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Author Topic: List of 50 Free Courses Granting Certificates from Great Universities  (Read 1235 times)


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Fight the dumbing-down of public education!

Get yourself enrolled in one of these courses and keep the "little gray cells" busy.

From Open Culture (a must bookmark website if there ever was one) comes this:

Introducing a List of 50 Free Courses Granting Certificates from Great Universities
 October 15th, 2012

Earlier this year we began telling you about a potential revolution in education — the birth of MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. As explained above, these courses let students, thousands at a time, take courses from great universities for free online. What’s more, most of these courses offer students a credential — something like a certificate of completion — if they master the material covered in the class. Some of the MOOC providers are well known: Coursera, Udacity, and edX. Others, like Class2Go, Google Course Builder and Venture Lab, are just emerging. But, together, they’re producing courses at breakneck speed, and we thought it was time to start organizing a list for you.

Today, we’re rolling out a list of 50 Free Courses Granting Certificates from Great Universities. The list organizes courses chronologically by start date, and it indicates the kind of credential the courses offer — for example, Certificates of Completion, Statements of Accomplishment, or Certificates of Mastery. The list, which happens to include another 25 courses not bearing certificates, will be regularly updated. You can expect it to grow rapidly, and you can always access it by clicking Certificate Courses in the top navigation of our web site. Below we have listed a number of online courses starting this week:

    Finance - Stanford on Venture Lab – October 15 (10 weeks)
    Introduction to Computer Science - Harvard on edX – October 15 (24 weeks)
    Startup Boards: Advanced Entrepreneurship - Stanford on Venture Lab – October 15 (9 weeks)
    Designing a New Learning Environment - Stanford on Venture Lab – October 15 (9 weeks)
    Technology Entrepreneurship - Stanford on Venture Lab – October 15 (9 weeks)
    Experimental Genome Science - Duke on Coursera – October 15 (12 weeks)
    A Crash Course on Creativity - Stanford on Venture Lab - October 17 (10 weeks)

Get the full list here. It includes 75 Massive Open Courses in total.

Find the article and links here.

Some of these will probably be familiar to many of you. But a few were new to me. (Note:  I highly recommend Udacity's courses btw!)

Do it for yourself! Take a course. :Thmbsup:

P.S. Be sure to add OpenCulture.com to your feed reader - or sign up for their daily newsletter. Barely a day goes by when there aren't at least two articles in it that send me scurrying down the rabbit hole. Makes for a great lunch break! :up:


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Re: List of 50 Free Courses Granting Certificates from Great Universities
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 07:12:06 PM »
Thanks for sharing this -- interestingly, the number I see now is 60 :)


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Re: List of 50 Free Courses Granting Certificates from Great Universities
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 03:29:38 AM »
Looks pretty good! :)

I downloaded a set of math lectures to brush up.

But regarding the "dumbing down of education", there's a bit more to it than simply "getting educated" - we need the right education on the right topics. Probably the most important single topic is "critical thinking" in the classical sense, i.e. argumentation theory, informal logic, formal logic, etc. These form the basis of philosophy, math, physics, and pretty much every other discipline (in the classical sense, and not the modern, bastardized versions). It is from these that we get goodies like the scientific method. (Thumbs up to Karl Popper for a lot of good work there.) e.g. Being indoctrinated by a history course doesn't really help much, but being able to sort through the skewed account and ask pointed questions that expose the bias is an excellent skill to have, and probably only available to those that have more a classical education.

The problem of... ooops... I'm really getting off topic here, and that should be in the other thread...


I find that there are a lot of fantastic materials out there from non-traditional sources, i.e. not universities, schools, or "educational institutions". Often you need to sort through a lot of the materials, and take some with a grain of salt, but they are out there.

Here are a few examples (mostly video as I prefer videos to relax - yes education is relaxing for me - primarily because I read in excruciating detail all day):


Some great little videos there for things like how to make laundry soap for $0.20 a gallon, or how to make a $4,000 vortex filter for under $100. While few people need a vortex filter, I rather doubt there are many people here at DC that couldn't use the information on how to make laundry soap, especially as you'll pay $5 or more for a gallon, i.e. 25x as much. Pretty useful I'd say. :)


A very good film with a lot of information on an alternate view of physics and cosmology. Check for the video on YouTube to watch it.

The Big Bang Never Happened:

Just an example of some scientists (astronomers) that walk through evidence that contradicts mainstream science/cosmology. (Gets into red shift a lot and has some really interesting stuff in it.)

Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America

Walks through a lot of history that never seemed to make it into any history classes in any school I've ever heard of. (Highly recommended.)

Open Source Ecology
The Global Village Construction Kit

Some really cool stuff happening there, though it is all very practical, and not theoretical. However, if you wanted to contribute, you would have to know quite a bite of theory.

Khan Academy

Mostly traditional topics, but a lot of very good materials there. I brushed up on some vector math there a while back. Helped to refresh my mind on cross and dot products. As a random lesson, this might be fun for some people: Why dividing by zero is undefined - http://www.khanacade...by-zero-is-undefined :D (I'm quite sure it will be above the heads of anyone involved in monetary policy in Australia, Canada, Sweden, and New Zealand.)

Another more or less random video lecture:
Blackhat 2010 - Extreme-Range RFID

Great treatment of RFID and how to steal credit card numbers from everyone within a given radius of you. Recommended viewing for anyone remotely interested in just how easily some financial security measures are defeated in the real world. ;)

The number of fantastically, mind-numbingly, stupendous materials available out there just boggles the mind. But you can find them all over the place, and limiting oneself to "educational" sites cuts down on the possibilities drastically.

Most of the examples I have above are meant to spur on more questions, and for anyone that watches them (mostly video there), they would probably have more questions about the topic at hand that they never would have asked in a "traditional" education setting. I find that there is great value in those things that call us to question our beliefs, be they about religion, history, science, philosophy, or whatever. We all hold false or contradictory beliefs - what makes some of us different from others is our willingness or unwillingness to change beliefs.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

Hmmm... As a bit of an afterthought, it would be kind of cool/fun to make an educational portal to point to a lot of these kinds of resources... Sigh... Don't have time... Still, it sounds like fun! :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker