05th Sep 2013
The 5th of September is celebrated as Teacher's Day in India. Many people criticise the education system as being dated and burdensome, with technology slowly seeping into the system through interactive whiteboards. While this is a debate in itself, this Teacher's day, we look at some interesting websites that can help you learn something new, or brush up on stuff you know.
1. A Google a Day
All of us use Google to look for information, only a few actually know how to search for things on the web! If you have kids around and want them to have fun, and learn something interesting while familiarising themselves with the search engine, the A Google a Day initiative is a good place to start. Each day, Google puts up a new puzzle on the website. It says there's no right way to solve it, but it also assures you that there's only one answer that you need to look for. Along with the clue of the day, you can hit Hint to see what you need to search for to find the answer. The tech-savvy way to up your general knowledge!
2. Wolfram Alpha
This site is perfect for those who seem to have the Big Bang Theory hangover. It describes itself as a "computational knowledge engine" that solves your queries in a scientific way. The area of calculation could be science, nutrition, history, geography, engineering, mathematics, linguistics, sports, finance, or music – among other things – meaning it practically covers every topic under the sun! You can also analyse pictures, but you need a pro (paid!) account to upload your own. Some interesting search demos I came across include "my mother's brother's daughter's son's son", which gets calculated as a graph (below). After having been in the news for analysing Facebook profile histories, it will surely get more popular with time.
3. Learning English With the BBC
Many of us were taught to read the newspaper daily so our language skills would improve. It’s a habit that isn't followed too keenly once we grow up. If you're looking at improving your understanding of the English language, along with upping your knowledge of what's happening in the world, the BBC has an interesting initiative. Its site helps you with phrases, idioms, pronunciation, vocabulary building, and commonly used slang, to help you with spoken as well as written English. The quizzes are fun, and help you rate your fluency.
4. Khan Academy
If you're looking for an online tutor, and you don’t have the money to spend on "real" (paid!) training, head here. Anything academic you can think of, you can find on Khan Academy. From basic to complex mathematical theorems, to understanding the Greek Debt crisis, the site covers a wide range of topics through easy video tutorials. If you are a trainer, you can help by contributing videos, or volunteer as a translator for video captions. Overall, this is a goldmine of knowledge, whether you're in school or trying to get an MBA seat!
5. Special Mention: 20Q.net
20Q only gets a special mention, because it doesn’t teach you anything – rather, it learns from you. Running on data mining algorithms, the game asks you to think about an object, and then to answer 20 questions it asks. Based on the inputs of earlier users, it tries to guess what is the object you thought about. Once you approve of its guess, it shows you how your opinion of the object was different from that of other users. It's quite addictive, we must say.
Teacher's Day Special: 5 Fun Websites To Learn Something New
It's Teacher's Day... learn something fun and useful!
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