The web already makes it easier to educate yourself. Now colleges and universities are putting their best classes online and charging nothing for them. Entire lectures are being posted on YouTube (like UC Berekely), iTunes, or on the school’s own web sites.
iTunes U has almost 30 universities participating. The top downloads aren’t lightweights either – #1 is a lecture from MIT physics professor Walter Lewin. He has 37 lectures posted and has become famous for his quirky style.
Not only are the world’s most brilliant thinkers writing blogs, they are on video and podcasts too. This is a renaissance of knowledge that is being viewed by not just students, but ordinary people all over the world. Think of how useful this is for college prep or to study before taking the GMAT or other courses.
On Yale’s web site you can listen to philospher Shelly Kagan‘s PHIL 176: Death (which was offered this past Spring, 2007). He discusses among other topics: the morality, meaning, and fear of death.
If you want to get educated this year, here are some more site to check out:
- MIT has 1,8000 classes online and the course on linear algebra is most popular.
- The Utah State University OpenCourseWare (OCW) blog has a list of sites, including USU’s classes.
- TED isn’t a university but a conference. Though I hope to attend someday, you can watch videos on their site. They have a collection of brilliant and creative ideas on a wide variety of subjects.
I’m looking for personal and business finance classes, since that’s one of my focuses for the new year. What I’d like to see are more practical courses (advanced Internet marketing taught by the superstars in business). I’d also like to see more interaction and social networking aspects added to the classes.
My last thought is Facebook should have plugins for education – to find courses and lecture notes. Anyone know of a social network for higher education?