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OpenEducationResources

ALISON— A Trove of 400 Free Online Job Training Courses

ALISON— A Trove of 400 Free Online Job Training Courses

in Education, Online Courses, Technology

How many of us have taken an online course to learn a new language? My guess is, a lot. How many have used the web to find a recipe? Even more. But as handy as those skills are, will they help anybody land a job?

While unemployment figures hover at just above 8 percent, analysts say that the numbers are much higher for low-skilled workers. Skill-sets are out of sync with the demands of today’s job market and fewer companies than ever offer on-the-job-training for rudimentary workplace skills, like how to use a computer or work in an office environment.

ALISON—an Irish company with an uncatchy longer moniker: Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online—provides free online courses in job-friendly skills. Some are basic but essential—Fundamentals of Google Docsor Touch Type Training. Others are more specialized (Programming in Adobe Flash) and many could be useful for anybody, job seeking or not (Protect Yourself From Identity Theft).

ALISON focuses on the practical, culling free courses from a range of publishers that will upgrade anyone’s employment skills. The site has a million registered users across the globe and is adding 50,000 learners every month. Un- or under-employed people can get help planning their career path with a course that takes from 1-2 hours. The course includes an assessment and a discussion forum.

While many sites offer academic instruction, relatively few offer free workplace skill instruction and ALISON selects courses for their quality and interactivity. The site is so robust and straight-forward that government workplace centers in 18 states use it as a tool to help clients beef up their resume skills.

Of the 400 available courses, the most popular is also one of the most comprehensive. ABC IT  is a 15-20 hour comprehensive introduction to IT literacy. It integrates basic concepts of computing, Microsoft Office applications and touch type training, as well as big-picture discussion of how computing can be an everyday feature of life and work.

The site itself serves as an example of computing as a tool for social change. “We believe that all certifiable or standards-based learning for every subject can be made available for free online,” ALISON founders write on the site. “We also believe that Article 26 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states ‘Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free . . .’ will, through ALISON, become a reality.”

As always, when you’re done visiting ALISON’s catalogue, don’t forget to spend time with our big collection of 500 Free Online Courses from great universities. There’s no shortage of career-enhancing courses here, including a long list of classes dedicated to IT and computer science.

Via the New York Times.

Kate Rix is an Oakland based freelance writer. See more of her work atkaterixwriter.com

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Resources

Lino It: The Great Online Stickies Tool

Yes scrumblr and wallwisher are nice, but they aren’t good enough for today.  Wallwisher is way too slow and scrumblr is nice enough.  Lino It  @ en.linoit.com rocks.  Youtube videos, larger boards, iPhone, sync with Google Calendar, Chrome app, and more.  Embedded one with Moodle today and looking forward to using it with Podcasting class tomorrow.  Check it out.

 

 

Categories
Hacks Life

Free College Courses Online

MIT OpenCourseware

Massachusetts Institute of Technology was a pioneer in offering online college courses and they still have the most diverse and in-depth collection of classes available anywhere. Their online offering is an archived version of real courses that have been taught at MIT, and you may need to purchase the textbook to follow along with the class. These courses come highly recommended.

Carnegie Mellon OpenLearning

Carnegie Mellon, based in Pittsburgh, PA, has a variety of courses available for anyone online. While the selection is not as great as MIT’s, many core courses are presented in an easy to follow online format. Their courses are similar to what a paying student would receive minus the course credit or access to an instructor.

Khan Acadamy

Salman Khan began putting videos on YouTube to help with tutoring a cousin. When he started receiving feedback that they were helping a lot more people than just his cousin, he realized he was on to something good.

Today, there are over 1000 videos on KhanAcademy, which is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Most videos are about math. However, there are also many other topics that he explores. Even Bill Gates has said that he uses Khan to teach his kids about math. These are not college courses per-se, but the math he introduces in them are at college level and many people praise them for being clearer and easier to comprehend than actual college courses!

Stanford University iTunesU

Stanford has made many of their courses and lectures available via iTunes in iTunesU. This collection is great if you are on the go or want to listen to courses while commuting. They have an impressive collection of content available, all for free. The downside is that you need to use iTunes to view their content.

Open University LearningSpace

LearningSpace offers content from the Open University, based in the UK. This university pledges to be open and accepts many different kinds of students in its real world classrooms. It also opened up its content to anyone online. The online college courses are laid out extremely well and offer many different topics with skill levels going from beginner up to expert.

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OpenEducationResources

Try Open Source Software Before You Install It

Recently I found myself wanting someplace I could point users to test software without me installing it.  Not that I mind a great deal, but sometimes it is just useful to practice or kick the tires.  I ran across click2try a “Community site where it’s easy to try Open Source software–for free.”  This solved my immediate issue of showing someone how to use one of the applications.  Although the number installed here is not as large as others, I am hopeful they will continue to grow the site.

Categories
Teaching

TeachStreet for Teachers

TeachStreet, a Yelp-like service for real world classes (cooking, dog obedience, music lessons, ballroom dance, foreign language, golf, yoga, etc.), is launching a marketplace feature for teachers to be able to coordinate payments from students. TeachStreet, which serves seven metropolitan areas in the U.S. including New York City, Silicon Valley/San Francisco and Seattle, allows instructors to upload information about classes. Users can look for available classes, and read and write reviews on the course and the instructor. Currently, the site includes a selection of more than 135,000 classes and teachers, across more than 700 subjects and categories.