I turned in a final exam for the first time since 2007. However, this final exam came without a student loan bill. In collaboration with Stanford University, Coursera.org provides free online classes with a promise of a certificate at the end if you pass. I have no idea what the value of this will be when all is said and done, but it whets my appetite for learning and that is what I need right now.
The site states that “We offer high quality courses from the top universities, for free to everyone. We currently host courses from Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and University of Pennsylvania. We are changing the face of education globally, and we invite you to join us.”
Each day, I worry that I am losing my edge. I have a law degree but I don’t want to practice law and I’m getting farther and farther away from my math background. I have also lost that educational distaste that I had after and even durian law school. With coursera.org, I have an opportunity to study things I always wanted to study. Additionally, other online resources are available through other universities and individuals. Like TED talks, learning isn’t confined to schools anymore. I have the degrees and I have experience now, but I need to stay informed and ready to learn.
Now, I am taking two more classes (computer science 101 and introduction to logic), have signed up for about ten more, and I am investigating other free online schooling. I have also started another computer science course at udacity.com. Will this lead to new degrees or a new job n the short term? Probably not, but it will provide me with trainings. And maybe options going forward.