Before I was able to access the internet without worrying about how much it would cost me, I wished that free day would come. It was just like the day I bought my first laptop computer. It is the same thing that happens every time you get something new, for the first time. But how long does that excitement last? Not very long, after all.
It didn’t really take long before I realized that there are several things that make surfing the web either important or useless. First, there are those folks who have nothing in their minds every time they fire up their browsers and then there are those who have something important (this latter category is definitely small in size). Just think of a scenario where you have nothing you want to look for: you are more likely to land anywhere because you are going nowhere! If however you know what you are looking for, you will spend much less time online and more importantly, you will get answers to your questions.
Why am I writing all these? Simple! A few years back, I was a random surfer of the web. I followed so many links that took me places. I ended up nowhere actually. What make things more interesting is the question of interest. What are you most interested in? What do you like most? I like technology so much and that is my area of interest. Now, with that in mind, I started focusing on tech news and blogs. Every time I was not reading about politics, I was looking out for an online conference by Microsoft or Oracle and free webinars.
All that searching and browsing landed me on some quality blogs out there. One of them was owned by a Harvard Professor. What impressed me most was how clean and professional his writing was. That encouraged me to read his long post on higher education. That is where I arrive at my topic today. Higher education is shifting from what we all thought of: access to knowledge, to access to funds. Everything is so insanely expensive now. Soon and very soon, so many people will not afford it. But not all is lost because there is a solution.
Udacity is here to solve this problem. FREE Online Education for all! I landed on that website by reading about it from the above professor’s post and it was just in time before the Feb Classes started. The 7 weeks course is almost over now and the quality is unmatched. Think of it this way: You will pay thousands of dollars to Phoenix University or Harvard or even Stanford each year to earn a degree and of course the official recognition that comes with it. Through Udacity Online University, you don’t pay a penny, but you earn the top – notch skills, from professors with experience and skills you have never seen before. At the end of the course, you receive a certificate indicating your final grade. The classes are super interactive. I had never seen anything like it before.
April classes are starting soon and am looking forward to them. Are you ready to build your own blogging software? What about a search engine of your own? You might not be able to compete with Google yet but isn’t that exciting? Some students are learning how to program a self-driving car. What an awesome adventure it is. Now, is it possible that more affordable online education is taking over the universe? Perhaps. I think everything else is way too expensive and education should not be one of them. What do you think?
Of course there are drawbacks to such a program: You earn the skills and knowledge needed to solve problems but without an official way to show that you actually earned them, you are left an expert without a certificate needed by employers. Here is my thinking though: This courses are good for individuals who want to learn the skills needed to do anything they want. That is why certificates and grades are not much of problems. Just refresh your skills, do it yourself – kind of thing. Maybe some day, things will change and we earn credits from the same free online courses, just like those you earn from state colleges.
Finally, as you look around the internet, don’t just look, locate and share important articles, links and documents. You never know who will benefit from them. I believe the internet was invented for good use (mostly) and we can still keep that goal by sharing information. If you have any good links, please share them here and I will be more than happy to share them with others. I have a dream that one day, the cost of education will not be a problem to anyone thirsting for knowledge and skills.
Thanks for reading and expect more soon. Visit Udacity Online University