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Calculus without limits

Hyperreal numbers: infinities and infinitesimals - "In 1976, Jerome Keisler, a student of the famous logician Tarski, published this elementary textbook that teaches calculus using hyperreal numbers. Now it's free, with a Creative Commons copyright!" (pdf—25mb :) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 17, 2014 - 28 comments

ScratchJr

ScratchJr is an introductory visual programming language for young children. It is inspired by Scratch (previously), and is available as a free iPad app. Future plans include an Android version and a web-based version.
posted by tykky on Sep 10, 2014 - 23 comments

Help scientists categorise whale song... also, why do whales sing?

Whale.fm is a project (which you can contribute to!) to help "marine researchers understand what whales are saying." - really it's a project looking at the effects that manmade sound has on marine life, but what whales are communicating with their songs is still a really interesting question, so I've listed some relevant links in extended description. [more inside]
posted by hanachronism on Sep 5, 2014 - 5 comments

Let's make some holes!

This is a beginner's guide to drills and bits. Need something more basic? Then try An Idiot's Guide to Buying Power Tools or stick with Four Essential Power Tools.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 28, 2014 - 73 comments

Robot, Heal Thyself

A robot with a broken leg learns to walk again.
posted by tocts on Jul 23, 2014 - 16 comments

Why Libraries Matter

A day in the life of New York City's public libraries: Traveling from borough to borough, this short documentary by Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks reveals just how important the modern library is for millions of people. Why Libraries Matter.
posted by cashman on May 17, 2014 - 6 comments

"Thank you for letting me watch."

Post-operative Check: "It's okay that you don't remember me. My name is Shara, and I'm part of the surgical team. I'm checking to see how you're doing after your surgery. Do you know where you are right now?" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 18, 2014 - 21 comments

"You shouldn't dream your film, you should make it!" ~ Spielberg

Filmmaker IQ offers an extensive variety of free online courses, articles and tutorial videos for aspiring filmmakers. Their image gallery is also fun to browse through. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 27, 2014 - 8 comments

mapschool

mapschool [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola on Feb 4, 2014 - 15 comments

Animal Communication: What do we know ?

A recent workshop on Analyzing Animal Vocal Sequences provided some illuminating views of what we know and what we don't know about animal communication. In particular one notes the increased use of Machine Learning algorithms that are currently used to make sense of human interactions on the web. Talks at the workshop included:Unraveling dolphin communication complexity, Singing isn't just for the birds, Automated identification of bird individuals using machine learning, A receiver's perspective on analyzing animal vocal sequences, Animal communication sequence analysis using information theory, Machine learning for the classification of animal vocalizations and Information theoretic principles of human language and animal behavior
posted by IgorCarron on Jan 25, 2014 - 12 comments

Even if Bloomberg Didn't, You Can!

Programmers will tell you that coding is one of the most approachable skills there is. If you want to learn, there's Code Academy, or perhaps LearnPython.org. There are major non-profits that want to help you learn, free books, and videos. Great! Finished with all of those? [more inside]
posted by sonic meat machine on Jan 25, 2014 - 102 comments

post-industrial education for post-industrial organizations

Sudbury Valley School - "It upends your views about what school is for, why it has to cost as much as it does, and whether our current model makes any sense at all. But what's most amazing about the school, a claim the founders make which was backed up by my brief observations, my conversations with students, and the written recollections of alumni, is that the school has taken the angst out of education. Students like going there, and they like their teachers. Because they are never made to take a class they don't like, they don't rue learning. They don't hate homework because they don't have homework. School causes no fights with their parents." (previously-er) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 8, 2014 - 63 comments

Carefully Screened Young Adult Male Ella Fitzgeralds

"This study was an investigation of adult brain plasticity and whether we could reopen it through the use of a drug called valproic acid. It's a mood-stabilizing drug. But we found that it also restores the plasticity of the brain to a juvenile state. And during a two-week period on this pill or a controlled substance, a healthy cohort of young adult male subjects who were carefully screened not to have had musical experience early in life, they were asked to undertake a number of training tests online. And at the end of this two-week period, they were then tested on their ability to discriminate tones to see if the training had more effect than it normally would at this age."
WERTHEIMER: So, you actually gave people a pill and then you taught them to have perfect pitch?
HENSCH: This is the result and it's quite remarkable, since there are no known reports of adults acquiring absolute pitch. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jan 5, 2014 - 62 comments

