Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Free, Online MIT Courses

As many of you know, I'm not a big fan of American universities. I fear that the artificiality of academia, the extremely liberal faculties, the parties and sororities, and the inefficiencies of classroom learning (to name a few things!) normally far outweigh any content that will prove genuinely helpful to their future lives. I'm not a university graduate myself, nor do I plan to seek a degree.

However, there are a few situations in which a college education can be helpful, and there are ways to avoid the bad parts of college. Several years ago I had the opportunity to edit Brad Voeller's book, Accelerated Distance Learning, which details many strategies to get the good side of college without the bad.

Part of Brad's strategy involves selective use of online courses. That's why I was recently interested to learn from my uncle that MIT has made some of their courses available online--for free. Check it out:

There are your typical liberal university courses (Magic, Witchcraft, and the Spirit World, Feminist Political Thought, etc.) but also some helpful scientific and engineering courses. Particularly for residents of third-world countries desperate for higher-level education who don't care if they get college credit for it or not, these courses might prove a blessing.

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