Online education options

edX imageThere’s innovation from the private education sector as we’re seeing the first generation of online education. With such a low barrier of entry (anyone can join), take up is clearly growing but completion is thought to be around 9%. Presumably that’s people ducking out of course X as it wasn’t stimulating enough and switching to course Y. Or they’ve bailed because of busy lives and more pressing matters.

But the bigger picture here is surely to flip our collective thinking on education to something more akin with peer to group learning. The traditional model is massively inefficient where a teacher creates content for class after class. Even if they’re regurgitating previous notes, the thinking is that students could watch an online video of a brilliant lecture and use that class time as discussion, follow up and a more pragmatic two-way interaction. Check out Seth Godin’s thoughts here.

Regardless of how quickly the classroom changes, if you like blogs like this, then you’ll love sites like these that let you get your thinking caps on: – the darling of online education with the mission of, “a free world-class education for anyone anywhere”. Business is lacking in the syllabus but this is one massive resource to back up classroom learning. – 100,000 videos across 2,000 courses teaching technology, design & business skills. This site has real traction with 2.5M members and a bunch of fresh funding. Costs $25/month after your 7-day trial. – offers game-orientated learning that ‘adapts to you personally’. Offers language, maths, science, social studies, sports and vocabulary in their library. – more courses for computer science and maths but also has business, physics, psychology categories too (presumably they’ll grow). Short videos, quizzes and a community. – free courses from Harvard, MIT, Georgetown and other top-drawer universities. More for those wanting true academia and not one for casual in-and-out learning but worth looking at the varied course list. – hundreds of free courses covering loads of categories. These are courses not one-off short videos; think 4 hours a week for 6 weeks to learn about competitive strategy.
iTunes U – massively overlooked in the iTunes store this resource is surprising in its breadth of content from the world’s top schools. A massive free resource.

Also, if you’re fed up with the techies speaking another language in your team meetings, here’s some sites that claim to teach the layman to code: $19/mth £Free £Free (my personal favourite) $25/mth $25/mth

There’s something there for everyone to want to unplug from the Apprentice (you have already haven’t you) and tune in. Happy learning.

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