Venture Lab – Stanford University

From its website

Venture Lab is one of the primary platforms used by Stanford University to offer free online courses. Venture Lab’s philosophy is to make online courses more fun and engaging by making them more experiential, interactive, and collaborative. On our platform, you will not only have access to lectures by Stanford professors, but you will also be able to form teams with people around the world and work on projects that have an impact.

Our first class on technology entrepreneurship attracted around 40,000 students from over a hundred and fifty countries. We are thrilled to offer more courses across a wide range of academic disciplines, and we invite you to join Venture Lab today!

Summary

The Venture Lab at Stanford University offers courses on entrepreneurship, creativity, finance, technological entrepreneurship, and new learning environment design among others. One of the courses that educators and other curious learners might want to consider enrolling in is on Designing a New Learning Environment. Instructor Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Dean, for the School of Education, Stanford University will teach the class in 2013.  He invites us all to ponder these questions in the course description.

What constitutes learning in the 21st century? Should reading, watching, memorizing facts, and then taking exams be the only way to learn? Or could technology (used effectively) make learning more interactive, collaborative, and constructive? Could learning be more engaging and fun?

TU Delft OpenCourseware

From its website

…largest and most comprehensive university of engineering sciences in the Netherlands. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality.

Summary

It is a member of the United States OpenCourseware Consortium.  See explanation below:

Delft University of Technology has joined the OpenCourseWare Consortium in offering the world free access to certain course content online. TU Delft OpenCourseWare (OCW) seeks to capitalize on the potential of the internet to eliminate borders and geographic distance as obstacles to the instantaneous exchange of knowledge and new ideas. Unlike distance learning programs that charge tuition, provide formal instruction and limit participation, OpenCourseWare offers all course materials free to everyone with online access. Educators from around the world may upgrade their classes; students may enhance their coursework or pursue self study; the general public may glimpse the depth and breadth of what leading universities are offering and benefit from reading lists and lectures.

Rector  Magnificus Prof. ir. Karel Luyben also explains U Delft’s mission:

U Delft is dedicated to making a significant contribution to finding responsible solutions to societal problems, at both national and international levels.  Our mission is to deliver Science to Society.  OpenCourseWare is an important way to spread our mission around the world. 

It offers courses from high school to master’s degree college level programs.

Stanford Engineering Everywhere

From its website

Stanford Engineering Everywhere is an online portal offering ten courses from Stanford’s School of Engineering— including the three-course introductory sequence in Computer Science— free of charge.

SEE offers course content available to Stanford students including instructional videos, reading lists and materials and class assignments. And SEE allows you to communicate with fellow SEE students online.

SEE encourages fellow educators to use Stanford course materials in their own classrooms.

Note: SEE courses cannot be taken for credit and do not include access to Stanford-restricted computers, libraries, or services. Content may not include all the material used in the campus offering and cannot be used for commercial purposes.

… A computer and an Internet connection are all you need. View lecture videos, access reading lists and other course handouts, take quizzes and tests, and communicate with other SEE students, all at your convenience.

SEE programming includes one of Stanford’s most popular sequences: the three-course Introduction to Computer Science taken by the majority of Stanford’s undergraduates and seven more advanced courses in artificial intelligence and electrical engineering.

 

 

P2PU

From its website

The Peer 2 Peer University is a grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. P2PU creates a model for lifelong learning alongside traditional formal higher education. Leveraging the internet and educational materials openly available online, P2PU enables high-quality low-cost education opportunities.

Summary

The above description conveys a purpose similar to that of the WLStudio, i.e., help women (and a few brave men) become online residents capable of fostering and benefiting from connections to support their lifelong learning.  The P2PU philosophy below is in line with the Studio\’s mission, too.

p2pu_600px

Anything might be possible with this learning approach.  It seems to be easy to get started at P2PU.

MIT OpenCourseware Initiative

From its website

OCW is a revolutionary approach to sharing educational resources. The site presents the core academic content–including lecture notes, syllabi, assignments and exams–from substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate curriculum freely and openly to support formal and informal learning around the world. Many of the site’s more than 1,900 courses also include rich media resources such as video lectures, simulations, and animations. OCW has inspired a worldwide movement that now includes hundreds of universities sharing materials from more than ten thousand courses.

Through OCW, educators improve courses and curricula, making their schools more effective; students find additional resources to help them succeed; and independent learners enrich their lives and use the content to tackle some of our world’s most difficult challenges, including sustainable development, climate change, and cancer eradication.

 

 

 

 

Harvard Medical School Open Courseware Initiative

From its website

The mission of the Harvard Medical School Open Courseware Initiative is to exchange knowledge from the Harvard community of scholars to other academic institutions, prospective students, and the general public. Through the MyCourses initiative, Harvard has created a web-enabled distance learning environment for the four years of medical school. Mycourses is being expanded to support residencies and fellowships during the summer of 2002. By the end of 2002, MyCourses will be expanded to include Continuing Medical Education. By serving the needs of the medical school, graduate medical education and continuing medical education, the Mycourses platform provides lifelong learning for those associated with the Harvard community. Recognizing our moral obligation to share this knowledge with other academic communities and the general public, we have launched the Open Courseware Initiative. Every faculty member at Harvard, in every course, may share course content with the public by simply checking a box on a web page to identify course resources to post to the Open Courseware Initiative. The Academy at Harvard Medical School, a community of scholars encouraging innovation and quality teaching, will encourage the use of the Open Courseware Initiative Platform among all the faculty.

