Margaret Gould Stewart of YouTube Talks Copyright

Margaret Gould Stewart, YouTube's head of user experience, talks about how the ubiquitous video site works with copyright holders and creators to foster (at the best of times) a creative ecosystem where everybody wins.  Thanks to TED talks:

We're All Predictably Irrational - Dan Ariely

I am currently listening to a fascinating audiobook entitle "Predictably Irrational" by Duke Economics Professor Dan Ariely. In this book, Ariely provides an exploration of behavioral economics that is both fun and enlightening. Around the 4th chapter Ariely makes some really spot on observations about how to make our education system work more effectively and at the same time explains why our educational system was better during the cold war. In following the analysis, instead of continually raising educators salaries, we need to remind educators that they teach to improve society. We need to remind students that they are learning not only to figure out how to improve the world we all live in but, also to ensure that we are one step ahead of those that would limit our free society. And we need to remind the general population that teachers are to be revered for the service that they provide to society and that a well educated society is a foundation for a better society.

This is only one small point that Ariely makes in "Predictably Irrational." Enjoy the video that is provided at the top but remember it is just a taste of what you will find in Ariely's book. And regrettably, I have found no free link to the book, yet . I check my copy out of the public library. Look for a free copy at your local library.

Here is a link to a TED talk that Ariely gave in February 2009. (TED Talk link) Much of this talk is repeated in the Predictably Irrational book. a Hybrid Online Bookstore Model provides a hybrid model of an online bookstore. Scribd offers some books totally free and entirely online. In addition to free online books this site offers some book excerpts for free and also offers books for sale.

The Open Culture website mentioned Scribd in a recent post. Open Culture has a series posts that provides links to download a free audiobook entitled "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" by Chris Anderson.

Whether you follow this post to the Open Culture post and/or Chris Anderson's book, you should take a look at what has to offer. There are some good free online learning opportunities to be found at Scribd.

Orlando Patterson: "A Short History of Freedom: The Origins and Institutionalization of Freedom," from Princeton University

What could be more appropriate on the 4th of July than three part lecture series entitled "A Short History of Freedom: The Origins and Institutionalization of Freedom," from Orlando Patterson provide by the Princeton University online lecture site. You will need to have your volume turned up and you might want to just listen to the lecture because the video is dark. Still, the subject matter and the speaker are very worthwhile. Here is a link to the lecture trilogy Orlando Patterson: "A Short History of Freedom: The Origins and Institutionalization of Freedom," from Princeton University. Scholars that value freedom should consider it a duty to listen to these lectures. The lectures are thought provoking and interesting.

A quick note if you have been to the "Best Education" "Eds Best" blogsite before: You have arrived at the right place.

This site was previously called "The Best Education" and then I changed it to "Eds Best." That change occurred to make the name of website more closely match the web address, When I told my brother about the name change he commented that since "Ed's Best" sounded like some guys collection of his favorite online porn I should see a real increase in visitor. All be it very disappointed visitors. My brother's comment has prompted this most recent change of the blog site name to "Ed(ucation)'s Best. I still have closely matched the URL and have conveyed that the content of the blog is devoted to finding free online learning opportunities for those that visit this blog.

I have changed the basic outlay of the blog for two reasons first to accommodate the embedded Hulu player (Hulu actually has enough learning opportunity videos for me to do that) and to make Ed(ucation)'s Best a blog site that had a more academic feel. Plus I think the stuff I write is easier to read with the contrasting black ink, white page combination.

I think I have settled in on the look of the site and hope that if you are a regular the new look did not cause too much shock.

The Future of Open Courseware, Online Learning, e-Learning

The Open Courseware initiative, also generally referred to as "online learning" or "e-Learning", has only to look to the past to find a clear path for future evolution. In 1980 many people became excited about learning because of a single television program. Prior to that, the television had been referred to as the "idiot box" and most agreed that watching too much television could very well ruin our minds. While the attitude about television persists today, after this 1980 TV program became widespread many realized that TV was simply a tool that could either help build or destroy young minds. The program that I am talking about was "Cosmos" and it's host, Carl Sagan, had us spellbound by thoughts that may have never occurred to us without the program. While the ideas discussed by Sagan were clearly interesting and important, adding a multimedia environment really enhanced what might have eventually devolved into a boring lecture.

