Davao Homeschooling Family: FREE Homeschooling Resources - MOOCs 1

Thursday, December 18, 2014

FREE Homeschooling Resources - MOOCs 1

One of the many reasons why I am thankful for the internet is that tons of educational sites are literally just a click away from me and my kids. And because of these sites, I've started "homeschooling" too :) The websites where adults (or highly advanced kids) can learn university-level subjects or courses are called MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. I have tried and finished (some, haha) different courses from different MOOCs, and loved it all! I'm a lifelong learner so it wasn't a surprise that I'd take to this new learning tool like fish takes to water ;-)


I first heard about the term "MOOC" in 2011 when Sebastian Thrun made his artifical intelligence class available online. I think I saw the link to his class being passed around in Google+. He's a much-respected Stanford professor so a lot signed up for his free, QUALITY course. I was one of them. But alas, I wasn't able to finish it as I became pregnant with our second child (plus a hyperactive toddler) which left me with no energy at the end of the day. Due to the popularity of his course, Mr. Thrun soon founded Udacity in 2012. I signed up there and took CS101 or Introduction to Computer Science. I love tech, CS and programming* but my teen brain was stuck on making my childhood dream of becoming a doctor come true so I took BS Biology in college instead of BS CS. But thanks to Udacity, I was able to self-study CS at my own pace in 2012 :)

In 2013, I joined a class in another popular MOOC, Coursera. It was founded by Mr. Thrun's colleagues in Stanford. The classes in Coursera are handled by professors from partner universities like Stanford, Duke, Princeton, etc. Now you can say "I studied _________ in Princeton." Haha! Anyway, the class I joined was Child Nutrition and Cooking and my teacher was a friendly medical doctor with 3 kids from Stanford. This course was not self-paced if you wanted to finish with a certificate. Every week there were course materials to read and watch, assignments to do (COOK FOOD for your kids!), and quizzes to answer. Very much like you're in university :) Thankfully, I finished with distinction. Yes, that's a #humblebrag. Haha!


There's another popular MOOC that I wanted to try, edX, which is partnership between Harvard and MIT. Now isn't it grand to say "I studied in Harvard / MIT"?! Unfortunately, my plan to take a course there this year (I take 1-3 online courses a year) did not push through coz I was distracted by a startup MOOC, Udemy. Here, the instructors aren't Ivy League professors and most of the courses aren't even free. BUT the instructors talk to you personally, help you, they send updates, etc. And this is very important when dealing with courses like making apps (for Android or Apple), marketing it or learning how to earn online. If you're interested, Udemy is offering their Top 200 courses in 2014 for only $19!

I will now wrap up this post as it is getting long already. Haha! There will be more posts on MOOCs where I will talk about the Udemy courses I took, other places where I "homeschool", and websites that young kids can use. Anyway, I really have to stop now ;-) This is what happens when I talk about my passions, I just go on and on and on. Haha! But before I end this, I must reiterate that the internet is a great equalizer. If internet connection is made accessible in poor countries, the less privileged can get free, quality education, earn online, help others~ basically be a good force here on Earth. MOOCs are just the start in changing the education landscape. I can't wait to see what grows from it!

How about you? Have you attended a MOOC course? If yes, how was it? If no, are you willing to try and attend one? Let us know in the comments! :)

*I also love Architecture (that's why I'm addicted to The Sims from the very start!) and a whole lot more other disciplines. Haha!

More about MOOCs here:
http://www.skilledup.com/articles/the-best-mooc-provider-a-review-of-coursera-udacity-and-edx
http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/oracle-guide/khan-vs-udacity-vs-coursera-54148
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course