One thing that I have yet to commented much on, at least in this blog, is my love of education. If I had the resources available to me right now, I would have already begun my Masters in Computer Science coursework, then promptly start my Ph.D. However at this point in my life that cannot be [easily] done. How ever, thanks to free courses online, I never feel like I am missing out on further educating myself.
I was first turned on to this kind of online education with M.I.T OpenCoruseware. It provided a multitude of information at the right price, free. Although you do not end up with a degree at the end of taking these courses, it provides a great facility for anyone to spend time and learn. And really, what good is daily life if one doesn’t learn anything new? Well M.I.T. provides a great University perspective on this, but I always felt there needed to be another perspective available.
Today I came across Google Code University. It is a series of online courses, much like M.I.T. is offering, however Google’s main focus is current technologies. From the website:
This website provides tutorials and sample course content so CS students and educators can learn more about current computing technologies and paradigms. In particular, this content is Creative Commons licensed which makes it easy for CS educators to use in their own classes.
It looks like Google is trying to expose people to more of the “real world” of computer science, which I am all for. Many are the students that graduate from computer science programs only to find out that what they have learned is not reflective of real world applications. With Google’s new course, it seems like they are trying to push for further education beyond the typical university level for individuals, as well as making it easier for universities to integrate Google’s courses into the actual university curriculum.
I have yet to sit down with Google’s online offering, but I do believe we already have a winner. Slow adaptation and integration of current technologies only leads to prolonged exposure to antiquated methodologies. Not to say that everyone should move to the latest and the greatest, because rarely is the latest ever the greatest, however through Google’s offering one is able to get a taste of current technologies and make an educated guess if the technology would work for a certain circumstance rather than blindly starting out and only finding out after 1/4 of the project time is over that the technology being used is completely wrong.