Potential

Juárez Correa felt a chill. He’d never encountered a student with so much innate ability. He squatted next to her and asked why she hadn’t expressed much interest in math in the past, since she was clearly good at it. “Because no one made it this interesting,” she said. -- Wired reports on a teaching method finding success in Mexico
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 24, 2013 - 30 comments

Let the enlargement of knowledge be one constant view and design in life

The Improvement of the Mind by hymnwriter Issac Watts provides surprisingly relevant and modern advice on how to learn, listen, read, debate, and converse. It proved to be inspirational to the great experimentalist and scientist Michael Faraday. Full version on Google Books.
posted by mikepaco on Oct 6, 2013 - 5 comments

Auto-Didacts Will Rule the World

Everything you need to know about web development. Neatly packaged. "Beginners, start by clicking the html box and the next lessons you should learn will get highlighted." [via reddit]
posted by batmonkey on Sep 20, 2013 - 59 comments

Speaking in foreign tongues

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates has spent the last few months in Paris specifically studying French. His latest dispatch, "Or Perhaps You Are Too Stupid to Learn French," looks at how hard it is to apply the rules of new language in real time, while fighting with one's perceptions and limitations (Other dispatches are here).

Washington Post writer Jay Matthews asks if learning a foreign language is worth it and recounts his own struggles studying Chinese. Another WaPo writer, Elizabeth Chang, recalls her experience in learning Arabic.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 22, 2013 - 200 comments

A Sufi walks into a radio station...

The fully reversible Idries Shah on the wireless in 1971. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
posted by titus-g on Aug 20, 2013 - 9 comments

Confidential:

Don't go to art school. Why it's a bad idea and what you can do with the money instead.
posted by Artw on Jun 26, 2013 - 103 comments

Learn programming with grids!

'Lets Grid' is an online programming environment that is designed to get people into programming. I tried to strip away all of the complicated set-up that goes along with real-world programming and just give students the very basics they need to create cool things and share their creations with the world.
posted by Artw on Jun 19, 2013 - 10 comments

Intelligence Tests

Is Psychometric g a Myth? - "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 11, 2013 - 113 comments

instaGrok

instaGrok is a website that presents information in a mindmap-style visual interface, which allows users to learn about topics by exploring the connections between concepts and facts.
posted by Balonious Assault on Mar 11, 2013 - 19 comments

Learn Korean Easy!

Learn Korean Easy!
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 17, 2013 - 46 comments

"it's quite clear that there's tons of cultural transmission that's just strictly by observational learning."

How Culture Drove Human Evolution
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 4, 2013 - 44 comments

SPAUN of the living

The simulated brain - "First computer model to produce complex behaviour performs almost as well as humans at simple number tasks." [1,2,3,4,5,etc.]
posted by kliuless on Dec 8, 2012 - 22 comments

The Corporatization Of Higher Education

In 2003, only two colleges charged more than $40,000 a year for tuition, fees, room, and board. Six years later more than two hundred colleges charged that amount. What happened between 2003 and 2009 was the start of the recession. By driving down endowments and giving tax-starved states a reason to cut back their support for higher education, the recession put new pressure on colleges and universities to raise their price. When our current period of slow economic growth will end is anybody’s guess, but even when it does end, colleges and universities will certainly not be rolling back their prices. These days, it is not just the economic climate in which our colleges and universities find themselves that determines what they charge and how they operate; it is their increasing corporatization. If corporatization meant only that colleges and universities were finding ways to be less wasteful, it would be a welcome turn of events. But an altogether different process is going on
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 14, 2012 - 69 comments

Is my iPhone Changing my Brain?

