the absence of better methods
There are plenty of NEW and possibly better methods awaiting funding.
I wouldn't advise waiting for their resolution to begin making those fruits available for consumption.
Excellent. Neither would I. How do you feel about scientific research? Do you think it's a good idea or do you hate that it holds things up? I mean, would you like to take a potential drug cure before its trial?
This seems like an excellent opportunity to throw a little money at an interesting education opportunity, and see how it pays off.
Where is anyone talking about see how this 'pays off'? How do you tell if it 'pays off'? Anecdotal evidence is just that and not the substitute for a scientific evaluation. How about we spend some of the money to explore that?
Now you're demonizing Google for giving 1/289th that amount to an institution that will likely reach 50+ times the audience, who are probably more in need of a better education anyway?
Don't you think that something that has the potential to reach a much wider audience should be carefully tested before released into the wild?
But it IS an excellent way to prime yourself for an upcoming class by seeing some example problems, or simply to gain an introductory level knowledge through recorded survey-type courses requiring little technical background (iTunes U has a lot of this kind of material).
No and that's the point. There is nothing to say that this is a good way to introduce anyone to the subject. It might be but we have no way of knowing short of conducting research on the problem.
This isn't the same as Wikipedia, which is a resource designed to serve as a reference. These videos are meant to teach and must bear the burden of being able to do so.
No matter who the learner is, there will be some better and some worse ways to learn something. How do you know that this is a good way to learn something for anyone? There is a real problem with people miss-learning concepts and requiring extensive, if even possible, re-education to get the concept right. Take for example the average explanation of why we have seasons - completely wrong and requires significant explanantion.
And I can lament the fact that the very little money given to educational projects is being spent on unproven concepts. Applaud all you want but know that you might be applauding for nothing more than entertainment.
"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN