Saturday, January 27, 2007
The Beggin' and Choosin' Awards 2006
It's here...The nominations are in...It's time to vote...
As we did in 2005, the Stingy Scholar wants to recognize the best free educational resources during the year 2006. So with no further ado, here are the categories and nominees.
(1) Best Textbook
Motion Mountain (2005 winner) - Christoph Schiller's book is everything you can ask for - professional and free. It's no surprise that Motion Mountain won the BCA's last year and has been recommended by institutes around the world.
Wolfram's MathWorld - One of the most complete math resources on the web.
Digital History - Not just a great free textbook, but one of the best history resources period.
Freeload Press - These guys are doing an excellent job to offer a series of complete, ad-supported textbooks for real classroom use (complete with teachers' additions).
(2) Best eBook Site
Project Gutenberg - You can't skip the old-school original as a nominee in this category. Along with the internet archive, PG is probably the most important effort to make copyright free ebooks available.
Manybooks (2005 winner) - This site won last year, based mainly on the excellent user interface and variety of download options (psp, ipod, pdf, etc).
Bookyards - We like bookyard's efforts to round-up everything ebook in one central index. With over 11,000 books and hundreds of links, it's one of the most complete around.
(3) Best Audiobook Site
LearnOutLoud (2005 winner) - Outstanding free, professionally produced original work and links to free resources around the web.
Librivox.org - An excellent attempt to get users to contribute audio versions of copyright free texts (although quality levels do vary).
Podiobooks - We were previously unaware of this site. Podiobooks is presenting some good contemporary literature for free, with chapters broken-up and distributed in podcast form.
(4) Best Social Site
This award is given to the site that best allows users to contribute and help each other find free educational resources or share information via the site.
del.icio.us (2005 winner) - Although many wikis and portals attempt to collectively index educational links, del.icio.us remains a powerhouse due to the vast number of users and ease of bookmarking.
Second Life - This virtual world is getting known as a free ed resource. See here, here, and here for some of the most outstanding uses.
qoolsqool - A Digg clone for educational resources. Visit the best and selected resources for some of the most stellar entries.
(5) Best University -
Here's the "best actor" of the BCA's. Some might call the Best University category a two-horse race between last year's winner, MIT, and UC Berkeley. But over 2006 we have seen dozens of major universities making at least some token effort to offer some sort of open courseware or podcast. Below we have six universities who are doing outstanding work to break down the ivory tower and openly share their resources. Choose carefully...this one is for all the marbles.
For all universities offering free materials, see "courses & lectures" on our wiki (and please add any resource not listed there).
You can vote as many times as you like for your favorites.