News from e-Learning companies

Khan Academy: New art videos

New art videos
2012-10-02 18:47:00

Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris (and guest instructors Dr. Heather Horton, Dr. Mark Trowbridge, and Sal Khan) have new videos on art ancient, Renaissance, and modern. Before 400 C.E. - Ancient Cultures  Ara Pacis Ancient Greek Temples at Paestum, Italy Pair of Centaurs Fighting Cats of Prey from Hadrian’s Villa Exekias, Attic black figure amphora with Ajax and Achilles playing a game 1500-1600 End of the Renaissance and the Reformation Giorgione’s The Adoration of the Shepherds After 1960: The Age of Post-Colonialism Institutional Critique: Hans Haacke’s Seurat’s ‘Les Poseuses’ (small version)…


Khan Academy: Ping Pong Ball Launcher

Ping Pong Ball Launcher
2012-10-02 17:48:28

Doctoral Fellow Karl Wendt has built a cool ping-pong ball launcher and shows you how to build one, too. You can find the whole project at: Ping Pong Ball Launcher Introduction Build a ping pong ball launcher Update and modify your ping pong ball launcher…


Khan Academy: Commenting on discussion posts

Commenting on discussion posts
2012-10-02 00:10:00

Developer Marcia Lee and designer Kitt Hirasaki have added the ability to “comment” on people’s questions, answers, and feedback on our videos and computer science programs. On an question, you can add a comment to help the person clarify their question. On an answer or feedback post, you can thank them or keep the conversation going. And you’ll be notified when they reply back to you. We’re looking forward to seeing our community members connect with each other even more. Go forth and discuss!


Udacity: What Can MOOCs Teach Us About Learning? | HASTAC

What Can MOOCs Teach Us About Learning? | HASTAC
2012-10-01 23:01:00

Cathy Davidson blogs thoughtfully about MOOCs.  Sebastian is quoted in the post.  We agree it's time to look beyond the MOOC hype and understand how we can really impact learning and both educational and career advancement.  The Udacity experiment to push "Learn, Think, Do" continues...What Can MOOCs Teach Us About Learning? | HASTACWhat are your thoughts?


Khan Academy: Computer Science "Prime Adventures" -- level up!

Computer Science
2012-09-28 17:54:00

Khan Academy instructor Brit Cruise has added two new videos and interactive computer science programs to his lesson on computational number theory. Using our CS framework, you’ll build a machine that determines whether a number is prime or not… Level 2: What is a computer? — Time/Space complexity Level 3: Algorithmic efficiency — Challenge If you missed the introduction, be sure to check it out first! Level 1: Primality Test…


Khan Academy: New medical laboratory videos

New medical laboratory videos
2012-09-28 17:44:00

Dr. Rishi Desai, our medical fellow, has made a whole host of new videos about laboratory values and the concepts of molarity, molality, osmolarity, osmolality, and tonicity. You can even learn how to calculate your own osmolarity! Lab Values and Concentrations Introduction to lab values and normal ranges Units for common medical lab values What is an equivalent? Molarity vs. Molality Molarity vs. Osmolarity Calculate your own osmolarity Molarity, Molality, Osmolarity, Osmolality, and Tonicity - What’s the difference? Tonicity - comparing 2 solutions Blood Pressure Control Aldosterone and ADH: find out how they cause changes in volume and osmolarity…


Khan Academy: Getting started with Khan Academy in the classroom

Getting started with Khan Academy in the classroom
2012-09-28 17:28:44

We have several new videos to help parents and teachers get started with using Khan Academy with their children and students, they (and many others) can be found through: Khan Academy resources Khan Academy overview Using Khan Academy computer science in the classroom Getting started with Khan Academy Creating Khan Academy accounts for users under age 13 Creating Khan Academy accounts for users age 13+ Adding a coach and creating class lists on Khan Academy Using Khan Academy in the classroom Easiest way Station Rotation Learning Lab Interactive Classroom Using class time…


Udacity: 110000110101000000 Students!

110000110101000000 Students!
2012-09-28 00:35:00

In the first programming quiz ever offered on Udacity, students were asked to write a program that prints the number of minutes in seven weeks. SPOILER: solution below!print 7 * 7 * 24 * 60Now, seven months after the first release of Dave Evans’ introductory computer science course (CS101), over 200,000 students have written this line of code. From such simple beginnings, these students have gone on to do some amazing things. Some took more Udacity classes. Some went straight to building projects of their own. Some got jobs at large companies like Google and smaller startups like TrialPay.  Four of those students were even hired at Udacity!  Artist's rendition of what 100,000 students studying computer science may look like. That’s a big number. Two hundred thousand. We’re pretty proud of Dave, our editors, our TAs, and of course our students for helping to make this happen. We’re proud, but we aren’t even close to satisfied.Because this cours…


Udacity: Sebastian Thrun: Learn. Think. Do. That's the Udacity experiment.

