eLearning is making education accessible to anyone. This is no surprise to anyone who devotes their days to connecting professionals to learning and development opportunities. But what we’re talking about now is a free, world class, self-paced high school or even college education.
Sure, the free option means that you don’t have a certificate or degree to add to your resume, but you have knowledge, skills and abilities that connect you to success in the modern world. For adult learners, this is your opportunity to supplement your knowledge on the topics you skipped in college. Some of the organizations offering diverse, high quality educational opportunities online are:
- Khan Academy - This site is the product of a former hedge fund analyst’s devotion to tutoring his high school age cousins in math and science. Salman Khan started making short videos for his cousins a few years ago, and now the Khan Acadamy site shares more than 1,500 courses on math, science, current events and business topics. The short videos, which are hosted on YouTube, feature hand-written notes on a black screen, narrated in a soothing tone by Salman Khan himself.
- MIT OpenCourseWare - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is sharing access to all its courses, including videos of lectures and relevant supporting materials.
- Connexions - Supported by private foundations and Rice University, this site offers authors a place to share educational content built for online delivery. Courses include elementary through high school, college and vocational topics. Content is appropriate for self-paced work by learners or for teachers and instructors who are creating curricula for implementation in a school or course setting.
Presently, I’m working my way through The Khan Academy’s finance series, which is a topic I skipped in college. I’m getting access to high quality content, accessible whenever and however I want it, at no cost to me.
But now I have questions about implementing my new knowledge. Or perhaps I’m interested in replicating the stimulating discussion that occurs in a classroom environment. Where do I turn for support? I’m connecting with communities of discussion and practice through social networking sites like Quora, MeetUp, Facebook and Twitter.
My favorite option in this area is Quora, an online question and answer forum where thoughtful, serious and considered discussion is taking place right now. Go there RIGHT NOW and be impressed by the smart discussion and conversational access to some of the people whose blogs you read.
Use Quora to supplement your independent study with valuable discussion about wide-ranging topics and to get recommendations for additional resources worth consulting.
OpenSesame & the Unlocked Education World
OpenSesame is a platform for enterprise training & education-- connecting the buyers and sellers of elearning-- but we have a vision for a world where only personal initiative is necessary to advance yourself. Over time, we hope that OpenSesame will make all levels of education universally accessible to learners all over the world.
Photo Credit: OpenSourceWay on Flickr