Gold Mine of Learning – Free Physics Courses for Everyone!

There are so many powerful positive influences the internet is having in the world today. Opening up the highest quality of education for everyone through online courses must surely be one of them.

Here, one of Thindiff’s favourite physics educators presents courses on some of the most exciting areas of phsyics.

The Theoretical Minimum is a series of Stanford Continuing Studies courses taught by world renowned physicist Leonard Susskind. These courses collectively teach everything required to gain a basic understanding of each area of modern physics including all of the fundamental mathematics.

The sequence begins with the modern formulations of classical mechanics discovered by Lagrange and Hamilton in the late 18th and 19th centuries, and then moves on to the radical new theories of relativity and quantum mechanics introduced by Albert Einstein and others in the early 20th century. The sequence concludes with a study of modern cosmology including the physics of black holes.

Each area is covered with just enough theoretical and mathematical rigor to form a complete introduction to the subject. Although the courses stand alone, when taken in sequence they build upon each other to lay the foundation for an understanding of the most advanced theories in modern physics.

In Professor Susskind’s own words…
“A number of years ago I became aware of the large number of physics enthusiasts out there who have no venue to learn modern physics and cosmology. Fat advanced textbooks are not suitable to people who have no teacher to ask questions of, and the popular literature does not go deeply enough to satisfy these curious people. So I started a series of courses on modern physics at Stanford University where I am a professor of physics. The courses are specifically aimed at people who know, or once knew, a bit of algebra and calculus, but are more or less beginners.”

Origami used to design 50 cent field microscope

Perhaps you’ve punched out a paper doll or folded an origami swan? TED Fellow Manu Prakash and his team have created a microscope made of paper that’s just as easy to fold and use. A sparkling demo that shows how this invention could revolutionize healthcare in developing countries … and turn almost anything into a fun, hands-on science experiment. (From TED website)

Get involved with experiments conducted at CERN

CERN@school brings technology from CERN into the classroom to aid with the teaching of particle physics. It also aims to inspire the next generation of physicists and engineers by giving participants the opportunity to be part of a national collaboration of students, teachers and academics, analysing data obtained from detectors based on the ground and in space to make new, curiosity-driven discoveries at school. Find out more about the school research groups here.

Google ‘Helpouts’ are a Hangout-based tutoring and learning ecosystem

Get help from an expert over live video
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With Helpouts you can get help anytime from people with expertise across a range of topics – teachers, counselors, doctors, home repair specialists, personal trainers, hobby enthusiasts, and more.
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You can choose who to get help from based on qualifications, availability, ratings and reviews. Also, you can choose to get help right away or schedule a Helpout for later.
Pay for Help
While some Helpouts are free, you’ll need to pay for some. Paying for help is easy using Google Wallet.

Mathematica for Teaching and Education

Learn how to improve your classroom experience with Mathematica. This course gives a tour of functionality relevant to teaching and learning, along with case studies and best-practice suggestions for course integration. Topics include making your classroom dynamic with interactive models and a survey of computation and visualization capabilities useful for teaching practically any subject at any level.

How do I start to learn computer programming?

We think a good place to start is Khan Academy’s new Introduction to Computer programming. The site gets into drawing shapes and animations straight away. This takes away the feeling that there is a massive learning curve before you can start doing anything interesting.

We also recommend the MIT Scratch site and Codecademy.

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.

Codecademy’s mission statement is ‘Teaching the world to code’.
There About statement reads:

Codecademy is an education company. But not one in the way you might think. We’re committed to building the best learning experience inside and out, making Codecademy the best place for our team to learn, teach, and create the online learning experience of the future.

Six online learning portals we really like

Some of the learning materials on these sites you have to pay to use, but some really good stuff is free.
Tutor hub lets you locate online tutors in the UK in most subjects. Udemy, Lynda and Udacity have a host of more business orientated learning modules. We are currently working through the ‘How to build a startup’ course. TES and Discovery Education are both excellent portals for teachers and pupils of primary and secondary education.

Learning Maths should be childs play!

From the Wolfram Forum pages

Posted 21 November 2013 – 06:07 PM

I used Scratch, Kerbal Space Program and Minecraft to teach basic algebra to 1st graders. Blender 3D is great way to introduce students to trigonometry at a young age. But don’t call it math just let them play. My son is now taking College Calculus in High School. He will have 50 college credits when he graduates from High School in 2014. Get students to play on these tools they will learn math. I am a former high school math teacher, I train college interns in computer science. I worked on Human Genome Project, electric power grids, chip design, state accounting systems and radio telescopes. Make math fun first and early. They will take math because they want to if you let them play early. Raspberry Pi and Mathematica will be great. Use ($35)Raspberry Pi to learn digital electronics, Minecraft, Scratch.