Sebastian Thrun: Learn. Think. Do. That's the Udacity experiment.
2012-09-25 15:21:00

"Learning results from what the student does and thinks and only from what the student does and thinks. The teacher can advance learning only by influencing what the student does to learn." (Herbert A Simon; referenced in "How Learning Works" by Susan Ambrose et al).What a great quote!Herb was my friend and mentor at Carnegie Mellon University. And he was perhaps Carnegie Mellon's most dedicated teacher. As a Nobel laureate in economics and a Turing Award winner, Herb made a point to teach the freshman language class. I recall being in an auditorium filled with 800 students with Herb waving dictionaries at us: a big comprehensive one and a small one.  Which one, he quizzed us, should you take with you when travelling?  After an uncomfortably long pause with students guessing - after all this was just a yes/no question - he triumphantly proclaimed, it's the small one. Because it fits in your pocket. Herb's quote above summarizes all there is to know about Udacity. At Udac…


Coursera: (x+y) is equivalent to (y+x): launching mathematical expressions checking

(x+y) is equivalent to (y+x): launching mathematical expressions checking
2012-09-24 18:12:53

Several of our classes involve students using mathematical expressions, but there was no way for us to automatically check this work. The stated solution to a problem may be x+y, but if a student answers y+x, our system needs to understand that this is also correct. This equivalence should not be limited to simply associativity and commutativity; expressions like 1-cos^2(x) should also be accepted in place of sin^2(x). For the solution, we considered a number of factors: how the language or framework we chose would integrate into our system, how much we could customize this solution (in order to fix bugs or add additional capabilities), and the solution’s fit for our problem. While building an equivalence checker from scratch would have given us the greatest flexibility and control over our tool, this would have been an inefficient use of engineering effort — the problem of algebraic manipulation and equivalence checking has already been deeply explored by systems such as…


Coursera: Log on and learn: the promise of access in online education

2012-09-22 04:41:00

Editor’s note: this article was originally published in Forbes on September 19th. Much of the discussion and debate around bringing higher education online has touched upon the implications of putting course material online versus in-person teaching. There are many questions floating around, such as how will students benefit from online classes if course credit isn’t given? What does the future hold for traditional brick and mortar institutions? While these points are important and not to be dismissed, there is a key issues that education pundits are often overlooking: the issue of access. For millions of people around the world, the choice is not between attending traditional university and online courses, between hearing a lecture in-person and watching one online. As Princeton professor Mitch Duneier said in a recent op-ed on Chronicle of Higher Education, for many students, the choice is between online education and no education at all. Here are some compelling…


Udacity: Udacious September Announcements

Udacious September Announcements
2012-09-21 00:44:00

It’s been an exciting summer, Udacians!  Here at Udacity, we have remained focused on what has been--and will always be--our top priority: providing the highest quality educational experience to you, our student. We have been furiously recording, editing, re-recording, and re-editing to bring you three new classes: Differential Equations, Software Debugging, and How to Build a Startup. On October 1, we will also be releasing a class on Computational Theory. But a good education is more than quality classes, and with this in mind we’ve been focusing on some of these other components as well. To support the grassroots collaboration that’s already been happening, we recently held our first Global Meetup, where thousands of students met in over 400 cities around the world to socialize, exchange ideas on education, and form study groups. We hope the meetings will lead to more study groups forming and we will continue provide tools for you through both and…


Khan Academy: Translations journey - 2 years

Translations journey - 2 years
2012-09-21 00:34:00

In October 2010, Khan Academy began a volunteer driven effort to translate its video library into the world’s widely spoken languages.  This involved both text translations (captions) and voice translations (dubbing/re-doing videos).  In early 2011 Ben Kamens and Dean Brettle (one of KA’s passionate volunteers) integrated the Universal Subtitles widget to enable crowdsourced subtitling of videos on Khan Academy.  Today we have 14,000+ subtitles in 50+ languages.The journey of the translations completed so far: For voice translations, we needed to find individuals who could not only be Khan Academy’s voice in another language, but also have the commitment to translate an entire topic’s playlist.  The latter was key to ensuring consistency in voice within a topic.  Khan Academy relies on an amazing group of “Advocates” for each of the languages it is supporting, to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the translations.  …


Khan Academy: Raising the quality of discussion

Raising the quality of discussion
2012-09-20 18:16:00

Intern Drew Bent and designer Kitt Hirasaki have created automatic tools to improve the quality of discussion on Khan Academy videos and CS explorations.Our engineers have put an emphasis this summer on improving moderator tools. We have taken on a few new volunteer ‘Guardians’ who help us moderate discussions. They are helped out by our users who do a great job flagging low-quality posts. However, even with all this, the number of posts the Guardians have to sift through can be daunting. Drew and Kitt came up with a naive, but surprisingly effective, automatic way to detect low-quality questions and answers *before* they are posted. We call it our Robot Army.By standing on the shoulders of giants, we came up with several heuristics that can detect and prevent offensive and low-quality posts. We look for everything from abnormal uppercase-to-lowercase ratios to content with little substance. We also try to prevent users from asking for things like up-votes.Notifying the u…


Udacity: Over 400 Global Meetups and looking forward to your next local study group!