Today the web is probably just evolving from a parallel of where TV programing would have been in say the late 1960s to early 1970s. We have learned to tell a good story and have some multimedia, but; we have yet to marry the important information with the cool multimedia effects. The online learning, Open University, Open Courseware intiative is even further behind.
For learning to reach more people and for that learning to truely persist in the minds of people that can do something with it, we have to look back at what the Sagan group did with Cosmos and get multimedia specialist married up with the professors.

If you have the time and the inclination take a look at this Cosmos episode provide by Hulu. This show is one of my favorites and it is a really fun way to learn!

This is Carnegie Mellon University's Open and Free Online Courses

Carnegie Mellon University is, bar none, one of the very best Universities in the world. It has become common place for the very best Universities to offer at least a few complete courses, absolutely free and entirely online. MIT, Yale, Berkeley, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon all offer completely free complete courses with lectures, syllabi, lecture notes, supplemental materials, and sometimes even links to completely online textbooks.

None, so far as I know, yet offer credit for their free online "open courseware" courses. Carnegie Mellon does provide a way for you to receive credit through another university and likewise provides an opportunity for local universities to provide their students inexpensive options for online learning.
Click here to learn more about getting/providing credit for Carnegie Mellon Open Courses .

If you are ready to just go to the Carnegie Mellon free online courseware site and start learning Click Here .

Free Online Book(s): Seneca's Letters One of 4-hour Workweek Tim Ferriss' Top 5 Must Read Books

It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. What does it matter how much a man has laid up in his safe, or in his warehouse, how large are his flocks and how fat his dividends, if he covets his neighbour's property, and reckons, not his past gains, but his hopes of gains to come? Do you ask what is the proper limit to wealth? It is, first, to have what is necessary, and, second, to have what is enough.
Seneca, Moral Epistles, Volume 1, Epistle 2: ON DISCURSIVENESS IN READING

I can't just read one book at a time, even though I read some advice from Seneca's Epistles (Letters) that suggested that I read less and concentrate on just a few authors. Seneca's Letters is one of Tim Ferriss' (4-hour Workweek) top 5 must read books. The quote above is the first thing in Seneca's letters that has struck me as profound and possibly life changing for me. If you would like to start reading through Seneca's Epistles (Letters) you can read this three volume set for absolutely free.

CLICK HERE for Seneca's Letters (free online book)

Free Online Book: One of 4-hour Workweek Tim Ferriss' Top 5 Must Read Books

I was looking through some of my favorite blogs and was reminded why I have listed Tim Ferriss' "4-hour Workweek" blog among other education/learning sites. Ferriss has mastered a part of the American dream by living life his way with both ample time and money while still relatively young. When Ferriss recommends a course of action, it is worth taking note. Ferriss and his good friend Kevin Rose have listed their top ten must read books. You can see the list here: Tim Ferriss(4-hour Workweek)and Kevin Rose 10(12) must read books . I put the "12" in parenthesis because Ferriss recommended 7 books instead of 5 (Ferriss and Rose were each supposed to pick 5 books each to make up the top 10 list). I would have had trouble limiting myself to 5 books also.

One of Ferriss' intial top 5 must read books is "Getting Real" by 37signals. I plan on getting through all twelve books and I will start with "Getting Real" mainly because the entire book is offered as a totally free online book. If you would like to flip through, read or even intensely study this book you will find it here:
"Getting Real: the smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application" free online book

The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Thank You Randy Pausch, et. al. for Alice

The Randy Pausch story is probably one of the most widely known stories in the last two years. Pausch, a former Carnegie Mellon Computer Science Professor, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer July 25, 2008. He was 47 years old and had accomplished volumes in those 47 years. I have finally gotten around to listen to the audio version of his New York Times Bestseller "The Last Lecture" and have watched the video of the lecture. I will post "The Last Lecture: Achieving your childhood dreams" in my next post. Pausch's comments about life absolutely belong on a blog entitled "The Best Education." While Pausch's thoughts on living right should not be ignored, the Professor also expressed the hope that Alice, his 3D programming brainchild, be preserved and extended as his surviving contribution to growing the programming community. Last night I downloaded Alice and Alice Storytelling on two laptops and walked my 10 year old daughter and 6 year old son through some of the basics of Object Oriented programming. I did not get to play with Alice until tonight. I can tell that there is a whole lot more to learn but that Alice is probably the least intimidating, best way to begin to learn the fundamentals of programming.

