Learning Resources for a Perpetual Student

When I was in my teens, I never really knew, why I was learning what I was learning. I did not have the big picture. I assumed that once I take up a job, I would figure it all out. It was a surprise when I took up my job and the questions still remained. I gave up after a few months and concluded what I was really doing all those years was learning to learn.

In the first couple of years in my job, I had to learn lot more than what I did in my entire undergraduate course. This learning was more fun and easier, since I knew why I was learning something.

Almost three decades later, I am still learning. I have become a perpetual student,  thanks to the internet. Now I can learn pretty much what I want, when I want and even control how much I want.  With a computer and internet and few tools, I can find most of what I want. You probably already know some resources for learning. Here are a few that I use.

1. If I just have a few minutes, and want to learn how to do something, I use one or more of these.

HowCast, eHow, WikiHow, How to Do Things, How Stuff Works and other similar sites.

2. For the next level of learning,  I go to Wikipedia. I found Wikipedia to be a reasonably good starting point. The nice thing about Wikipedia is that it is pretty extensive, and the pages have a lots of useful links.

3. For subjects in technology, I frequently go to technology talks videos from Google and some times YouTube. I also look for podcasts using iTunes.

4. If I already know a bit about the subject and feel like getting some expert opinion, I go to blogs. I just try to find experts in a specific field and see whether they blog. The great advantage of blogs is the conversational nature of the writing. Blogs are also conversation starters and some times, you learn a lot from the discussions.

5. If you really want a deep dive, there is a lot of course material at Open Courseware Consortium.

The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance education and empower people worldwide through opencourseware.

There is an increasing amount of great content on the internet. Hopefully, we will have tools to easily locate this content, as well.

3 thoughts on “Learning Resources for a Perpetual Student

  1. Very interesting post Dorai. I also have certain blogs in my list. Could you share some of the podcasts you frequently listen to in one of your next posts?

  2. Here are a few podcasts, I listen to regularly.

    http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/series/innovators.html (Jon Udell is one of my favorite bloggers, columnists). He not only writes blogs and interviews people but builds several prototypical applications which are innovative. I highly recommend his blogs.

    http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/ IT Conversation is another great source of podcasts.

    http://sic.conversationsnetwork.org/ Conversations Network is rapidly becoming one of the must follow source of information. The social innovation podcasts are informative and inspiring.

    Harvard Business Online publishes some amazing podcasts on a wide variety of subjects of interest to entrepreneurs and businesses. http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu/b02/en/hbr/hbr_ideacast.jhtml

    Knowledge@Wharton is one of my favorites. You can find it at http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/

    Stack Overflow is a more recent find and if you are a developer, this is a must read/listen. Their subscribers are so dedicated, they transcribe every podcast into a wiki page – http://blog.stackoverflow.com/

    I copied all these entries to my List of lists as well. I will try to keep it updated.

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