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Traditionally, a person’s knowledge and education tends to be defined by the school they went to, the college they graduated from and the degree they received.

However, in recent years there has been a huge movement toward online education powered by some truly amazing (and free) new technologies.

This trend will, in time, likely revolutionise the way that tertiary and higher education is delivered.

But I’m also hopeful that this shift influences the existing education systems in westernised countries, drives a change away from the more traditional subjects (e.g. Maths, Science, English) and opens up more ‘real world’ options.

I for one wish I had been able to study personal finance, investment and similar areas in college.

As a matter of interest for others, I have listed below a few of my favourite resources for free training and education online.

TED

ted_logoIf you haven’t heard of TED then you must have been living under a rock!

TED’s worldwide conferences feature some of the sharpest, brightest and most insightful minds on the planet. TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) started nearly thirty years ago as a one-off event.

There have now been conferences in over 1,000 cities around the world through TEDx (a localised offshoot). Each presenter gives a short talk (usually around 15 minutes) on the subject matter of their expertise.

These talks are recorded and the videos are made available online.

The content is seriously good and hugely varied! In fact, TED talks have been viewed over 1 BILLION times.

This is a staggering achievement, and is representative of the drive for education through new technology.

If you have time to kill, or a commute where you can read/watch I would highly recommend one of the videos below. They are some of my favourites. But there are literally thousands more available at ted.com.

Khan Academy

KhanAcademyLogo

Khan Academy is a truly mind-blowing success largely realised by one person, Salman Khan. (Khan himself has featured on TED talks in the past).

The Academy’s objective is to provide ‘a free world-class education for anyone anywhere’ – which in itself is an extraordinarily powerful company message.

This is achieved by hosting hundreds of hours of content on a range of subjects, primarily underpinned by those that would generally be found in traditional secondary education (maths, physics, economics etc).

Site registration is simple. And once registered you’re assigned a pathway that becomes increasingly more challenging and difficult.

It all adds up to a fantastic experience, and one that makes education enjoyable.

If you have any time spare in your day, and haven’t visited Khan Academy before you are genuinely missing out.

Udemy

Udemy_logo_3Launched in 2010, Udemy is a learning platform that enables independent instructors to facilitate courses, on any subject matter that they wish.

The range of subjects on offer includes computing, technology, entrepreneurship, health, self-help and many others.

There are many classes available from $20 up to a few hundred dollars.

Again, I have listed some of the courses I have taken and particularly enjoyed, but there are hundreds of others to choose from.

 

Dan Fairbairn

Dan is passionate about technology as an enabler, with years of experience training, evaluating and implementing technology into small businesses. Outside of work he loves live music, craft beer and over-analysing sport...!

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