Alice is absolutely Free of charge and is an excellent way to explore creativity and programming. I understand that Alice is used to teach programming to middle school, high school, and college students and even if you do not see yourself as a future programmer you should take a whirl with Alice. She's a lot of fun. Thank You, Randy Pausch, et al for providing the world with a free fun tool that may open up worlds to all of us.

Top 10 University Online Courses for Free

Education Portal lists the top 10 universities with free online courses as:

1. Free MIT Courses Online
2. Free Open University Courses Online
3. Free Carnegie Mellon University Courses Online
4. Free Tufts University Courses Online
5. Free Standford Courses on iTunes U
6. Free UC Berkeley Courses Online
7. Free Utah State University Courses Online
8. Free Kutztown University Courses Online
9. Free University of Southern Queensland Courses Online
10. Free UC Irvine Courses Online

If you would like to check out the article here's a link:
Best Free Online Courses.

Life Hacker featured this article a while back, are these still the "Top 10" Free Online University Courses?

The 4-hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss' speech on TED

Tim Ferriss, the 31 year old author of The Four Hour Workweek, can be seen on the Technology, Entertainment, and Design website. His TED talk entitled How to feel like the Incredible Hulk, posted for the first time this month, recounts his experience in overcoming his fear of swimming to competing in an open sea 1-kilometer race. Ferris also explains how he became fluent in Japanese and how he overcame obstacles to become a world champion tango dancer. Ferriss has discovered a system, coupled with a fearless optimistic attitude, that allows him to accomplish almost anything. Just listening to Ferriss speak provides hope that obstacles can be overcome and gives the listener a bit of perspective on the possibilities that exist in setting and actually achieveing almost any goal. Ferriss mentions at the end of this talk that he is now focusing on how to improve the American Education system. I'm interested in hearing what he has to say.

Ferriss is a very accomplished younger man who has definitely figured out some things that some of us never figure out. Namely how to live life entirely on your own terms with little sacrifice or fear. It is refreshing to see someone with that gutsy, can do approach to life. The "4-Hour Workweek" link in the right-handed column of this blog will take you to his website and blog. If you would like to look at a succinct bio of Ferriss from the TED site click here.

My Plan for Learning Piano from Free Online Learning Opportunities, part 1

I have some music training but, I am certainly not an accomplished musician. I would really like to learn to play an instrument well enough to not have to focus so hard that it is no fun. In other words, I would like to learn to play effortlessly and improvise in ways that sound professional. I have read in one of Malcolm Gladwell's books, either Blink or Outliers, that the difference between being a good musician and a great musician is that becoming a great musician requires that you devote 10,000 hours to learning an instrument. I can't devote that much in large chunks but, I have a few minutes here and there. I have chosen to try and learn the piano and the site that will help me most in the early stages will be Ricci Adams' (click on this post's title to go there).

Here is the first step of my plan for learning the piano:

1. I am going to first learn the names/notes of the black and white keys on the piano to the point where I know the the keys without really thinking about it. has a keyboard trainer that will really help me learn the keys.

How Do You Use Open Courseware?

Yesterday on the Open Culture site asked the question "How Do You Use Open Courses?."
If you would like to respond to that question or just read what others have to say about the question you can click on the title of this post. I am going to keep checking in with that running discussion mainly just to see what others are thinking.
I may directly answer the question on the Open Culture site but, the direction I would like to take with this site (The Best Education) is continue to post open opportunities for learning and start to blog about my learning journey and develop materials that will help you get even more from the Open Course opportunities that are out there. offers iTunes based Free Guitar lessons

I have not gotten to look through any of the free guitar lessons offered at but if you would like to check these free lessons out click on the title of this post and let me know what you find out.

