A thing that bothers me: that most online courses are in video format.
I prefer to learn from books because I can do it at my own pace. When I was in college, classes were essentially vehicles to help me make better highlights and notes in the classes’ recommended books.
Online courses do not often come with a bibliography, and in most cases don’t even offer learning materials. What this means is that to learn seriously, one needs to be always with notepad in hand, constantly pausing to take notes.
It ends up being almost as inconvenient as a physical class, with the bonus of being able to choose the time, versus the negative of not having the chance to interact with colleagues and place your questions to the teachers.
(The best online courses create groups where we can interact with colleagues, and that’s fantastic, but most teachers don’t take questions from the students, which is understandable in a way – a university professor will have perhaps 100 students in their classes. A “digital” teacher may have thousands.)
Here is the software that I would build, video software for e-learning, with the following functionality:
- You can open videos from a YouTube url, or directly from a file.
- There is a comprehensive system to leave markers throughout the video, sorted with tags. It would work as a highlighter – we would mark the start time and the end time of an interesting passage.
- It would create an automatic index from which we could directly view and access our “highlights.”
- With each marker, we would have the option of leaving a note in audio (which we could switch to from the original audio track – as in a “director’s commentary”) or text.
- We would have the option of exporting all notes to paper or audio file, accompanied by the time stamps to which they correspond.
Of course, I’m a long way from having the time and expertise needed for such a project. So please: steal, and let me know when it’s ready!