The classroom is changing. Students no longer have to be present physically in front of the teacher to learn their subjects. And the subjects themselves are no longer defined simply by the textbooks. Interactive learning tools have drastically changed the schooling landscape and have also helped students understand complex concepts using more illustrative and engaging techniques that were not available even ten years ago.
Besides the changing landscape inside the classrooms, students are also being exposed to new dynamic learning methods outside of it, online. Here are three tools that have made learning extremely important for students. And best of all? They’re free.
Wikipedia : There can be no list on online educational tools without a mention of Wikipedia. This not-for-profit site of 12 years has enabled every one of us to become an educator and a learner at the same time using the system of crowdsourced knowledge. Information on every single thing that students learn in class can be got from here. As every student who has passed out in the past ten years will vouch for, Wikipedia has been a boon when it comes to preparing your term papers. The only downside to Wikipedia is that it is prone to false information due to which it is many times not considered to be a valid source of reference. You could always pick other online elearning tools while preparing your term papers. StudyMode is a popular service that millions of students use to write their term papers. The service also comes with a Citation Generator that will help you organize your sources much better on your paper.
Internet Public Library : Students may no longer visit the school library as much as they would have a decade or two back. But the use of the library to study outside the prescribed textbook has never been better. The Internet Public Library is an open source online library that houses tons of reference material on a wide variety of topics for every conceivable topic of study.
Project Gutenberg : This is a project driven wholly by volunteers who have been seeking to digitize all books that are available in the public domain. The project was started in 1971 and today holds over 42,000 ebooks that are primarily text books or classics. If you are looking for a free text book to supplement your school book, Project Gutenberg is where you should be looking.
Are there any more free elearning tools that you are aware of? Tell us about it in the comments below.
There is no doubt that the internet has made our lives amazingly simple in the past decade or two. However behind the glossy user interfaces, there lies the very same complex network of wires and computers that have been running your other essential services for years. Here is a nice little infographic that explains the wonderfully complex backend of what lies behind each of these cool websites you visit. Click to open the image in full size.
Google has an overwhelming presence on the internet and it is very unlikely that any of us remains untouched by their service yet. Even if you do not use their search engine, it is likely that you read blogs on blogspot, watch videos on YouTube, or read emails on Gmail. Despite this massive presence, do you know that Google has only tracked 0.004% of all data that constitutes the internet? Read on
Total number of people using the internet : 1.9 billion
42% of these users are from Asia
Total volume of data on the internet today : 5 million terabytes
Data volume indexed by Google : 200 terabytes (0.004%)
Total number of domain registrations : 193 million
46% of these domains are .com
Where does all this unindexed Google data lie? My assumption is that a good chunk of them must be secured information – email, document attachments,etc. But again, these alone cannot be 99.994% of the internet. What are your thoughts?
What percent of the world’s total internet users come from USA? or China, Japan or India for that matter? According to reports from Cisco, China and USA alone contribute more than a third of the total internet users in the world. By that same measure, China and Japan together constitute one-fourth of the total users. Now, here is a tabulation of the top countries in terms of internet users and the percent of internet users they contribute to the total world numbers.
1. China : 20.8%
2. USA : 13.1%
3. Japan : 5.5%
4. India : 4.7%
5. Brazil : 3.9%
6. Germany : 3.1%
7. UK : 2.7%
8. Russia : 2.6%
9. France : 2.5%
10. South Korea : 2.2%
11. Iran : 1.9%
12. Italy : 1.7%
13. Indonesia : 1.7%
14. Spain : 1.7%
15. Mexico : 1.6%
16. Turkey : 1.5%
17. Canada : 1.4%
18. Philippines : 1.4%
19. Vietnam : 1.3%
20. Poland : 1.2%
According to this study, there are close to 1.734 billion internet users across the world. That makes the United States and China the only two countries to have more than 100 million internet users in their region.
Akamai has released its latest report detailing the state of internet broadband across the world. Not surprisingly, south east asia, especially Japan and South Korea feature prominently in the list of countries with the fastest internet speeds. Akamai notes that of the top 100 cities in the world with fastest internet speeds, 59 are in Asia.