What's Wrong With Online Reading, a slide presentation by Randy Connolly, argues that the relatively recent and increasingly popular approach to reading and learning - on computers, tablets and smartphones instead of traditional print - influences what and how we read, research and think, with disturbing consequences.
posted by Schadenfreudian on Nov 5, 2012 - 50 comments

The Chem Coach Carnival

What do chemists do in a "work day"? What kind of schooling do they have? How does chemistry inform their work? Do chemists have any funny stories to tell? [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse on Oct 31, 2012 - 17 comments

Answer on Back

Flash cards are an effective study aid because they are founded on the principles of rote and memorization. With Flashcard Exchange | Study Stack and Flashcard Machine, you can use web-based flashcard makers to create, share, export and print flashcards to assist your studying.
posted by netbros on Oct 28, 2012 - 26 comments

I want to learn

"Learning to draw primarily comes from practice. Spend ten to twenty minutes every day sketching something new. Don't feel demotivated if you start off as a not-very-good artist." Want proof? Check out the dates of this conceptart.org thread: Over the next sixty pages and seven years of drawing, you'll see how Jonathan Hardesty was working a little bit every day and developing from a beginning hobby artist to an accomplished art teacher. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Oct 19, 2012 - 47 comments

better to hold the interest and attention of the class

Blackboard Sketching by Frederick Whitney, Director of Art, State Normal School, Salem, MA, 1908. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Oct 18, 2012 - 15 comments

Typical Pentagon boondoggle

The Global Language Online Support System (or GLOSS), produced by the Defense Language Institute in sunny Monterey, CA, offers over six thousand free lessons in 38 languages from Albanian to Uzbek, with particular emphasis on Chinese, Persian, Russian, Korean, and various types of Arabic. The lessons include both reading and listening components and are refreshingly based on real local materials (news articles, radio segments, etc.) rather than generic templates. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Oct 11, 2012 - 23 comments

For Lsson Plans, Study Help, or Quick Reference

Are you the type of person who, when flipping through a book or scanning a website, immediately searches for the diagrams or charts because you'd rather absorb the information visually than have to read a bunch of text? If so, then you are probably a visual learner and you may find Useful Charts helpful. The goal is to present useful information in the form of study charts so that students, teachers or simply those interested in increasing their general knowledge can absorb the information quickly and visually.
posted by netbros on Oct 4, 2012 - 9 comments

Making Math Fun

Is your elementary school youngster struggling with math? Are they a visual person? Would math games and videos help them learn? Enter Math Playground, to assist with problem solving and real world math. Try the enticing logic game Sugar, Sugar or beef up your math word problem skills. There are plenty of games to help educate while entertaining.
posted by netbros on Sep 4, 2012 - 14 comments

The Learning Bit

Recent developments in online learning have increasingly democratized the exchange of information in higher education: the launch of University of the People, a tuition-free online university; Khan Academy's acquisition of SmartHistory and its growing emphasis on humanities and liberal arts; the University of Reddit's crowd-sourced lessons being taught in real-world classrooms; Skillshare creating a community marketplace for teachers and students; Lore opening its doors to learners from all walks of life;  major institutes in India putting every class lecture on YouTube in English; LectureFox collating together free university lectures from across the web. Of course not everyone is happy with the way things are going.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Sep 2, 2012 - 67 comments

You Can Do Science Too

Citizen science refers to science conducted by average persons, e.g., people who are not full- or part-time professional scientists but nevertheless have a keen interest in scientific inquiry. Citizen Science Center is a resource for books, papers, discussions, and project listings related to citizen science that aims to convince you to get your hands dirty and do science now.
posted by netbros on Aug 14, 2012 - 11 comments

What is that? Is that a red pen? No, that's not a red pen. That's a rock.

Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK) is a language-learning game that starts with identifying a few simple objects and builds into a conversation dealing with abstract concepts — in the space of an hour or two, with minimal supplies. [more inside]
posted by The demon that lives in the air on Jul 16, 2012 - 7 comments

Available online, 30 issues of Mangajin!

Mangajin was created in the early 90's as a monthly English publication for students of the Japanese language. Unlike most text books that focused solely on teaching people Japanese through boring text, Mangajin was different in that it focused on showing readers a page of manga and then a page of English translations. As great of an idea that this sounds today, it didn't catch on in the 90's and Mangajin ended in 1996. Now manga in America is as popular as ever, which is why I have decided to put Mangajin onto this web site. Fans of Japanese manga and who are looking to learn Japanese will undoubtedly find Mangajin very useful!
posted by KokuRyu on Jul 5, 2012 - 32 comments

I think I no how to make people or animals alive.

