Even if you have been following trends in online education only casually in recent years, you will have noted that the advent of the iPad (and rivals) has opened up many avenues towards new interactive and mobile learning methods. It is sometimes hard to believe that we once lived in a world where Youtube, Khan academy or TED Talks were unknowns or did not enjoy broad appeal. Coupled with the popularity of iPads and the beginning of the Tablet Age, we are now in the lucky situation of being able to find a video tutorial or range of online courses on a vast array of topics. With quick and easy access to these platforms, we can educate both ourselves and children using our mobile devices.
One such online learning platform is Lynda.com, which I have been trying out since last week when news of its sizeable infusion of capital broke. Lynda.com has grown out of a brick-and-mortar school and video/DVD teaching service to currently exist as a host of online courses that cover topics relevant for the adult business professional. There are approx 87,000 videos on things like Web design, Photography, Software, Communication skills– any thing relevant for the enterprise, for many areas of professional expertise. It works on a subscription service basis rather than being all-free, although there are several clips that are offered as freebies so you can sample them. The rates are reasonable and start at US$ 25/month, giving you access to everything (!) for a single monthly payment.
Lynda.com on the iPad is unsurprisingly easy to use with an appealing, friendly UI, mirroring the web experience. You do however need a membership account before you can use the app. With the 7-day free trial however you can test the waters risk-free. I immediately chose “Sharepoint 2007 Essential Training” as I need this for my job but my eye was inadvertently drawn to several other topics that instantly landed in my queue.
You can view the latest additions to the platform, browse by subject, author, software or view your own personal list of to-watch clips. As is becoming the norm, your progress is trackable so it’s easy to see what you’ve done and how far you have to go. The syncing between devices and platforms works flawlessly: you can start on the web and continue during your commute on your iPad. Airplay can also be enabled so you can stream to your TV screen. Pretty sweet.
Like many others, I’ve found that the iPad has proven itself to be a universal tool, opening up a gamut of enlightening and entertaining experiences. Using platforms like Lynda.com on the iPad is just another chance to learn in an engaging and enjoyable way.
Lynda.com for iPad is available on the iTunes store for free here (link) usable with a subscription.
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