A great way to learn online is through Coursera, an award-winning site that collects video lectures from some of the best university professors and academics out there and makes them available to people around the globe, for free. All you need to do is sign up and try to follow the study guidelines, week-to-week. VideoNet.es is an online, paperless solution to video note-taking, that saves you the trouble of overusing notepad or Evernote while watching Coursera, Khan Academy, Udacity, edx or educational YouTube videos. Not having to first pause the video, restore notepad, and then write your thoughts can make learning even Computational Neuroscience a bit more breezy.
Visit the site and log in with your Google Drive account. The work you do here will be automatically saved to your Drive.
The layout is neat and clean as a classroom should be. In the top-left corner, you can click “VideoNot.es” for a quick tutorial on how to operate the site. Copy and paste a video URL in the bar and hit “Load Video” to start watching it within the left panel while you take notes to the right. Save them, open previously saved notes, or create new ones from the the appropriate icons lined above the text field. You can give your notes a title by clicking the default “Untitled Notes” heading and share what you’ve written with classmates via Google Drive by clicking the “Share” button all the way to your right.
Here’s what a typical studying session would look like.
In the screen captured above, I’ve typed in some notes to the right. If I want to quickly go to the part of the video a particular line is talking about, all I have to do is click it. If you don’t want the video to jump back while you’re editing a previous note, you can always un-sync the text with the ON/OFF toggle above the writing area. Note that VideoNot.es supports hotkeys for each of the functions above the text field including the sync toggle, for which the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+S.
A major plus point of having Google Drive integrated with VideoNot.es is that note-taking doesn’t have to be linear; more than one person can take notes on the same tutorial simultaneously. To open your VideoNot.es notes – or those that another user shared with you – from within Google Drive, simply click the saved notebook and select Open > VideoNot.es from the “No preview” overlay.
One thing that’s really missing is hyperlinking; though you can always copy and paste a link, it’s more convenient to open a link directly from the note editor. But this is a minor hiccup in an otherwise excellent web app. VideoNot.es is, after all, clean & quiet and seems to focus more on the learning than the medium.