BUSINESS

Tracking tutorial resources



Learning almost any subject is now possible with online materials



THIS WEEK NetSpeak presents a few tips for finding on-line teaching/tutorial materials.

A distinct feature of the Net lies in providing innumerable resources for learning almost any all subject for free. Tens of hundreds of on-line tutorial packages and audio/video teaching materials on a variety of subjects are available.

For instance, persons using PowerPoint may find the ( >http://www.awesomebackgro unds.com /powerpointtutorials.htm) site useful.

Students of computing will welcome the tutorial materials hosted on 'Virginia Tech' ( http://courses.cs.vt.edu/ cson line/). Learning modules on subjects such as algorithms, data structures and operating systems are presented on this site.

For locating such tutorials, a multitude of tutorial directories are in place. The W3Schools ( http://www.w3schools.com/) with several on-line tutorials is meant for web developers. The 'Technology Tutorials' ( http://www.internet4classrooms.com/on-line2.htm), which contains a huge collection of tutorials on different computing technology related subjects such as MS-Office, Internet and web page development is another of the same kind.

Besides these, lots of new pedagogical resources are being rolled out almost everyday. The explosion of such teaching/learning resources has led to a hunt for special tools to find/track the new ones. Now, let us explore some of them.

Search engines

Pixel2life ( http://www.pixel2life.com) is a tutorial search engine gaining popularity among netizens. The service has a database of more than 15,000 tutorials on different computing related subjects such as JavaScript, Perl, Visual Basic, Visual C++ and so on. Pixel2life is quite dynamic and to help you easily track the latest additions to its index, the service features a web feed also. By subscribing to this feed you can monitor the latest tutorials being churned out with your newsreader.

For getting help/tips on computer related troubles, you may check out the service Help2go ( http://www.help2go.com/) which has web-feed capabilities as well.

TutorGig ( http://www.tutorgig.com/) can be used to find tutorials on computing related subjects.

Another tutorial related service worth a look is 'MyTutorials.com' ( http://www.mytutorials.com/) whose goal is to develop on-line tutorials collaboratively. Here, anyone can host a tutorial that can be read/edited later by others. On 'Mytutorials,' you can find tutorials on different subjects that include computers and health ( >http://www.mytutorials. com/tutorials.asp).

'FyberSearch Tutorial Search' ( http://www.fybersearch.com/tutorials/) is another source for tutorials/lessons. By just entering the name of the topic on its search box you can collect several links to tutorials on the subject.

Learnthat.com ( http://www.learnthat.com/tutorials/), Wannalearn ( http://www.wannalearn.com/), eXtropia ( >http://www.extropia.com/tutorials. html) and TechTutorials ( http://www.techtutorials.net/) are other tutorial directories worth exploring.

New search tools

One way to tame the ever-expanding ocean of web information is to create specialised search services focussing on specific subjects. The search service, Omgili ( http://omgili.com/) which indexes web based discussion forums is an instance of such a trend. The service offers special commands to search for information on a discussion thread's different aspects such as topic (intopic) and reply (inreply).

Another type of special search engines gaining ground is the 'answer search engine,' whose lofty goal is to provide direct answers to the user's questions. Brainboost ( http://www.brainboost.com/) mentioned in the past is a famous example. The newly launched Lexee ( http://www.lexxe.com/) is the latest in this category.

These services come handy while searching for factual information. Factbites ( http://search.factbites.com/index. html) is another search tool competing in this sphere. You may get better output if you require information on a specific subject/phenomenon.

For instance, if you type the word 'pollution', the service will list out materials related to this topic from different on-line sources.

J. MURALI

He can be contacted at: >jmurali@gmail.com

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