If you’ve found yourself graduated from college and wanting to keep learning without paying a ridiculous amount of money, check out Coursera.
A very informed friend sent me a link to a website where you can take a very limited amount of courses from schools like Princeton, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania and U of Michigan FO FREE.
An excerpt from their website explains what the driving force is behind the site and free online classes from some of the top universities in the world:
“We are a social entrepeneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. We envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students.
Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.”
Read more on the background of Coursera from the New York Times here.
This is simply amazing and a really cool step into free education through the power of the internet and interconnectedness. The internet was invented
to share pictures of cats for the sharing of information, and making education available to all through the seemingly limitless power of the net is a strangely progressive step, especially in a world that is obsessed with high profit margins and the Kardashians.
The basic format of the online classes are taped lectures and some homework assignments. So it’s like Youtube, but without all the bat-shit crazy commenters and with a little more elbow grease.
The course selection on both websites is highly limited and centered upon computer science and technology, which is useful in an every-growing technological world both personally and professionally. This is an amazing first step into the world of open source, free online education that does not discriminate, unless of course you don’t have an email address and refuse to register for free things. It’s nice to know that there are people in the world working hard to provide education and information to the people regardless of the personal economics of the masses. Right on.
Right now there are a bunch of computer science related courses that start today (April 23rd) on Coursera and more that start at different times throughout the year. Udacity allows you to sign up for their courses at any time, which is beyond convenient to manage in between everyone’s 2-3 part time jobs. Computer Science 101 anyone?! We can share notes!