Get SMART with Online Video?

Bruce Springsteen sang about “57 channels and nothin’s on“. It makes you wonder about what he’d think about all the video that’s available online these days. I have a widget on my Google homepage that brings up a variety of new and popular video clips, which led me back to something I already new about but had forgotten.

Did you watch the movie “Good Will Hunting“? The premise is that a brilliant South Boston kid is working on the maintenance staff at MIT and gets discovered by one of the physics professors. You may not harbor any such Walter Mitty daydreams, but it may have crossed your mind to wish for the time and opportunity to audit a course or two at MIT or some Ivy League college. Well, lots of colleges are now putting the lectures from courses online for free. MIT has an extensive collection that you can access at their Video Index page and at their OpenCourseWare site. Want to learn about the “One Laptop per Child” program, or maybe understand how geothermal energy could be used to meet US energy needs? Just click on the link.

The fact is that there is a ton of quality non-fiction content available on the Web, and watching an expert in a field explain the fundamentals of a topic can be an excellent way to learn about it. The fact that you have access to these experts on your own schedule and at your choice of location makes it easier than ever to take advantage of these outstanding resources.

If you have an online source of informative videos that you find particularly interesting and helpful, please write me and tell me about it at