American educator Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard, started the Khan Academy in 2006 for the purpose of making “a free, world-class education available for anyone, anywhere.” Khan, a mathematician by training, features videos of an electronic blackboard on which he works out math problems while explaining them in voice-over. His site has expanded its offerings until now it not only hosts lessons in math, but also computer programming, economics and even art history. Site registration is free, and those who complete courses can earn “badges” for their accomplishments. The lessons are aimed at a college preparatory level. Still, if I had to brush up my algebra, I would click right in to Khan Academy. Khan Academy lessons are available through free apps, too.
Posted in Kids in School, Life Long Learning, Math, Science
- Tagged algebra, free, Khan Academy, lessons, Life Long Learning, Math, Salman Khan, school, tutor, tutorials
In 2007, Apple jumped on the free online college course bandwagon through its iTunes application. Here you will find iTunes U, a selection of recorded videos, ebook, .pdf files and podcasts from courses offered by a variety of schools including Harvard, Stanford, and Earlham Community School District. These days, iTunes U offers “courses”, as noted by the binding on the left side of the course icon, and “collections”, that is, gatherings of lectures on a topic. For example, “Statistics 101”, taught by Harvard’s Joseph Blitzstein, was designed as a class, whereas “What Great Bosses Know” is a collection of podcasts from Poyntner Intsitute’s Jill Geisler. All are available on a desktop computer through iTunes or through the iTunes U app for iPad or iPhone. These courses are offered freely, but one cannot get college credit for them.
MIT began to offer virtually all of its course content over the web for free in 2002 through its OpenCourseWare (OCW; http://ocw.mit.edu) program. Many of the classes have been translated into eight languages, including Chinese, Spanish and Turkish. OCW has a separate program for independent learners called OCW Scholar (http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/ocw-scholar/). These courses are more complete than typical OCW offerings and feature supplemental multimedia materials. Subjects covered include biology, mathematics, and microeconomics.
Posted in College, Life Long Learning, Science, tutorial
- Tagged free, independent learners, lifelong learning, MIT, OCW, online classes, OpenCourseWare, Science
Free college-level online classes have been available since 2001, when Carnegie Mellon University introduced its Open Learning Initiative (OLI). Today, OLI offers 18 introductory-level online classes in a variety of subjects including Biochemistry, Statistical Reasoning and Elementary French. Students affiliated with the university pay a fee to have their tests graded and receive credit for their work. Independent learners, on the other hand, are welcome to work through the pre-recorded lectures for no charge, but they will not be quizzed nor receive credit. Still, they are encouraged to establish a free account with the OLI site so it can track their progress. OLI designs their courses with measurable learning outcomes, which gives them the tools to “iteratively improve our courses and improve the teaching and learning experience.”
Posted in College, College, Life Long Learning, Web/Tech
- Tagged Carnegie Mellon, college, distance education, free, OLI, online classes, Online Learning Initiative, university
Philadelphia’s Sarah Wagner is on a mission to bring manufacturing back to the United States. To that end, she urges all of us to try to buy Christmas gifts that are made in America. Although it is difficult to find electronics and appliances that are manufactured domestically, Wagner says that things like jewelry, cosmetics, clothing and candy are not hard to find. Craft fairs and the site Etsy.com are sure-fire places to locate locally produced gifts.
Wagner advises shoppers to check the tags on products in big box stores like Target or WalMart or department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales for domestically made goods. She found products ranging from candles to cast iron cookware that were made in the U.S.A.
Wagner and her staff highlight deals on American goods on her blog USA Love List.
USA Love List