It’s interesting to surf through the 50 best websites according to Time, not just because it’s another view about what’s good in the web, but it’s also interesting to see how they pared untold billions of sites and pages down to 50. It’s like saying name your top 3 punk 7″ EPs – there’s thousands of possible choices and lots of opinions, but narrowing it down is awful tough.
So looking at the sites Time likes for education there’s two must-haves and pretty easy choices (Ted and MIT OpenCourseware). Two other choices, Livemocha makes sense, and is a great use of the web technology, and really accentuates informal learning. As does Chegg, the textbook rental service, who accentuate the social aspect of learning.
The last one, I went “huh”. Read Print is a service that catalogs public domain books – which seem to be a lot of the same old available books in the public domain, which are available from iTunes, Amazon and a few other places where one might look for books before Read Print. Where Read Print gets it is the selection of quotes from author’s works, where it’s wrong is that these are HTML files with the companies advertising, which is also text links, at the top of the screen. Even if I wanted to read this on my Kindle or iPad (neither of which I own, but maybe I’d want to read it on my iPod Touch?) it would blow. I don’t want to bash this site too much because I love the idea, but the question isn’t top 50 website ideas you love. Is this among the best websites for education? I think Khan Academy or even Teacher Tube would be an interesting choice that would have stuff to write about rather than this ode to dead trees. I’d be interested in the number of texts that are available in the public domain. I’m sure that 1984 and Animal Farm are fairly common texts, and are apparently in the public domain, or maybe they aren’t.