Friday, August 31, 2012

TGD Goes Back to (Virtual) School

Some time ago, I wrote that I was hoping to return to school and further my education.  Many months later, due to the overwhelming responsibilities of adulthood, financial constraints, a drastic change in my work schedule and an exceptional ability to make excuses for my own laziness, I have yet to even attempt to enroll in any sort of graduate program.

Apparently seeing through me, my brother recently sent me an email suggesting I enroll in a free online course in which he was also going to be participating.  I looked up the site and, feeling inspired by the thought of learning something new on my own schedule without any financial commitment and devoid of any penalties for giving up in the middle of it (a huge selling point for me), I decided what the hell and enrolled.

For the last few days, I have been watching neatly dissected portions of lectures on my laptop at my convenience.  I have learned more than a few things and, more importantly, have come to remember the exhilaration of being a student again.  I forgot how much I really enjoy learning.

I want to pass this site on to the rest of you.  Before I do, let me assure you, I am doing this of my own accord.  Nobody has asked me to publicize this program and I am not receiving any sort of monetary or any other sort of compensation.  I merely think this has a great deal of potential and think some, if not all, of you might be interested.

The site is called Coursera.  It currently offers 123 different online courses from 16 different, well known universities over 16 different categories.  The courses are all free and some will even provide you with a certificate of completion provided you perform adequately on the course work.

So go, fellow learners and peruse the Coursera course catalog.  You may not be receiving any college credit for any of these, but they are free classes and, if you're considering going back to school yourself, perhaps it could help get you back on the horse.  Who knows, maybe I'll even see you in the course I'm taking.  I'll let you carry my books.

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