Monday, July 16, 2012

Quick, Free Online Classes

There are two quick online classes that I am working my way through. I highly recommend both of them and I hope to see more classes taught in this format in the future.

Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act
Preview from Ezra Klein: "Do you like health policy? Lectures with tons of graphs? Quizzes, even? Well, has Zeke Emanuel got an online education course for you! The former Obama administration adviser – and current University of Pennsylvania professor – is in the middle of an eight-week video lecture series on health care in the United States."

Google Power Search
Preview from website: Google Search makes it amazingly easy to find information. Come learn about the powerful advanced tools we provide to help you find just the right information when the stakes are high.

I thought I knew plenty on both of these subjects - a master of both of them even - but it only goes to show that you can always learn a bit more.

Can you imagine how this format will transform the world of education?

I can search online for something that I am interested in, find a YouTube class with activities posted, and then work through it on my own time. When I finish it, I get a small certificate of accomplishment. I learn what I want to when I want to wherever I want to and I have evidence to prove that I did so. Combine this concept with a gamification program and it can completely overturn education as we know it. No wonder professors are beginning to feel threatened by this development. Education is democratizing from a formalized system of obtaining diplomas to a results-oriented process of acquiring information at bargain-bin prices.

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