Friday, October 23, 2009 : College Lectures for Anyone

I gotta say, I don't think I've ever been as enthralled or as excited about something I discovered on the internet as I am about Academic Earth and other sites like it. I had heard about it from a few different places: Time Magazine has spotlighted it once or twice and I've stumbled across the name in newspapers before, most notably this article from the Washington Post.

However, I hadn't gotten around to trying it out myself until today, and I was blown away by how much I liked it. Since I am brushing up for my grad school applications, I decided to try out a literature course and began the series of lectures on "American Literature since 1945" from Yale University's Professor Amy Hungerford. I immediately felt engaged by the content and even compelled to take notes on what she was saying, just as I would in a regular classroom.

I have always believed that the internet is an underutilized resource for the dissemination of academic information to those who are willing but otherwise unable to acquire this information readily. What better way to do this than to see lectures from some of the finest educational institutions in the world? It's an idea whose time has definitely arrived, and I look forward to seeing what other content becomes available.

Academic Earth is not the first or only place to offer this kind of info, and I have provided some links below with further information. I have simply found that Academic Earth is one of the easiest platforms for this kind of information, but there is a wealth of information available if you sift through the offerings, particularly if you would be happy with audio files alone rather than video.

I really do encourage everyone I know to spend his or her free time engaging in something that he or she would like to learn. Lectures like this prove that you don't have to be immersed in the depths of academia or a high level critic to appreciate the benefits of growing your knowledge, and I can't wait until I have time to listen to my next lecture.

Links to academic lectures online:

Academic Earth
Open Culture
OpenCourseware Consortium
You can also find some info online by searching iTunes U in the iTunes store

No comments: