Flower arrangements, Excel and riding a bike may not have much in common, but you can learn them all on Curious, a video tutorial platform. The site, launched in May, now has more than 3,000 lessons and 400 teachers.
I’m no stranger to wanting to learn new things via the Internet — I’ve relied on YouTube for updo tutorials and typically find new recipes on Pinterest. But the sweet spot of Curious is somewhere in between classroom-style learning and show-and-tell.
How Curious Works
I checked out a class called ABdomination by Kacie Fischer. She demonstrated recommended ab workouts on the grass. Meanwhile, I was sitting at my desk. Although, contrary to a traditional workout video, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t following along with her. I just needed to see how the exercises work so maybe I can use them when I go to the gym later.
Curious has a feature that stops the video lesson to ask a multiple choice question, as well. Our attention spans are short, so this feature ensures your mind doesn’t wander and you’ll get the most out of each lesson.
Should your knees and heels go together during reverse crunches? I said “True,” and apparently wasn’t paying attention because the answer is “False” (keep your knees and heels two fists apart to work your adductors and hip flexors).
After the first few minutes of a class, Curious will ask you to log in with Facebook to continue. The site tells you a class is worth $1, but since you’re given $20 in Curious Coins to start, you can expect to get your first 20 classes free.
Curious CEO Justin Kitch tells me that many of the classes will be free. The benefit to teachers, he says, is that when someone signs up for their class, they’re able to send them messages through the platform. So if you teach a really great cooking class on Curious, you could sell a cookbook to the audience you’ve built on the site. If making money from teaching is not your primary goal, then the Curious platform is just plain handy for showing off your skills.
What Teachers Should Know
The production quality on ABdomination was solid — it was clear that a videographer was zooming in and out so the instructor was always in the frame. In fact, Curious has found that the most popular classes aren’t necessarily the highest quality — a less-produced video can feel more intimate and the instructor seems more trustworthy, with one caveat — the audio must be good.
When looking to learn something on Curious, you can expect classes to be between 5 and 15 minutes. Instructors can attach files to the video and include quizzes, similar to the features on Coursera (which offers intellectual rather than hobby-based classes and has partnered with more than 100 universities). Students, in turn, can send in a Curious Card to get teacher feedback on their workout form or the cake they made. This feedback takes Curious a step above YouTube, especially if you’re serious about learning something.
What will you learn on Curious.com? Tell us in the comments.
Image: Flickr, jamiesrabbits
Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/11/12/curious/