Learning is fun; Or, the confessions of an online course addict

by kathleenljackson

I am addicted to online courses. It began innocently enough; I discovered iTunesU – more specifically, I discovered a lecture series offered by Stanford-based historian Clayborne Carson on African American history – and I was instantly hooked. (Prof. Carson’s course is amazing – highly, highly recommended)

It is unbelievable how much the internet has contributed to accessible education. At any given time you are one click away from being lectured by the leaders of your chosen field.

If you are looking for lectures to listen to, iTunesU is a good place to start. I love the history lectures presented at Yale, Stanford and La Trobe. But there is a whole movement happening now… Massive open online course (MOOC). The stand out websites are coursera, udacity and edX but it is a growing industry.

I can’t really report on udacity or edX (none of the courses they offer have taken my fancy) but I am enrolled in a couple of courses at Coursera. My first course starts September 10; Modern & Contemporary American Poetry. I’m hoping it will be teach me a thing or two about analysing sources like novels and films. I’m pretty impressed with it already – they have an active twitter, personal website and regular emails.

But if you are more interested in the ‘quick hit’ I can also recommend Udemy or checking out the list of free courses provided by the kind people at OpenCulture.

Regardless, I have a feeling MOOC’s are going to be a game-changer for the academy…

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