Here is how the fastest internet connections are distributed across the different countries. According to Akamai, over 20% of the internet connections worldwide can be termed high speed of over 5 Mbps.
South Korea : 65%
Japan : 60%
Romania : 48%
Hong Kong : 45%
Sweden : 42%
Latvia : 41%
Denmark : 41%
Netherlands : 40%
Canada : 34%
Belgium : 33%
Conspicuously absent in the top ten list are the countries from the developed world – USA and UK. United States though features at number 14 with close to 25% of internet connections in USA at a speed of over 5Mbps.
If you own a website, you may well be convinced of the plain fact that your website cannot hide itself from Google. There are so many products like Adsense, Google Analytics, Webmaster tools, toolbar,etc. from Google that are so needed for our website that it so happens that Google gets to know about how our website is performing one way or the other.
It is hence interesting to know Google’s measurement of the top 1000 websites on internet – this is likely to be the closest we get to the actual numbers. This ranking has been done based on Google’s traffic estimates which gives us an idea of the traffic levels required for your website to reach one of these top numbers.
Average monthly uniques to be in the
Top 1000 websites : 4.1 million
Top 500 websites : 7.4 million
Top 100 websites : 22 million
Top 50 websites : 41 million
Top 10 websites : 230 million
Top 1 website : 540 million (Facebook)
A recent report published by ComScore shows that internet users in Brazil – those who are less than 15 years old – constitute as much as 12% of the total internet using population. This report pegs the total number of users in this South American country at 40.7 million. Note that this number is only users accessing internet from a home or work location. The actual number that includes people accessing internet from universities, public cafes,etc. is close to 73 million.
Here is how the 40.7 million users are split up age-wise.
06-14 : 4.8 million
15-24 : 10.4 million
25-34 : 12.4 million
35-44 : 7.6 million
45-54 : 3.8 million
55+ : 1.6 million
I have not put down the numbers in percent terms because I do not think the percentage will hold like-wise for the overall population (including those accessing internet from universities and public cafes). Most of these users not included in the study are likely to be between 18-35 years and hence the percentages may significantly vary for the actual population.
In October last year, Hitwise had published a report that suggested that the maximum number of search engine queries were one-worded. And as it looked obvious back then, the percentage of search volumes decreased with increasing number of words.
However, a conflicting report now published by Chitika shows that a majority of users are actually searching longer-terms. The maximum number of searches were three-worded : close to 26%. The study claims that the number of queries with five words or more have a drastically lower search engine share.
Here is how the numbers stand (as percentage of total queries)
One worded : 14%
Two worded : 19%
Three worded : 26%
Four-worded : 17%
Five-woded : 9.73%
Six-worded : 5.35%
Ookla, the company behind the popular ISP speed measurement tool, SpeedTest has introduced a broadband index that assimilates data from the over 1 million internet speed measurement tests conducted around the world to round in on the city with the fastest internet speed. As in any test, this may only be indicative since the company’s results for USA has differed widely with a similar ranking provided by Akamai earlier this year.
The top 10 cities with the fastest internet speed worldwide are as follows
- Seoul, South Korea 34.49 Mbps
- Riga, Latvia 27.88 Mbps
- Hamburg, Germany 26.85 Mbps
- Chisinau, Republic of Moldova 24.31 Mbps
- Helsinki, Finland 20.58 Mbps
- Stockholm, Sweden 19.97 Mbps
- Bucharest, Romania 19.68 Mbps
- Sofia, Bulgaria 18.99 Mbps
- Kharkov, Ukraine 18.15 Mbps
- Kaunas, Lithuania 17.46 Mbps
Nielsen’s latest report for internet use in the United Kingdom shows that social networking comprises close to one-fourth of all user time spent online. For a perspective on how this has grown, Nielsen notes that time spent on social networking among UK citizens was just 8.8% in 2007. There has hence been a 159% jump in the three years since then.
Here is how the time spent online can be divided among the several internet activities
Social Networks/Blogs : 22.7%
Email : 7.2%
Games : 6.9%
Instant Messaging : 4.9%
Classifieds/Auction : 4.7%
Portals : 4.0%
Search : 4.0%
Software Info/Products : 3.4%
News : 2.8%
Adult : 2.7%
Others : 36.8%