There are many smart people out there (I hope that includes you) that constantly seek to broaden their horizon, gain some knowledge, acquire new skills, or just touch up on already existing cognizence. With the hustle and bustle of every-day-life, work, family (lol…yh, yh, i know.. for the most of us: soon! Amen..), etc. we hardly have the time to attend evening-classes, short-courses or let alone focus on pursuing yet another degree. Apart from time, committment- of course- there is the added strain of financing such ventures. Now stating the obvious: All this dampens, rather than encourages, going back to school..
..or so it was; untill…
MIT started its Open Course Ware scheme!
OCW is a term applied to course materials in a virtual learning environment created by universities and shared freely with the world via the internet. According to Wiki.P, the OCW project:
- is a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses.
- is available for use and adaptation under an open license, such as a Creative Common license.
- does not typically provide certification or access to faculty
So, here you have it! For those of us who are interested in doing specific courses (both UG and G), simply for the fun and thrill of being back at school and learning new things, this is for you! I have personally picked about 7 courses, which I will committ myself to from Sept 5, 2011 (beginning of next week).
The courses are arranged as lectures, with many online text-books made available, and at times (depending on the course) exam questions (and answers) too. There is of course no supervisor or professor you could contact, should you have any questions; neither will you receive a certificate after completion. However, you will learn! Plus: it might be a great opportunity for you to start a small study group; or even offer classes to interested students!! There are a 1000+1 things you could use these resources for.. Resources reaching from engineering, and mathematics, to languages, literature, political science, history, and more. You are bound to get lost in their bewildering array of offers.. like a kid in a candy-store! 😉
My only 2 cents: 1) Freely you have been given, freely give! 2) See it as an opportunity. So, should you decide to embark on a course, be committed to it! Don’t do it half-heartedly simply because you didn’t have to pay for it. Knowledge is knowledge, appreciate it.. embrace it.