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Quality education for sale, cheap
August 25, 2011 - Stephen Browne
Unsolicited product endorsement: learning for sale at reasonable prices.
Is there anything you've always wanted to know more about but didn't have access to a course? For me one subject was number theory. I'm not a math person but I'd always heard about this thing called number theory. Like what's a number? What different kinds of numbers are there? What's infinity?
I found the answers to these questions, and more that I hadn't thought to ask in, "Zero to Infinity: A History of Numbers." It's a course taught by Professor Edward B. Burger, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, Williams College - on DVD.
(Did you know there are different orders of infinity? An infinite number in fact.)
Google "The Teaching Company" or "The Great Courses," you'll find a company which markets literally hundreds of DVD and audio courses, in the form of recorded lectures, usually 12 or 24 or them, each about 30 minutes long. Some are available in both DVD and audio, some are suited only for DVD, such as art history courses obviously.
I got some audio courses to play while driving, one on the works of C.S. Lewis and a couple on music theory and great symphonic composers. On DVD I've got courses on statistics, probability, complexity theory, and a gem of a course on the science of argumentation.
I haven't bought anything from them yet, but google "Knowledge Products" and you'll find a set of audio courses of well-known celebrities reading lectures on subjects pertaining to philosophy, economics, history and science, political thought, and religion and ethics.
Want to know more about "The Giants of Philosophy"? Charleton Heston will explain it to you.
The Great Courses can be a bit steep at times, but wait a little and sooner or later every offering is on sale for peanuts. I think Knowledge Products prices are pretty much fixed.
At a time when a great many of us are unhappy with the direction higher education is taking, this stuff is good news.
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