2012-01-20—IDEAS WANT TO BE FREE AND EDUCATION SHOULD BE

Well if not free yet, at least affordable!  Universities lure students with out-dated statistics that make the dubious claim that they’ll recoup the exorbitant cost of tuition somewhere down the road in the workplace. Then these students pay outrageous prices for textbooks that they can’t even sell second-hand afterwards, because a new edition is required for next year’s course. But there is a truly egalitarian movement to make a liberal education possible for everyone at the much smaller cost of a computer (or any digital device, including a smart phone or tablet) and Internet access. A truly liberal education no longer is an elitist privilege thanks to projects like the TED lectures, CBC’s podcasts of programs such as Ideas, and the availability of excellent online videos on almost any topic one might be interested in learning about.  And all this is available ‘on demand’.  You don’t have to pay big bucks for it or show up some place at a given date and time to get a real liberal education.  You may not get that over-valued piece of paper called a diploma, but even if that is what you want, that too is going to become less elitist and expensive. We may be witnessing a real revolution in education at least equivalent to what happened with the printing press and the gradual movement toward universal literacy.

TEXTBOOKS FOR 15 BUCKS RATHER THAN 150
Apple is obviously self-serving but it could certainly be called enlightened self-interest.

TEN TOOLS FOR A FREE ONLINE EDUCATION
Excellent list including ten universities with the best free online courses.

THE TEACHING COMPANY
Want to hear and watch lectures by the best university lecturers on any academic topic? You’ll pay something for these downloadable AV files, but far less than tuition at one of the prestigious universities where they are the premier lecturers in their field.

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