I'm very sorry if this is duplication, but I can't find a mention of anything like this anywhere yet. It seems like it might even be a little obvious.
I was thinking about maths. Very often, in learning maths, it's important to start by understanding the more general concept that underpins a theory, and then understand the specifics. Wikipedia and Mathworld are fantastic sites for experts, but I think that a good teacher still has the upper hand - those sites present to be accurate, whereas a teacher can explain in terms that make things easier to understand.
Initially I thought it would be great fun to have mathoverflow.com; you'd be able to ask about a theory or a piece of maths, and other users could post about the way it was explained that helped them finally understand it. The StackOverflow system would work wonderfully well for that; the best and clearest explanations would win out.
Then, of course, why limit it to maths? All academic subjects could benefit from this.
I see the danger that it could turn into a homework question zone, but there's already a strategy to handle that at SO, and it seems to work pretty well.
I think this might prove a really interesting way to help people to learn by sharing understanding across all fields.
I suppose there are two ways of implementing it:
- StackExchange, supported by a company based on advertising.
- Hope that SE goes open source, and then pay for hosting with support from a nonprofit, (ala Wikipedia).
Would this be a useful resource, and which option would give users a better end result?