Summary

If you have ever wanted to say that you have studied at Harvard, this Initiative might be the right opportunity for you.

Google Developers Group

From its website

Google Developer Groups (GDGs) are for developers who are interested in Google’s developer technology; everything from the Android, App Engine, and Google Chrome platforms, to product APIs like the Maps API, YouTube API and Google Calendar API.

A GDG can take many forms — from just a few people getting together to watch our latest video, to large gatherings with demos and tech talks, to events like code sprints and hackathons. However, at the core, GDGs are focused on developers and technical content, and the core audience should be developers.

Summary

The GDG has 355 (active and emerging) chapters in 99 countries for people interested in Google technology including Android, App Engine, Google Maps API, Google Apps API, and Google+

The Google Developers Group initiated the Women Techmakers in 2012 as a “five-episode series airing November 5th-9th daily at 2:30 PM PST (22:30 UTC), highlighting women in the technical space who are fearlessly innovating, honing technical expertise, and testing the boundaries of technology.”  “These episodes are filmed and retained in Google Hangouts to attract girls and young women to enter the field of science and technology. ”

 

Open Culture

From its website

Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community. Web 2.0 has given us great amounts of intelligent audio and video. It’s all free. It’s all enriching. But it’s also scattered across the web, and not easy to find. Our whole mission is to centralize this content, curate it, and give you access to this high quality content whenever and wherever you want it. Free audio books, free online courses, free movies, free language lessons, free ebooks and other enriching content — it’s all here. Open Culture was founded in 2006.

Dan Colman, the lead editor, is the Director & Associate Dean of Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program. He previously served as the Managing Director of AllLearn, an e-learning consortium owned by Stanford, Oxford and Yale.

Summary

This site offers entree to over 650 FREE courses online from major universities such as Stanford, Penn State, University of Michigan, UC Berkley, Harvard, and Oxford.  Many of these are “evergreen” courses, meaning that one can start them at any time.  The site also lists 200 FREE online courses (Massive Open Online Courses-MOOCs) that start throughout the year.  Most MOOCs offer “certificates” or “statements of completion,” though typically not university credit.  If you wish to take these as credit classes, you would need to check with your partnering institution.

Open Culture does not build or create the courses.  Instead, “the site highlights MOOCs and online courses created by other educational ventures.” The website also identifies free language lessons, K-12 teaching resources, free online movies, Harvard classics, and life changing books that one can obtain online.  It even lists a philosophy course delivered via Twitter!  Class categories are from A (Archaeology, Architecture, Art and Art History) to P (Psychology and Public Health) to T (Theater and Twitter) to Uncategorized (a grab bag of learning options).

 

 

women's learning studio directory - Khan Academy

Khan Academy

From its website

The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.

All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge….

Our library of videos covers K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even reaches into the humanities with playlists on finance and history. Each video is a digestible chunk, approximately 10 minutes long, and especially purposed for viewing on the computer.”

Summary

For people accustomed to learning from videos, Khan Academy could be a godsend because one can play the videos and review resources, ask questions and offer tips to co-learners in discussion forums associated with videos, anytime you want, as often as you want, as many times as you want.  Your progress is tracked in your profile to document your learning accomplishments.  As you complete more units of study, points are added to your profile and if you accumulate enough points, your initial avatar is upgraded to progressively new images to signify your attainment levels.  You can also accumulate badges proclaiming your mastery from apprentice to master levels of achievement.  Khan Academy has over 4,000 videos and offers instruction in math, science and economics, computer science, humanities, and college test preparation.  It’s free.

Coursera

From its website

We are a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. We envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students.

Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

Summary

Coursera asserts that it is constantly expanding the range of classes and college partners around the world.  Top universities in Europe, Asia, and Latin America are aligned with Coursera making it possible for learners to study in French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and Italian.  Additionally, it is innovating new methods with its partner colleges for people to learn and earn college credits or documentation for courses completed in good standing.  For example,  Coursera is working with ACE Credit, a company that certifies nontraditional education for college credit.  As of March 2013, Coursera offers five classes in conjunction with the University of California, Duke, and University of Pennsylvania that ACE Credit will deem acceptable for college credit  that could then be applied by degree seeking students at one of 2,000 participating colleges and universities.

Another way of documenting one’s progress and learning is by enrolling in classes via the Signature Track.  This track has special requirements to ensure that your work is being completed by you leading to a verified credit of completion that you could make available electronically to prospective or current employers or anyone that you need to inform of your competence as long as they have a secure URL.  The Signature Track does involve a fee but gives you access to education–knowledge and skill building–regardless of geography or time.