Resources for Educational Purposes

I have benefited greatly in the past from the generosity of various professors and institutions of higher education, who have made resources freely available to those who may otherwise never have the opportunity.

With the rise of the internet has come a tool of incredible power to share and learn, but with it comes the danger of widely disseminating falsehood as well. There are endless circular quotations and content that is taken as legitimate but is often not the case. Fake news, propaganda, falsified information and amateurs purporting to be experts can find unsuspecting audiences, unaware of what they are consuming. As individuals, it is our responsibility to be prudent with the information we take as "truth" and "fact." This is where reputation can play a large factor; find it in a book.

One particular tool that has been useful is iTunes University. It is like podcasts or video-casts provided by Colleges, Universities and Seminaries. There is an incredible amount of classes able to be taken on your own and at no expense. Many even contain the handouts and syllabi to provide the full experience. I have utilized this resource on many occasions including (but not limited to) classes from Yale, AMBS and Fuller Theological Seminary. The disadvantage is that it is limited to Apple users, but it has been worth it to me to have an Apple device for this reason alone.

Another option is "The Great Courses." Some of the most well-known teachers from respected institutions have lectures covering any range of topics and areas of study. These can be downloaded, or (my personal favorite) found in your local library system. If you have not been a regular patron of your local library, you are missing out on an incredible resource with dedicated people possessing an extraordinary knowledge for aiding you in your quest. As Matt Damon's character Will said in Good Will Hunting,

"You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library."
  
There are other options as well, such as reputable professors making their classes available on a site like YouTube. One in particular I will note is Craig Keener. He has magnanimously made various of his lecture series available to all, such as Romans and Matthew. Dr. John Walton has similar lectures: Job.



There are lectures given in a series, such as those the Lanier Theological Library in Houston has done at regular intervals. They host various scholars giving talks on a variety of topics. Their videos are archived on Vimeo

For someone who may be interested in learning a foreign language, I highly recommend Simon and Schustler's Pimsleur (and Little Pim for Children). Again, these are resources that will be readily available at most local libraries. 

No comments: