Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Video Sources for Self-Education

Are you interested in keeping up with the latest in science, but don't enjoy reading? Would you like to be up to date with developments in the academia, yet prefer visual sources over text? Below are two sites which lovers of visual media and intelligent content might find useful. is a video publisher which aggregates academic, think tank, and thought leadership conferences. In other words, they gather video clips and programs on people, issues, and ideas changing the world, and offer an easy access portal to them (either for free, pay per view, or with a membership). You can search their offerings by keyword, or browse topics. Other ways of discovering videos include a a tag cloud, a list of the week's most watched, commented or rated, and a list of recently featured clips. Below each video on the screen there are links to more information, a short biography of people involved (journalists, speakers, artists, etc.), a list of chapters, highlights, a link to download the file, and even read a relevant Encyclopedia Britannica article. All this information is available free. They also offer free previews of for-fee material.

Another interesting source is TED. TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to ideas worth spreading. The name TED stands for technology, education, and design, and their activities include two annual conferences. Probably the best known aspect of the organization is TEDTalks, a free video site through which TED shares the best talks and performances from themselves and their partners. All talks are subtitles in English, many also in other languages. Besides subtitles, translations are also available. You can search the clips by subtitle language, event and video length, or browse by theme or speaker. What's best, the TEDTalks videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be shared and reposted (as long as it's non-commercially, and the videos are unaltered with attribution to TED).

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