[Update 20th August 2012: seems db-class, ml-class, saas-class etc have been "merged" under a single umbrella which is now called Coursera]
I have been a fan of khan academy for more than 2+ years now. And huge fan of TED for 3+ years now. Did you knew that Khan academy helped me when I took a graduate level class about statistics (To gain mathematical foundation for data analysis) six months back? Yes true story: Apart from Textbooks, course classes and my note-taking (scribbling), the resource that was most helpful to me (for practice) were video courses on statistics at Khan Academy:
Fast forward today, I just completed watching few videos at saas-class.org and the quality of the material is Mind-blowingly awesome. And I know mind-blowlingly is not the right word, but you get my point, don’t you?! I am sure, you do!
You may ask – what basis do you have to compare saas-class.org with other courses? Well, I am pursuing an awesome certification on cloud computing at university of Washington (UW). It’s great! Now compare that with free saas-class.org whose content is equally great. I am not comparing the “Exhaustiveness” of the course here. The course at UW is one year-long and saas-class.org is just five weeks – so of course, the content at UW covers more topics. But if I compare the quality – I am just blown by both courses. I get to learn things that I do not know and to me that’s what matters. So Thank you UW and saas-class. Also. it does not end here – I am taking a graduate level course at school of management which focuses on business side of cloud computing. It’s great too and so is saas-class.
Enough of “judging” – but my point being that more than 50k students are accessing saas-class and they get a chance to get learn about software as a service, Agile Development, etc and isn’t that amazing!
TOTAL students at UCB (Covers every major) = ~ 37,000
TOTAL students enrolled for saas-class (just one course taught by UCB professor’s): 60k
Notice the IMPACT of offering an online course (with OUT admission *requirements*)
Also, Think of students that get access to it, students from communities in the remote(st) part of our world can NOW learn about latest technology. Think of impact that they could make in their community.
I am not saying that these models should necessarily replace existing models, I know Importance of classes and world-class education – That’s why after my undergrad studies in India, I moved to USA to pursue Graduate degree in Information Technology and Management. So I know, Importance of contemporary education system. But these courses/videos help educate masses and not just selected few. And that’s what makes them the NEW ivy’s in my opinion.
It’s Not just for the chosen “ONE’s”
In the new model, every gets a level-playing field to become the “ONE” < No disadvantages, It then boils down to persistence, motivation, etc to become successful and then no one and I mean no one can say that “Ivy’s are the ONLY path of success”.
Replace: ivy’s with “Ivy’s + All good Universities”. I just wanted to craft an eye-catching title. To me, Meet the NEW uni’s didn’t seem that appealing!
And yes check these resources out, if you haven’t already:
What am I missing? Are there other NEW ivy’s out there that I may not know about?
btw, I consider people sharing their knowledge via blogs, technical forums, etc are important too. They add value in someone’s life. And that’s one of the reasons I blog too!
UPDATE – How on earth i forgot:
I remember, Once a professor in an US university pointed his students to watch a video lecture (to delve deeper) from NPTEL. Isn’t that awesome!? I came to know about this because one of my friend was part of that class.
UPDATE – 19th March 2012:
One more resource: http://www.openculture.com/ [via kewal]
UPDATE – 2nd August 2012:
My New favorite: coursera.org