You’re asking us to simplify a message’ says the Dean of Social Science ‘When our whole orientation is to complicate it’.
Hired to introduce impact skills training to senior academics at a university, I ask them to choose a constituency they wish to influence.
Then they are to come up with a one phrase mission for their message, to this constituency.
This turns out to be quite a challenge, which foxes some of them.
Travelling home, my concern about our teenagers getting to university is slightly less than it was before the session…
Astonishing Learning Opportunities
While online learning booms though, nothing beats live discussion for getting quickly to the heart of a matter.
And currently in the UK, A level students are writing the dreaded personal statement to put on their university application forms.
To help keep a sense of perspective then – plus a way of sampling course material – and for all self-improvers, here’s a list of online alternatives/tasters:
MIT Open Courseware
This is a fantastic resource from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where you can study anything from Soviet History and Politics to Natural Light in Building Design. Overused word I know, but it is awesome.
Started by Sebastian Thrun, Professor of Computing Science at Stanford with two partners, this mostly offers courses on Computer Science for free. There is a Lean Start-Up course available too, and some certification available, with more to follow.
199 different courses here, again free and starting at prescribed times, mostly but not entirely from US universities. ‘Why We need psychology’ ‘Know Thyself’ and ‘Why We Are Irrational’ all tempt, here.
A mixture of courses, some free and some paid for. You can study anything from Greek Philosophy to Body Building. A new start-up business, full of potential. Self- improvement junkies may need to avoid.
Founded by Harvard and MIT, currently this looks to be offering computer science, electronics, science and public health courses. Again, free.
As well as the more predictable computing and science options at Carnegie Mellon, you can do French, American English Speech and something called Argument Diagramming. A more interesting alternative to marriage guidance possibly?
The UK’s Open University with over 600 free courses, and about to get a site redesign.
Again with Stanford University connections, a most amazing curation of free culture and educational resources on the web. Warning: there are 100s of watchable movies, here. Seriously, with sites like this, who needs the tv?
Set up by visionary Salman Khan, this has over 3000 free videos and over 400,000 You Tube subscribers. It’s for kids and you if you’re ‘a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.’
I don’t know about you, but the extraordinary capacity for generosity behind this listing makes my heart sing.
Oh brave new world, indeed – and here is hope.
ps Thanks to the Linked-In Learning Without Frontiers group, Muvaffak Goyzadin added suggestions to this post, which lead me to his fine academic earth resource, which includes courses from Yale, Stanford and if you fancy it, Dr David Starkey at Cambridge.