Where knowledge is free



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One of the most amazing things that the internet has done is to make information freely available to all. But with an enormous amount of data available online, the process of filtering the good from the bad is as tedious as it looks. If you have the inquisitiveness to learn new things, you can learn anything from calculus to organic chemistry at home or watch inspiring videos of change-making people. This week we’ve decided to feature some cool tools for our readers—especially students—but the vastness of open information available make them suitable for anyone to dive.

iTunes U

Apple is not as evil as it appears. Even though it overcharges us for a wide range of devices, it has won our heart with the noble pursuit of making university lectures and talks, educational videos and audio available to download all under one roof. The only requirement—you’ll have to download iTunes, which is free anyway. Simply click on iTunes Store on the left panel in iTunes. Please note that you will require an internet connection throughout. After some loading, a screen will show up telling you that the iTunes Store is not available in Nepal. No worries, we are after iTunes U, the link for which you will now notice at the centre (top-right). Now come the goodies! You will be able to download lectures from renowned universities—MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Yale—for free. And if you think these are high level courses that you might not be interested in, don’t worry. There are so many videos that you are bound to find some that appeal to you. Just use the iTunes U Power Search (available on the top-right) or view the categories in which the videos are organised. (Our pick—Justice with Michael Sandel—truly thought provoking!)

TED Talks 

Technology, Entertainment and Design—that’s what TED stands for. And since 2006, they have been offering downloads of short talks and presentations by people who have tried to change society. Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Founders of Google), Julian Assange, and U2’s Bono are some of the speakers who have shared “ideas worth sharing”—the central vision of TED Talks. With more than 700 videos, and almost all of them shorter than 20 minutes, this is a wonderful source of not just information but also for inspiration and creativity. Just log on to www.ted.com/talks and you will find hundreds of clips to download. Furthermore, you can also select the quality of the download according to your bandwidth.


Yes, YouTube. But any random video will most certainly not be a good source of infotainment. To filter out useful videos, create an account and add channels that you know are helpful. The place to go to for university lectures and other educational material is www.youtube.com/education. The best part is that you can select the quality of the video you stream according to your internet connection—240p for a slower connection and 340p and above for faster ones. And with YouTube waiving the standard 10 minute limit for such institutional videos, you are sure to find many new things to learn. 

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(Article Courtesy: The Kathmandu Post)