5 Ways to Educate Yourself Other Than School
By Srinivas Rao at www.theskooloflife.com
One of the biggest reasons that people are denied the privilege of education is because they can’t afford it. However, today we live in a world where knowledge and information are at our finger tips like never before. Technology has leveled the playing field so that anybody with an interest and an internet connection can receive a world class education. Bloggers, podcasters, search engines and digital content creators of all types of have made it possible for us to learn virtually anything we want to even if we don’t have the money. If you want to learn anything chances are there is somebody creating content about the subject and sharing it with the world at no cost.
Self Motivation is Not Optional
Taking this kind of approach to educating yourself requires an extremely high degree of self motivation. You’re not going to have any teachers or professors holding you accountable. You won’t be measured by grades. Therefore in order to receive this world class education you’ll have to be extremely disciplined in terms of how you go about it. You’ll have to do everything from figuring out what you want to study, to determining what the course materials are going to be. In order to make sure your efforts to self educate don’t get scattered, I recommend limiting your “course load” and focusing on 2-3 areas for at least 6 months.
Resources to Get You Started
1. Free College Curriculums
There are a handful of traditional education institutions that have started to embrace this trend. Fortunately one of the very first to do so was MIT, a world class institution where tuition would run you a hefty chunk of change. However, through open courseware an MIT education is suddenly available to anybody who wants one. Courses are available in engineering, management, science, architecture and a number of other areas. If other institutions start to follow suit, people who have been denied the privilege of education for financial reasons will finally have an opportunity if they want it.
2. The Blogosphere
In a recent feature, the CBS Sunday morning show said that there were approximately 50 million active blogs online. There are blogs on nearly every subject you can possibly imagine.
- Want to learn how to get in shape? Steve Kamb’s Nerd Fitness will help you get there.
- Want to Learn a Foreign Language: Benny Lewis will get you Fluent in 3 Months
- Want to get an MBA without spending 100 Grand? Josh Kauffman’s Personal MBA will give you everything you need.
- Want a Harvard Business School Quality Education? The Harvard Business Review has a blog that’s updated daily with advice from absolutely stellar business professionals.
- Want to learn how to take amazing photos? Enroll yourself in Darren Rowse’s Digital Photography School?
What’s interesting about the blogosphere is that it has created a trend of unconventional education and the opportunity to study any subject you have an interest in. You’re no longer limited to the confines of assigned reading, class lectures, and your major. You have an opportunity to be a much more well rounded individual than ever before.
In the movie Good Will Hunting Matt Damon’s famous quote was “You just spent 150 grand on an education you could have gotten for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.” While it was a bit facetious, anybody who has received a college education probably had a bit of a chuckle because there was a kernel of truth to what was said. One of the biggest expenses for any college student is textbooks. But, the beauty of a public library is that it makes books accessible to everybody and it’s completely free. When I spent 9 months unemployed, the local library in my town became one of my stomping grounds. Unlike a book store, if I wanted to take something home and read it, I didn’t have to fork out $15.00. It might be tempting to dismiss the library as an obsolete resource, but today libraries have their whole book selection available online and even have audio books that can be downloaded directly from some of their web sites. To add to that many published authors today have their own blogs where you can read their content as well.