In June of 1973, spurred on by the recent discovery of a dying bird in his garden, 9-year-old Anthony Hollander wrote to the presenters of Blue Peter — the BBC's much-loved children's television show — and asked for assistance in his quest to "make people or animals alive."
posted by T.D. Strange on Jul 1, 2012 - 21 comments

The Earth goes around the Sun-- every day!

Khan Academy and the Effectiveness of Science Videos is an 8 minute video by Derek Muller that offers some skepticism as to the usefulness of science videos that only teach the facts without investigating existing misconceptions. TL;DW? Here's a 1 minute 29 second version. Too brief? Here's his PhD thesis.
posted by gwint on Jun 14, 2012 - 32 comments

Kyle McDonald Explains FaceTracker

FaceTracker is an example of a complex technique that builds on top of a series of computer vision, image processing, and machine learning functions in order to achieve its result. Here's an interview with Kyle McDonald, artist and researcher in New York with a background in computer science and philosophy. He released FaceOSC, a tool for prototyping face-based interaction. Kyle has a growing body of work that uses face tracking in an artistic context, notably Face Substitution.
posted by netbros on Jun 2, 2012 - 12 comments

Specialization is for insects

Ten desirable skills you can teach yourself is a nice round-up of terrific guides to teaching yourself new tricks including basic repair skills, learning a language (the Foreign Services Institute has a chart of how hard various languages are to learn), teaching yourself to code, building electronics (starting with soldering), getting yourself up to speed in photography, learning an instrument, developing a basic sense of design, the inevitable cooking tips, and even some starter self-defense moves. Also, a very nicely organized list of free online college courses.
posted by blahblahblah on May 2, 2012 - 30 comments

Failing to succeed

The learning paradox is at the heart of “productive failure." While the model adopted by many teachers and employers when introducing others to new knowledge — providing lots of structure and guidance early on, until the students or workers show that they can do it on their own — makes intuitive sense, it may not be the best way to promote learning. [more inside]
posted by unSane on May 1, 2012 - 29 comments

The world doesn't need another $150 Algebra One book

The University of Minnesota recently announced that its College of Education and Human Development has created a searchable online catalog of "open textbooks" that are reviewed by U of M faculty. The books must be Openly Licensed, complete (not a draft version of the text, or a collection of lecture notes), suitable for use outside of the author's institution, and available in print for a reasonable price, generally less than $40 USD. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 24, 2012 - 14 comments

Coursera

Coursera - free, online, introductory- to upper-undergraduate level classes in a wide variety of subjects, led by instructors from Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the University of Pennsylvania
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 19, 2012 - 54 comments

Photographic experiment shooting clouds everyday

Clouds 365 Project. The goal? To shoot an image or video of clouds every day. Sorted by month or time of day, or personal favorites of the photographer, Kelly DeLay.
posted by netbros on Apr 15, 2012 - 4 comments

A hipster schoolhouse started by a pair of underemployed polymaths

On a recent Monday night, a gaggle of 20-somethings crammed into a former Curves fitness center along the industrial edge of Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. The storefront gym had been carved into two classrooms... It was just another school night at [Metafilter's* own] Brooklyn Brainery, a hipster schoolhouse started by a pair of underemployed polymaths, where students can learn abstruse subjects like the secret lives of bacteria, taught by teachers with few teaching credentials. Tuition is $5 to $30, enrollment takes place online and PayPal is accepted. [more inside]
posted by dersins on Apr 5, 2012 - 57 comments

Less Wrong: The Best Textbooks on Every Subject

For years, my self-education was stupid and wasteful. I learned by consuming blog posts, Wikipedia articles, classic texts, podcast episodes, popular books, video lectures, peer-reviewed papers, Teaching Company courses, and Cliff's Notes. How inefficient! [...] What if we could compile a list of the best textbooks on every subject? That would be extremely useful.
Less Wrong, a community dedicated to rationality, is compiling a list of The Best Textbooks on Every Subject.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 25, 2012 - 49 comments

A Teacher's Open Letter to Her 8th Grade Students

'A Test You Need to Fail': A Teacher's Open Letter to Her 8th Grade Students
posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 24, 2012 - 81 comments

Science. Fun. Community.

Water your brain so you can grow stuff in there.
posted by iamkimiam on Mar 16, 2012 - 45 comments

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