Having the Udacity to learn
Udacity is a brilliant free online school which gives access to anyone. This is a brilliant flexible concept. It doesn't matter how old you are or what your qualifications are. It's as simple as signing up.
My experience of using Udacity is with the subject Introduction to Psychology. It is run by expert professors and academics at the Udacity HQ in the USA. So they know what they're talking about.
It is highly interactive with lecturers presenting videos as though they were on TV. They don't read from a book. They speak as though they area talking straight to you. It uses online whiteboard technology to draw something or write notes. The Sense Olympics was a fun way to learn how sensory perception actually works. They got groups (presumably students) in to compete in contests like depth perception and hearing really quiet sounds. Distance learning has never been so lively.
Everything is explained as simply as possible so anyone can understand. The discussion board is vital because everyone needs to ask questions at times. Everything felt fine for me until they got into technical info about the brain. It felt so complicated that only McDreamy could possibly answer. At least our own experts are there to help instead.
Assessment is easily done through quizzes. These are after every topic. So progress is measured along the way, not just at the end. This is handy because I got to see where some topics were ok and what I need to revisit.
Udacity is a genius way to learn something new. It mainly has mathematical and engineering subjects at the moment. There are exceptions like my little psych subject. But a lot of people would be curious about areas like the course Artificial Intelligence for Robotics.
This is only one site out of a few that emerged over the last few years. And it is the start of what could grow into a lot more areas of interest. What did we ever do without Web 2.0?