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Lifelong Learning, For Teachers, Paperless Research
The Floating University and other Online Learning Tools
The New York Public Library recently announced a partnership with The Floating University to present the 'Great Big Ideas' video lecture series. The first one took place yesterday, and was a lecture titled If You're So Free, Why Do You Follow Others? The Sociology and Science Behind Social Networks, Altruism and the Genetic Origins of Human Interaction presented by Professor Nicholas Christakis.
Go to nypl.org/floatinguniversity to see the schedule of upcoming screenings, some featuring live Q&A with the professors:
- Malthus Miffed: Are People the Problem, the Solution or Both?
Dr. Joel Cohen, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Populations, Rockefeller University, Mathematical Biologist, Columbia University
- The Psychology of Everything: What Compassion, Racism, and Sex Tell Us about Human Nature
Dr. Paul Bloom, Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University
- Art Now: Aesthetics Across Music, Painting, Architecture, Movies and More
Dr. Leon Botstein, President and Leon Levy Professor of Bard College
In his introduction to the screening, Peter Hopkins emphasized that the world of higher education is in a state of flux, due in large part to both economic and technological changes taking place. He also acknowledged the need for more opportunities for cross-disciplinary study apart from the traditional academic structure. The public library has always been a place that people turn to when they are seeking information, whether for a short term need or as part of a long term process of self-improvement. We have the resources that allow people who are highly disciplined but working outside of the traditional educational system to teach themselves what they need to know to fulfill their intellectual curiosity and oftentimes improve their lives. Lifelong learning is part of our mission.
Below is a listing of resources that might help you if you decide to embark on a self-made semester to learn something new. If you've tried another free program missing from this list, please let us know in the comments.
- The Edupunks' Guide: How to Write a Personal Learning Plan an excerpt from the Edupunks' Guide to a DIY Credential, "a comprehensive guide to learning online and charting a personalized path to an affordable credential using the latest innovative tools and organizations." Free ebook download.
- The OpenCourseWare Consortium provides resources and information on Open Courseware materials, and offers a useful search tool to locate one of 6,384 courses from 64 sources and 12 languages.
- Open Culture: 400 Free Online Courses from Top Universities is a listing of free online audio and video courses from different sources broken down into broad subject areas.
- iTunes U is a hub for free educational audio and video resources (and NYPL is there!)
- YouTube EDU divided into K12, Lifelong Learning, and University videos.
- Academic Earth aggregates several OCW sources for video with accompanying educational materials.
- Connexions A platform and a way to remix and share educational content.
- Google Code University basic introductions to web programming, databases, programming languages, and Linux, as well as more advanced courses for Computer Science students.
- EngineerGuy.com videos that show how stuff works, from an engineering perspective.
- Khan Academy <10 minute videos and practice tools for Math, Science, Humanities, Finance, and Test Prep.
- MIT OpenCourseWare
- Open Yale Courses
- Project Euler "exists to encourage, challenge, and develop the skills and enjoyment of anyone with an interest in the fascinating world of mathematics."
- TED Talks "riveting talks by remarkable people."
- webcast.berkeley "UC Berkeley's central service for online video & audio for students and learners around the globe."
- Instructables "a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others." Projects divided into Food, Living, Outside, Play, Technology and Workshop sections.
- Popular Mechanics Projects & Plans
- Wired How-To Wiki "Collaborate with Wired editors and add to our library of projects, hacks, tricks and tips."
Free with your library card
- LearningExpressLibrary - helps you prepare for standardized tests and certification exams, because parallel parking will not be your only challenge in adulthood.
- Mango Languages - learn one of over 30 foreign languages (or ESOL for speakers of 15 different languages), online or through the available mobile app.
- "The Evolution of Higher Education." New York Times, November 4, 2011.
- "The University of Wherever." New York Times, October 2, 2011.
- "8 Steps to Getting What You Want... Without Formal Credentials." fourhourworkweek.com, September 29, 2011.
- "How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education." Wired, August 2011.
- "How I Failed, Failed, and Finally Succeeded at Learning How to Code." The Atlantic, June 2011.
- "How to Learn Something For Nothing" and "An Open Mind." New York Times, April 16, 2010.
- Unlocking the Gates: How and Why Leading Universities Are Opening up Access to Their Courses by Taylor Walsh
- Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to A Lifetime of Success by James Bach
- The Art of Non-Conformity: Set your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau
- More books in NYPL's BiblioCommons
(Not just) For teachers