If only one thing has been made clear by the protestors marching against Wall Street and the government officials who have colluded to steal the American Dream, it is that a top-flight university education no longer guarantees a job.
People are now exploring new ways to learn without paying exorbitant tuition fees, and YouTube EDU and iTunes University may be just the ticket for prospective students willing to think – and study – outside the classroom.
Distance learning is nothing new, but neither is charging fees for it that can be as much as or more than brick-and-mortar institutions. People are fast coming to the conclusion that they are paying for the credits rather than the knowledge, and these two online avenues for learning can offer them a wide variety of free high-quality lectures, course material, classes and more.
iTunes University launched in 2007 and has since grown into a hub where a collection of hundreds of universities, museums and educational groups from around the world gather to post lessons, lectures, tutorials and podcasts of all kinds. While it may give off a more product-oriented feel by driving users to the iTunes Store, a few clicks through the offerings reveal there is a treasure trove of valuable knowledge that is free for the taking.
YoutTube EDU is more of an effort to organize and continuously update all things that have true educational merit that have been downloaded onto the site. It is easily searchable and there is a wealth of great content such as lectures from ivy-league schools, science demonstrations, debates and cultural performances, but users will likely run into some B material as well.
The benefits of these two endeavors can’t be undersold. It makes it possible for any person with access to the Internet to receive the exact same education as those individuals fortunate enough to attend the most prestigious learning institutions in the world. In fact, a great deal of the material is organized by university and subject so people can “take classes” as they would if they were in attendance at the university of their choosing.
Many people may argue the drawback is that YouTube EDU and iTunes University don’t issue degrees upon completing coursework, but the prevailing opinion of the day is that university diplomas are not worth what they used to be and that America’s cash-strapped economy now places a premium on performance and proven results over most any other credential.
Of course, the true benefit is that these sites provide opportunities for personal advancement that may or may not have anything to do with career advancement, and some would say that is what a world-class education is really all about.
This article was written by James Madeiros who writes for Criminal Justice Degree Schools, an education site providing information on earning a bachelors in criminal justice.