All You Learned in College You Can Get For Free

November 21, 2012

Jessie Burgess

The world is changing.  Getting smaller.  We can fly to the other side of the world in 24 hours and see people and things we could only have imagined.  But that’s air travel, and frankly that frightens me.


So what’s a scaredy cat supposed to do these days?


I think the kids call it “the Internet.”


The Internet has changed the world.  We have nearly unlimited access to knowledge and information and people.  You can learn almost anything you want to learn.  You can learn how to make eggs benedict (a skill that I’ve yet to master, so if I offer to cook for you: run), you can learn to play the guitar, and you can find someone who can explain that theory that you just can’t understand in a way that you can understand.


You can find a funny picture when all you want to do is laugh.


And while this is not a great example or one that I completely endorse, you’ve got to hand it to the kid - Justin Bieber is only famous because of the Internet.


But we won’t hold that against it.


The Internet has more to offer you than Justin Bieber. It has countless websites that are catered to your learning desires. Like this one, or like The Khan Academy.


The Khan Academy is a self-described global classroom with thousands of videos of free educational content ranging from biology to physics to chemistry to math, and even reaching into the humanities to offer some insight into finance and history.  (Oh, the humanities. You can’t tell, but I’m laughing right now. The humanities…) Thousands of videos at your finger-tips, all for free, so you can learn something you want to learn. It’s not just videos either; practice questions let you test your newfound knowledge, and if you sign up it even tracks your progress, so if you struggle you can go back and keep practicing.


It is not just small start-ups that offer free learning anymore, there are big names in education that are already offering free classes online. Prestigious universities like Harvard and MIT post free classes online that anyone around the world, regardless of status or former education, can access. There may not be any credit or official status gained but it’s the promise of growing and renewing education in an age of technological incline that offers the chance at learning something new.


I’m getting really excited about this. This is awesome news! Free learning?  What could be better?


Oh… Stanford, Princeton, The University of Michigan and The University of Pennsylvania are getting in on this too… That’s better.


You can do pretty much anything, find pretty much anyone, learn almost anything and best of all, you can know everything.


Also, don’t forget the funny cat pictures.




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