Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Free Web education: now more practical in Bhutan

The world of online learning has been quickly evolving. Four recent advances are now making online learning very attractive in Bhutan. First, more and more high-quality courses are now offered for free. This takes away the credit card barrier, which is still a challenge in Bhutan. Second, new online learning approaches and advances in technology now require less bandwidth to attend a course (no heavy or long videos). Third, many courses are asynchronous (you choose when to be online), so time difference is not an issue. Finally, new course structures have active learning components, such as self-assessment activities.


In an earlier post we mentioned KhanAcademy.org, which has thousands of short video clips covering math, physics, chemistry, history, and more. In addition to the videos you will find short self-assessments.

Udemy.com offers courses on a wide range of topics, some of them free. Most of the free courses are by professors in top universities and famous experts (An Entrepreneur's ChecklistGame Theory by Yale professor, and a bunch more). Most courses consist of short 1-2 minute videos.

iTunes U by Apple, offers free lecture videos from big universities (Stanford, Arizona State University, Texas A&M, and more). Download the free iTunes application, then search for an area of interest and see the offered courses. While the courses include long videos, they are first downloaded to your computer/iPad/iPhone or other Apple device, so that you can then watch them offline.

For advanced topics related to computer science, see the courses by Stanford University, University of Michigan, and UC Berkeley offered through coursera.org. These courses are rich in short videos and interactive and self-assessment learning activities.