Here are some great online places you can take courses right where you sit! Learn to expand your professional skill set, learn for fun, learn to keep your brain sharp, or go "meta-learn": explore and experiment to discover how you learn best.
Whatever the reason, these offer you unprecedented opportunity at the lowest cost ever in history (most are free). Carpe Diem!
Crowd-sourcing training and learning assessments
by Katin Imes
We have an interesting swirl of needs and resources appearing in the domains of learning and professional development, and I'm curious how we can add layers of efficiency and curation for learners via crowd-sourced or distributed methods. Learners helping learners, you could say.
The needs I see appearing:
in-the moment learning and skills development;
guidance for learning paths for new skills and knowledge;
measurement of accomplished learning or skill development.
I believe this was created by a student, the mix was shared by a Symbaloo user named Jessica Huber. It has some fun ways to learn more Spanish (like Musical Spanish!) and some terrific online learning and study tools like Quizlet.
Well done, many tutorials, not many images, but very good core information. This is the real, practical application stuff, not theory or teaching general programming concepts. Very handy for web developers learning new dimensions, aspects and technologies for their work.
How is learning now different than learning was in the 20th century?
Now that Internet access and a modern computer are becoming common in American homes with students, we have new powerful teaching technology. On-demand access to lectures, examples, tutorials, simulations, and forums for learning just about anything you can imagine is a mind-blowing difference from just twenty years ago.
It really is a whole new world; it's just that many people don't know it yet.
The core principle to apply now is: make the best use of each modality and technology to serve students, teachers, parents and society.
In general, that boils down to making the very best learning environments possible. That means understanding the attributes of each asset -- the strengths and weaknesses -- and applying them accordingly.
For example, is learning on the computer a good replacement for mentoring, support and assessment that teachers can provide in the classroom? No, computer learning environments are not good at those things. So don't use computer learning for those things. Those are strengths of the classroom.
Meanwhile, is the classroom with a live teacher a good replacement for on-demand video? No. Teachers and classmates don't have pause or rewind buttons. Teachers don't enjoy repeating the same lecture for each class, over and over. It's a waste of the teacher's time; humans with college degrees and teaching credentials make for very expensive tape recorders / VCRs / CD-Players. It doesn't serve the students well, it doesn't serve the teachers well. So don't use classrooms for those kinds of things. These are strengths of Internet video.
"Blended Learning" is the term to mean a hybrid, part-computer, part-classroom approach. The goal is, of course, to create the most balanced, effective blended-learning mix possible. How do you know when you have a good mix? When students excel, learn faster and deeper, develop higher order skills, and report that they are enjoying the process. Some might be surprised to learn that when application and use of resources are balanced and optimized for best results, it is less expensive than inefficiently applying those resources - resources like classrooms and teachers.
What the end result? Well, it is the end result that is needed to be successful in the ever-more-complex, problem-addled 21st-century: better results at a lower cost. And when you apply that to educating more engineers, writers, leaders and knowledge workers, it means a huge impact on the success and wealth of America.