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I love to learn new things, and have wanted to take a class or two, but because of transportation issues, I haven’t been able to.  My Peer Specialist was aware of this desire of mine, and pointed me to a site that offers free online college courses.  Taking the courses is for personal growth and I think some, but maybe not all may offer a certificate to show you completed the course.  The classes are from Universities such as Johns Hopkins and Michigan State University.  There is nothing at all to buy, and right now they are offering about 100 courses to pick from.

The website is called Coursera and can be found at http://coursera.org

I’m taking my first course through the site called “Internet History, technology and security”  The course is taught by way of video lectures I watch using my web browser (I have 3 different browsers, and found that for some reason, Google Chrome offers the best video feed.  Internet Explorer comes in second with some distortion in the video, and Mozilla Firefox oddly will play the audio fine for me, but the video freezes a few seconds into the lecture, so I recommend using Google Chrome, for pc users, which is also free and found at …. https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/

This site as the professor for the class I’m taking put it, is for people who want to gain knowledge or information, and not so much for people looking for college credits.

The length of each course varies, but I think the shortest I saw was about 5 or 6 weeks for the shorter classes, while the longer ones seemed to run about 7 to 9 weeks.

The class I’m taking has questions during the lecture I can answer, several quizzes, a mid-term which is peer assessed and I believe a final exam.  I had to write an essay with between 200 and 400 words based on the material covered to that point. minimum requirement to pass the course is a 76% based on quizzes, mid-term and final for the class I’m taking, but I’m guessing that each course may have some variation to what is considered passing, much like what I saw when I attended a semester at a community college, the grading is similar, but there might be slight differences in what the professor is looking for I guess is one way to explain it.

If you want to learn something new, check it out, you can drop out at any time, and like I said there is absolutely no cost for taking the courses.


Money Monday

English: Stack of books in Gould's Book Arcade...

English: Stack of books in Gould’s Book Arcade, Newtown, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article Link

“Perfect Hobby? Reading books Is Fun, Cheap and Good for You”

This article discusses the variety of benefits that come from reading books, and has a focus on traditional bound books, as opposed to ebooks.

For myself though, I do have a kindle, and I love it!  The initial cost was a little high, but with a battery that is usable for roughly a month between charges, depending on how much I use it or if I read text or listen to audio books.  I do find that there are tons of free or low-cost books available for it.  I also find that I’m more apt to read a book on my Kindle then I would be to go browsing bookshelves looking for a book to read.  Considering I have ADHD and Anxiety disorder, I find that online shopping is more efficient for me but everyone has their own take on that, buying or finding ebooks is fun to me, but then I’m also a gadget junkie so that might be a reason as well.

Going back to the traditional bound books though, I do know that it can be very affordable, especially if you check out used book stores, or even better your local library,  Other places to find books inexpensively could be yard sales, book exchanges, flea markets, and I’m sure there is place I haven’t thought of.  But there are lots of fringe benefits to reading, so check it out and maybe you’ll find out you’ve gained an opportunity to grow a bit 🙂

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