Nov 20 2007

The cost of higher learning? Free, in some cases

Comments Off on The cost of higher learning? Free, in some cases

I found a great story called “How to take a course at MIT for free–at home” published in Sunday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and I just have to share this with you.

For those of us who just can’t seem to learn enough, there’s a wide selection of free “open courseware” material available online.

You won’t receive credit–this means no certificate or degree–from this coursework. But, you’ll learn something new from some of the leading educators in the country.

You can take these courses and expand your understanding on a subject–actions that can help you decide whether to pursue particular subject matter for a degree.

You won’t likely get extensive feedback from the course professor–maybe no feedback at all.

But look at the cool things you can learn! Think about the possibilites–whether you’re a homeschooler, or pre-college student trying to decide on a course of study, or just someone who likes to learn.

Right now, MIT is the goldmine for open coursework, as far as I can tell. MIT has 1,700 courses from which to choose. Departments include astronautics (whoa!), biology, civil & environmental engineering, literature, mathematics, and foreign languages & literatures. You’ll find dozens more departments.

The University of Notre Dame has several departments offering courses, including architecture, history, and philosophy.

The University of California-Berkeley offers tons of lecture videos. I’m going to watch “Physics for Future Presidents.” I don’t aspire to be president of anything–but physics is really neat.

Visit the Open Course Consortium for a wide variety of resources.

Apple has iTunesU, where you can access audio and video from all over.

My little sister is a junior in high school. I’m going to make sure she knows about these resources so she can get a glimpse on college coursework.

Have you taken an “open course”? How did it go? Do you have suggestions on some to take or avoid? What do you think of these opportunities?

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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