The digital revolution has been both good and bad, but one of the advantages has been the access to online education.
Lifelong learning, and I’m a big fan of lifelong learning, has been made so much easier. The range of free, high-quality online courses available to anyone with an internet connection is enormous, and I’m totally addicted.
My first taste of MOOCs (which stands for Massive Open Online Courses) was a few years ago through Udacity, and from there a whole world on online learning opened up to me. In the last few years, the proliferation of MOOCs has exploded with courses offered by universities from around the world. It’s a bonus for not just students, but universities too. They’re able to offer taster courses to potential students around the world, and use them as a platform for testing new courses. Personally, I’m more than happy to be a test subject, but do find I have to control myself so I’m not doing too many courses at once.
Over the last few years, most of the courses I’ve done have been through edX and Open2Study, which both offer free and paid courses. Even better, you can start doing a course for free, but if you decide you want a certificate for it then you can switch over part way through. It also means if you start a course and decide it isn’t for you, then you can just stop and you haven’t wasted a cent.
I’ve done some purely for personal interest and others have been related to what I do for a living (graphic & web design). I’ve done about 13 in the last 2 years, which might be a bit excessive. The problem is I receive these emails with upcoming courses and there are just so many tempting ones on offer! How’s a girl meant to control herself!
Then, of course, there’s TED with talks on just about any topic you can think of and podcasts on everything imaginable (though of course anyone can make a podcast, so they aren’t necessarily factual).
So what about you? What type of learning do you prefer?