Over 400 Global Meetups and looking forward to your next local study group!
2012-09-19 20:04:00

On September 15, Udacians around the world gathered for Udacity’s first Global Meetup. We hope to see this enthusiasm grow in future meetups, which organizers should feel free to organize anytime and advertise for in their favorite cafes, restaurants, etc. We look forward to continuing to support and get feedback from our local organizers and students. Clockwise from top-left: Students in Ghana meet with Udacity's Clarissa Shen. In Palo Alto, over 100 Udacians met up with Udacity (c) Drew Sherman. Students in London meet with their computer science instructor, Dave Evans. Udacity's newest instructor, Steve Blank, meets with students together with Sebastian Thrun on our Livestream (c) Drew Sherman.  Here in Palo Alto, over 100 of us met in the TrialPay offices (huge thanks to TrialPay!). Instructors Peter Norvig, Steve Blank, Dave Evans, Andy Brown joined in person and Steve Huffman in San Francisco and Michael Littman in NYC joined by Skype. Overall, Udaci…


Coursera: More great universities. More amazing courses. Huge Coursera welcome to our 17 new partners!

2012-09-19 07:45:00

Today, we are thrilled to welcome 17 more universities — including four international schools — onto Coursera, including: Berklee College of Music Brown University Columbia University Emory University Hebrew University of Jerusalem Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Mount Sinai School of Medicine Ohio State University University of British Columbia University of California, Irvine University of Florida University of London University of Maryland University of Melbourne University of Pittsburgh Vanderbilt University Wesleyan University View a full list of schools and courses here. These 17 universities will expand the course offerings even further, adding new classes in the fields of music, medicine, and humanities (among other disciplines) from renowned professors like Arnold Weinstein of Brown University and Grammy award winning Gary Burton from Berklee College of Music. We are proud of the diversity of the…


Udacity: Steve Blank's Lean LaunchPad Course is Live

Steve Blank's Lean LaunchPad Course is Live
2012-09-18 23:42:00

Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad course, which has taught thousands of entrepreneurs how to start a business, is now live and we’ve already seen plenty of exciting feedback from students. Students are already meeting online in the class discussion forum, where they are sharing ideas, feedback and skill sets as well as making plans to meet up outside of class to start their own companies.  At Udacity, we know the growing pains that come with creating a startup. Much of the advice that Steve gives in his class is advice we could have benefited from in our early days. To help other companies avoid the mistakes that we--and countless other startups--have made, we’ve spent the past three months working with Steve to convert his already-successful course to the Udacity format. The class is built around his Customer Development process--the foundation of the Lean Startup Movement--which has been guiding startups for more than a decade. Steve teaches his Lean LaunchPad cou…


Udacity: Push the Limits of Computational Possibility with Sebastian Wernicke

Push the Limits of Computational Possibility with Sebastian Wernicke
2012-09-17 20:06:00

At some point in your life, addition was difficult. Then you learned how to do it, and now it’s not! This concept of difficulty, at least on the surface, seems to be a subjective one.But is it? What if we could invent the ultimate computer? One that made today’s best supercomputer look like an abacus. Surely then a skilled programmer with superstar abilities could solve any problem! Right?Well... no. Some problems, as it turns out, are fundamentally difficult and some are truly impossible for any computer to solve. As computer programmers, it is our duty to delve deep into this realm of computational capability. In Udacity’s new course, Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science: Dealing with Challenging Problems (CS 313), which begins on October 1, you will do exactly this. As Sebastian Wernicke, the instructor for this course, puts it, “Theoretical computer science is about what computers can and cannot do. It shows us the fundamental capabilities and limita…


Coursera: Gamification study group at Jaaga in Bangalore. Thank you Tharun...

Gamification study group at Jaaga in Bangalore. Thank you Tharun...
2012-09-15 17:57:45

Gamification study group at Jaaga in Bangalore. Thank you Tharun Jagateri for sharing!


Udacity: Udacity Showcase: Share your Udacious projects with the world

Udacity Showcase: Share your Udacious projects with the world
2012-09-14 22:04:00

Today, Udacity is proud to launch Udacity Showcase, a platform where Udacity students can put their original projects on display. This project was conceived and built by one of Udacity's own Web Development students, Gian Carlo Marinelli from Brazil. In collaboration with Udacity's all-start intern Anthony Teate, Marinelli has been helping to redefine and refine his project. Marinelli states, "I originally built this to scratch my own itch, since I was curious about projects that other Udacians were working on." Marinelli (top) and Teate (bottom), the folks behind Udacity Showcase In addition to Web Development, Marinelli has also completed Intro to Computer Science. Before taking Udacity classes he studied Business Administration and has been studying computer science consistently for the past year. He states, "Udacity gave me the confidence that I could build something -- that I could start with nothing, take the problem apart and solve it step-by-step."Udacity…