Skillshare

From its website

Skillshare is a global learning community where you can learn real-world skills from real people … Learn real-world skills from anyone, anywhere. We power thousands of creative, collaborative classes on everything from programming to design to crafts.

Have knowledge to share?

Summary

Skillshare’s manifesto video titled “The Future Belongs to the Curious,” is a premise for living well that we subscribe to at the WLStudio, too.

Skillshare’s weekly email updates its current offerings in a wide range of interests: art, branding, crafts, culinary, design, DIY, entrepreneurship, extracurricular, fashion and style, film and video, music, performance, photography, social good, technology, and writing.

The teachers charge fees for classes. For instance, a one week online class by Jennifer Barbour in March 2013 on How to Write Blog Posts that Build a Community cost $10. Another one week online class by Pei Ketron on Make Your Photos Pop:  Intro to Photo Editing through Adobe Lightroom is $20.  A highly endorsed two week class by Dan Kozikowski on Pull Your Own Data:  An Introduction to SQL is $20.  Yet another interesting option in April 2013 was a class on drinking wine–Get Wine-Smart:  Stop Thinking & Start Drinking by John Boyer, a geography professor at Virginia Tech.  He charged $15 for the two weeks.  By the end you would have presumably consumed a lot of wine and written a blog series about it.  Here is his wine-in-mouth justification for taking the course:

Why would we take this class? Will it help us advance in our career? Will it provide us with all of the foundational knowledge we need, and more?

Ummm…yes, yes, and yes. In today’s world, drinking wine is not just part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, but it is a life skill, a business skill, and a language in and of itself that by being fluent in it, affords you access to the ‘cultured club’: the cosmopolitan, educated, successful, cultured, and classy peeps…and isn’t that we all aspire to become?

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Lynda.com

Summary

Lynda.com advertises more than 1,617 courses with more being added frequently. The courses focus on software, creative design, and business skills. The courses last 1+ hours in length (many are between 2-3 hours in length but may be more than 8+hours) and are delivered in a video format.  Each course has a detailed Table of Contents that provides topics and time allotted for each, making the courses very handy for quick referencing.

Each course features a few topics available for guests to open and view at no charge.  For instance, WordPress is hugely popular as a blog site/web site design app.  One course titled WordPress Essential Training taught by Morten Rand-Hendriksen was updated in December 2012 to explain the new aspects of WordPress 3.x.  A visitor to Lynda.com may click on certain clips to view the topical content one-time.  Then the viewable clips are closed to playback.

Another valuable course shows learners how to set up Audacity, a free audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and start recording live audio. The one hour-46 minute course consists of four major sections:  Getting Started, Recording, Basic Editing, and Common Tasks.  Within each section, certain elements are viewable.

Lynda.com is available FREE for a seven-day trial basis.  Subscriptions start at $25 a month or $250 a year. Subjects, software, and authors of courses are organized in alphabetic indices, making it easy to cruise through to see what they have.

 

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 - Udacity

Udacity

From its website

Udacity courses include lecture videos, quizzes and homework assignments. Multiple video short video sections make up each course unit. Each video is roughly five minutes or less, giving you the chance to learn piece by piece and re-watch short lesson portions with ease. Quizzes are embedded within the lecture videos and are meant to let you check-in with how completely you are digesting the course information. Once you take a quiz, which could be a multiple choice quiz, a fill in the blank quiz or a programming quiz, you will receive immediate feedback. Quizzes don’t count towards your grade, and you can try them as many times as you want.

Summary

Udacity’s FREE beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses “prepare students for positions as software developers, web developers, IOS developers, Android developers, QA professionals and Machine Learning Experts.”

Beginning courses include college algebra and introduction to computer science; intermediate–web development and software testing, advanced–design of computer programs and applied cryptography. Udacity courses are self-paced and organized with a syllabus, videos of the instructor, homework, and exams.  Discussion boards and wikis are used to support learning with peers.  Udacity advertises that it promotes learning by doing, uses real world examples, offers active communities for learning support.  By studying at Udacity, learners are building their opportunities for academic and career advancement. So far everything is free; it remains to be seen how Udacity will monetize its services in the future.

Udacity emerged from experiments in teaching computer science classes online at Stanford in 2011.  Sebastian Thrun, a  Research Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, a Google Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the German Academy of Sciences converted to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) when he realized he and other educators could reach many thousands of learners in one course.  He set up Udacity along with with David Stavens and Mike Sokolsky at the beginning of 2012.  Thrun has been joined in the 100,000 student virtual classroom by Peter Norvig from the Google Research Division and NASA Ames Research Center and educators from the University of Virginia and San Jose State University among others.

 

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.

iTunes U

From its website

The world’s largest online catalog of free education content.

Learn a new language. Study Shakespeare. Discover the cosmos. It’s all possible on iTunes U, home to more than 500,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other resources on thousands of subjects. Among the hundreds of colleges, universities, and elementary and high schools on iTunes U, you’ll find Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford, and UC Berkeley, along with other distinguished institutions such as MoMA, the New York Public Library, and more. The free iTunes U app gives you access to an online catalog of free education content from leading institutions. The topics range from science to technology to art to music to philosophy and history.

Summary

The University of Chicago adds to our understanding of iTunesU.

iTunes U offers educational multimedia content from hundreds of colleges and universities across the country. It can be accessed through the iTunes Store. If you want to access content from iTunes U, you must first download iTunes to your computer. The University of Chicago launched its site on iTunes U in October 2008.

To get started, set up your iTunesU account from an iPad, iPhone or iPad Touch or Windows PC.