Beginning my online education

The world of online education is booming right now. It feels like we’re at the beginning of a major disruption of higher education. Although I don’t think this will put the top universities out of business (but they might have to transform to more of an R&D institutions rather than “only” providing education), I believe the less prestigious universities do have a problem.

The whole boom started with the excellent Khan academy. Salman Khan paved the way and inspired other people to provide education through a web browser to thousands of individuals all around the world. I too felt a hunger for new information and reading HN just didn’t cut it anymore so of course I jumped on board. Here are the courses I’m taking:

  • Fundamentals of entrepreneurship at General Assembly – I cannot recommend this course highly enough. If you’re starting a company, spend time going through the lectures. Seriously, it’s the best you can do for your business right now. I’ll blog about this later in more detail.
  • Design of computer programs at Udacity. This course, together with 3 others, starts April 16th, so you still have time to enroll. Udacity should also provide a Distributed systems course later in the year which I’m looking forward to.
  • Technology entrepreneurship a.k.a venture-lab.org. You can find more about it in Chuck Eesley’s blogpost.
  • Human-computer interaction at Coursera. Although it was supposed to start in January, it has been delayed due to some licensing/administrative issues. However Coursera provides a wide range of other topic. I was also thinking about taking the Natural language processing, which started just recently, but that would be overwhelming. I’ll keep that one for next semester.
  • I also visit pyvideo.org often to learn about new technologies and techniques. The quality of speakers at conferences differs widely, but the topics covered are very interesting. Similary, I found Google Tech Talks to be ok, but usually the name of the video is much more promissing then the actual talk.
  • There’s also MITx, but it’s just getting started. There’s only Circuts and electronics course available at the moment. I’ll pass for now, but I’ll keep an eye on them.

These are, of course, all technical. I’m a developer after all. Coursera promises to cover non-IT topics like chemistry or physics later on. For now, you can find a ton of material on diffrent topics on the aforementioned Khan academy.

I’ll report back with my opinions about each of these courses on this blog so be sure to follow me if you’re interested.

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