Free Music Theory Education

Ricci Adams' is a great site to get a good grounding in music theory. The music theory lessons are absolutely free and are created using the web friendly adobe application, Flash. You will be required to have Adobe's Flash player. The good news is that your computer probably came installed with Flash Player and if it did not go to and download the most current Flash Player for free because if you are interested in learning Music Theory, this is a is a great place to start.

To go directly to, click on the title of this post.

24 Free Guitar Lessons From is trying to make a little money online providing guitar lesson for $12.95 a month. That's reasonable but, I am dedicated to sniffing out free learning so why am I even bothering you with this site. I'll tell you why: is offering 24 Guitar lessons for free. If you are interested in taking advantage of free resources to learn to play guitar then click on the title of this post to link to and let me know what you think about the free lessons.

The Open Courseware Consortium

The following is from the About Us section of The Open Courseware Consortium:

OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses. The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance education and empower people worldwide through opencourseware.

I have briefly looked at the beginning of a course on this site and it looks top notch!
I have added it to my links in the column in the up right of this blogsite and as always you can click on the title of this post to go directly to The Open Courseware Consortium and start using the courseware, free of charge.

The Electronic Academic Library

The Online Books Page on the web has links to around 35,000 books in html and pdf form that can be read cover-to-cover online. Last night I looked up the books required for the Yale Intro to Political Philosophy Open/Free online course and all books were available through links to this extensive electronic library. If you have never been to the elibrary, click on the title of this post or copy and paste the link below in your browse and take a look:

Open Culture: Free iTunes Apps Training, Free Foreign Language Training and a Whole Lot More

Open Culture is an excellent site that purports to be "The best free cultural and educational media on the web." So far it is the best site of its kind that I have visited. The latest article on Open Culture features a free Standford University course that teaches you to develop iTune applications. Another feature that you may want to check out while you are exploring Open Culture is the extensive collection of links that provide free foreign training.

Visit Open Culture by clicking on the title of this post.

eLearning for Kids is a free eLearning site where kids can play learning games in science, language arts, english language, math, health and life skills, and computer skills absolutely free of charge.

I have linked the title of this post to the site. Simply click on the title "eLearning for Kids" above to take a spin on this site.

Academic Earth

Academic Earth is an outstanding resource for those that are looking for online lectures. If you can only go to one free higher education learning site, this would be the one. To visit this site you can cut and paste the following link in your browser window:

OR You can click on the title of this posting, find yourself transported to Academic, and start learning immediately. This experience is really top quality. Hope that you also find this Free Online learning site to be a high quality learning experience.

University of Minnesota on YouTube

Harvard Business on YouTube

Online PhD

This article is a couple of years old and probably needs some update but, it still is a very good resource for locating free online learning opportunities. I urge you to take a look by clicking on the title of this post.

How to Learn to Play an Instrument Using Free Online Resources

Clicking on the title of this post will take you to an excellent LifeHacker post that walks you through the steps to utilizing free online sources to learn to play guitar that can be applied to learning many many more things.

Websites for Students: 10 Online Learning Tools

Clicking on the title of this post will connect you to an article on the website . This article is an important must see for those seeking online learning.

University of California TV from YouTube

Technology, Entertainment, and Design Talks

The TED talks are a collection of interesting talks, lectures, speeches from some of the best and most fascinating thinkers of our times. You may search and watch the TED talks by copying and pasting the link below in your browser or by simply clicking on the title of this post.

I really enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's talk. This is the "Malcolm Gladwell," author of bestselling books Outliers, Blink, and Tipping Point. If you want to go directly to his TED Talk, cut and paste the following link into your browser:

The University of New South Wales YouTube Videos

Stanford on YouTube

Educational Portal Free Online Courses List

The website has a lengthy list of free online education courses that you can access via this link:

You can either copy and paste this link into your browser window or simply click on the title of this article post to visit's course lists.

I have gone through a couple of these courses and they are very good. While you are at the site take a look around.

MIT Videos from YouTube

Dartmouth Videos From YouTube