Ways to Get Educated

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Hi P!

You’re coming to my dorm in less than three hours. I’ve been living in sparkling anticipation and I have so many adventures planned for this weekend.

Yesterday, I was having lunch with our friend B and I mentioned MIT OpenCourseWare. To my surprise, he had never heard of it. There are so many ways to educate yourself using nothing more than a device with an internet connection that college is gradually becoming obsolete.

Here are a few:

MIT OpenCourseWare

If can’t find the course you want on MIT OCW, here’s some more. And yet more by iUniv, a Japanese start-up company. The University of Pittsburgh has free courses hereAlison is another great courseware database. So is UDAcity.

Khan Academy! Sal is the best math teacher I’ve ever had.

If you want to interact with other learners or real teachers, try P2PU, where volunteers act as free tutors, or OpenStudy, which has a similar goal.

If you want to learn a language for free, help me beat the Rosetta Stone monopoly and click here. Duolingo is one of my favorite websites.

Textbooks are expensive and cumbersome. Rather than buy an expensive art history textbook, use this. Thanks again, Khan Academy! CK-12 is a textbook site that provides books for kindergarten through 12th grade students. Flat World Knowledge textbooks are for the more collegiate. They are published under an open license, so they can be edited by professors. Connexions is a website with lots of learning modules, all for free!

These are just resources to find information. If you are looking to improve your study regime, I highly recommend Quizlet. You can share your flash cards with all your friends and test yourself on your phone with their cool app. Scott Young is my favorite learning-focused self-improvement blogger. He recently tried to take MIT’s entire computer science curriculum in twelve months.

Different ways of acquiring knowledge beg the question: Is college really worth it? I think so, mostly for the reasons Scott outline here. I am in the fortunate situation of being able to work in an important research lab over the summer, an opportunity I would not have if I were not in school. However, many people think college is a scam. Here are James Altrucher’s eight alternatives to college. I think we should all be able to justify our decision about whether to attend college as readily as we can justify our religious and philosophical beliefs.

Happy learning!

E

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