments and reading materials free. According to their home page “MIT is a free and open educational resource (OER) for educators, students, and self-learners around the world. MIT OpenCourseWare (MIT OCW) supports MIT’s mission to advance knowledge and education, and serve the world in the 21st century.
Apart from above two web sites there are lots of free elearning sites which you can find using opencourseware finder site.
5. flickr.com – photo sharing
The photo-sharing site Flickr is also finding use within education – as it provides a valuable resource for students and educators looking for images for use in presentations, learning materials or coursework.
Students can also use Flickr to publish their digital photography to a wider audience. And like blogging, the commenting function on Flickr allows for critical feedback.
6. blogger.com – web log publishing site
“Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog”, which is a personal website featuring diary-type comments, presenting the author’s daily life and thoughts. Normally blog site has a main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top. Blogger lets you open and maintain a free blogging site. You can become online publisher with matter of minutes.
Blogging is increasingly used in education (both in school and university), because the software removes the technical barriers to publishing online and also the ‘journal’ format encourages students to keep a record of their thinking over time. Blogs also facilitate critical feedback, by letting readers add comments – which could be from teachers, peers or a wider audience.
Apart from blogger there are other free sites to obtain a blog, such as wordpress.
7. youtube.com – video sharing
You can watch or share your educational videos on this site. Rather than traditional presentations, students can now produce short videos on a chosen subject and publish on YouTube, where they can be viewed and commented on by classmates and the wider YouTube community.
8. amazon.com – online retailer of mainly books, CDs, VCDs
Considered as the earth’s biggest bookstore, you can order books if you have a credit card. You can browse through the world’s most popular books in any subject and become reader of the very recent books published.
9. Sourceforge.net – Freeware Applications
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is becoming very popular, most often as Microsoft alternatives. Many free software such as Mozilla Firefox browser is accepted as better product than MS Internet explorer. If you are really into computing and programming sourceforrge.net contains lots of free softwared. Also, there are lots of freeware that will help you study and become more efficient.
This contains full-text sources online, including reference books (encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, quotations, grammar, and style), as well as poetry, fiction, and nonfiction works that are no longer under copyright. I just started reading Darwin’s Origin of species on this site.