I have to admit that at first glance the opportunity to hear and watch Richard Feynman lecture was enough to attract me to Project Tuva. I have long been interested in physics and having read some of Feynman’s writing (His book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) was a blast to read) I was interested in hearing him “in person” as it were. I’ve watched much of the first of seven lectures that Project Tuva has available and it was as entertaining as it was informative. I’ve learned a bunch of things about gravitation and how it was discovered (hint: a lot more than just an apple falling on Newton’s head) from what I have watched. Feynham is a great lecturer. If you teach physics or are interested in learning physics this series is a great resource.
But Project Tuva is really more than just lectures copied from tape to Internet viewable form. There is expert commentary available (for the first lecture – commentary of the rest is coming). There are interactive supporting materials along the way. There is also the ability to take ones own notes that can be timed to the lecture timeline. The videos can be searched as well. And as you might expect there are transcripts to read. Is this the way to capture great teaching and provide a true multi-level, multi-media, interactive learning experience for educational purposes? Perhaps. If nothing else Project Tuva is an interesting exercise in how computer technology can make learning more than just listening to a lecture or reading a transcript or textbook.
See also the Bill Gates interview on how this came about – Bill Gates offers the world a physics lesson