Academic Earth is one of my favorite Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) providers and in my opinion one of the most elegant. With Academic Earth, it is all about the learning.
Academic Earth is a collection of free online college courses from the world’s top universities. Some courses are videos others are full-up courses with a syllabus, tests, class notes, etc. They began with the precedent set forth by MIT OpenCourseware that everyone deserves access to world-class education. Thank you MIT OpenCourseware!
Academic Earth reminds us about the simple joy of learning and removes the worry of how much it will cost. All the courses on Academic Earth are free. Their team has curated over 750 online courses and 8,500 individual online lectures, giving us access to college courses and content we may have never enjoyed. Anyone with an internet connection can learn at their own pace from world-class experts without worrying about how much it will cost.
A lot of the resources I have shared cost a bit of an investment and when compared to college tuition, all of them are fantastic deals. Academic Earth goes the extra mile and focuses heavily and only providing content that is free.
So if you are wondering how you will grow in your profession or change careers, Academic Earth provides a course that will help you. Just like a good Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) they start out with eight categories and then delineate further from there. The categories are Art and Design, Business, Engineering, Humanities, Medicine and Healthcare, Science & Math, Social Science, and Test Preparation. The last category, Test Preparation, does not include the PMP, I am sorry but it does help you with the GMAT and LSAT test in case you are looking to take that next big jump in your career.
Academic Earth is probably one of the best resources we project managers can use because it is very simple. If I want to watch a video on leadership or business management from Harvard University or Dartmouth, I am only 2-3 clicks away. That is so refreshing when all you want to do is listen to or read the content so you can learn and move on to the next goal.
I hope you find this resource helpful and thank you again for sharing this moment.
Why do you learn anything in your career? Is it to earn more money and buy a bigger house? Do you learn a new skill so you can get a promotion or do you learn so you can be a better helper and servant?
I am pretty sure Burnell Cotlon of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, has never heard of the Project Management Institute or ProjectManagement.com. Yet he does know a thing or two about project management and making an impact.
He lives in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans which was hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. Residents in the neighborhood went nine years without a grocery store until Burnell decided to change that.
As Burnell tells the story there were no stores, no barbershops, and no laundry rooms. He was always taught, “…if there’s a problem, somebody’s got to make a move.”
I think that quote is fantastic! To get anything done anywhere, you got to make a move.
So back to my earlier question, why do you learn anything? Do you learn to make money or to make a move regardless of the rewards? Burnell Cotlon made a move to bring his neighborhood back to life. He saved up money while working at fast-food restaurants and dollar stores to buy a run-down building on an empty block and went to work. You can see in the picture below what the building looked like before and all of the delicious food it now provides to the local residents.
Burnell goes on to tell a story about the very first customer. She, “…cried ‘cause she said she never thought the Lower Ninth Ward was coming back.” That speaks to the power and impact felt by a successful project.
Learning and curiosity form the foundation of so many things. For Burnell, he had to learn how to literally re-build the building. He had to learn how to get a permit from the city so he could operate the store. He had to learn how to order and preserve all of his food and plan for future deliveries, all of which sound like project management skills to me.
I share this story because it reminds me of why I love to learn and why I love to share new ideas with this community.
So before you make your next move, take time to ask yourself, “Why do I learn?”