Goodwill Community Foundation – Free online classes

Free Education from GCF!

Making the most of existing technology is the name of the game. Many people who might want to go to college will never attend for a variety of reasons. Some have time issues, money issues, family challenges, etc. Some will feel overwhelmed or computer challenged. 

The Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF) offers free courses (you only have to sign up) about everyday tools. http://www.gcflearnfree.org/

The First Course they offer is called Everyday Life which has sections on

  1. Food
  2. Money
  3.  Work
  4.  Shopping
  5.  Maps
  6.  Bills and Budgeting

Other courses include Math & Money, Computer Training, Online Classes, Work & Career.

For an individual who would like to enter the online classroom in a slow and easy manner, a classroom like this would be perfect. The price is right (free) and the topics are useful in everyday life.  The Computer Training classes walk the students through everyday software applications like Microsoft Excel, Publisher, Word, PowerPoint and Access.  Being able to learn these applications and use them without pressure and time constraints makes learning a smooth process. 

GCF FreeLearning.org is the first step in getting an education. The end result is the student sets the pace and learns in a stress free environment at no cost.  How many students will decide that they do NOT need to have a $75,000 price tag associated with a BA?  Many will soon figure out aht a degree would be great to have but they really only need the  education.  Or the multitudes that will ‘buy’ into the idea of a college education, only to find out the teachers do not know how to use technology as a way to teach. Students who learn for free will still have an education minus the outrageous cost.  

Free Education, it’s a concept I really like!

Gimme more, gimme more

What would Google do? blog author Jeff Jarvis writes that blogs and online news will soon be the main source of information for communities as the popularity of paper medium decreases.  Blog writers, those people who have a passion about something near and dear to them will become the voice of the community.

…Keep in mind that few, if any, of these bloggers and journalists have experience in business, advertising or sales.

The average person becomes the voice of the community. That can be a wonderful thing — that can also be terrifying if that person sees the glass half empty, the trash half full, the community sinking and the government stinking.

Another person can express pride, share triumphs, paint vibrant rainbows — the world needs to see both sides of the community and hear both writers.  Let them speak.  Let others respond.  A new world is here.

Jarvis writes, “Bottom line: after three years, we project that a blogger could hire editorial staff and advertising help – citizen salespeople who help support the citizen journalists – and net $148,000 out of $332,000 revenue.”

Maybe it could happen, or maybe like the ostrich egg farms from the ’80’s or the pyramid schemes that benefit the first 50 or 500 will gain some glory and money – but the blogger will have to have a reason to post and something to lure the reader back each day.  What can be so compelling that one person will follow a certain blogger?

Discussions about books, directions to free educational websites, topics that help me grow and offer data I can share with others …would entice me to return.  I’d watch creative videos that offer new ideas and I’d link to them and share with others.

Here’s a video I watched the whole way through.  When it finished, I questioned the state of learning in our universities. It made me wonder why students enter a classroom when the professor is so far behind the technology times.  The student is the teacher … and the teacher has so much to learn.

Watch and Share this video – A Vision of Students Today –

The Virtual Playground: Free Admission

Learning Communities 101
Learning about Web 2.0 from the ground up – care to join me – or share with me?

Today was a wonderful day.

At 9:00 am I met a dear friend for coffee. During our conversation we discussed work, job hunting and web technology.  My background involves web technology, web design, desktop publishing, instructional designing, etc.

Her current position involves working with online learning communities and education. She gave me some delicious sites to review and we discussed Web 2.0.  Her observations about the future of educational learning management systems (Blackboard, eCollege, etc) and ‘pay’ walls forced me to get back into the learning ring and get up to speed on this technology. So, here I am.
In searching for this blog, I stumbled over several others that I bookmarked so that I would remember to share with you.

Classroom 2.0
The Edublogger
The Top Education Blogs
Seven Principles for Cultivating Communities of Practice

The resouces already exist … for faculty, students, teachers, job seekers, employers, employees and everyone. The resouces are here and there and on this link and on that link. Free. Come and find them.