Whoever you are, whatever your SAT score and high school report card looks like, you could take a course at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, or Johns Hopkins right this minute. These elite schools, among many others, have begun to offer open, online, not-for-credit courses to anyone who wants to take them. These are casually referred to as MOOCs, massive open online courses.
You might assume that these classes consist only of video lectures, a collection of slides with a professor’s voiceover, the equivalent of watching some informative YouTube videos. In fact, the courses are as complete as any you’d take in college. There are assigned readings to accompany every class, a syllabus, homework, and essays. Many of them even have some form of grading.
The following was written by JT Ripton, a writer who has contributed to Teach.com, Apartments.com, CollegeRecruiter.com, and other sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @JTRipton.
The college years are full of tough assignments, hectic schedules, and challenging social situations. It’s easy to shrink back and become overwhelmed in that environment, but that can lead to regret later. Inspiring TED talks are always a good go-to for anyone who needs a bit of thought-provoking insight. The following eight talks are particularly helpful to college students.
When the last time you did nothing? Not bum around on the internet because you were bored. Not flip channels absent-mindedly. Not even try to fall asleep. Just nothing?
It’s been awhile right? It’s worth trying sometime. Once your brain stops screaming that you’re wasting valuable time, you might start to appreciate the quiet.
That’s the idea behind a class at University of Washington called “Information and Contemplation.” For the first 15 minutes of class, students sit in silence. It’s a form of meditation, basically, a way to calm the endlessly multitasking mind of the average college student. The class hopes to take college students outside of their normally busy and distracted lifestyle to gain better perspective on how to live a more balanced and peaceful existence. (more…)
According to an article published in the science journal Nature, scientists from MIT and Harvard have managed to observe light photons as particles. That means that while light doesn’t really have matter or mass in the way we normally understand it, it can still be made to “stick together” to form light molecules.
Now, if we can just get three or four feet worth of these light molecules to stick together and add whatever properties let it deflect lasers and slice through flesh, we’ll have ourselves our very own lightsabers.
A recent study out of Texas A&M University concluded that sending hands-free, voice-activated text messages impairs driver reaction times just as badly as actually typing them out.
“In each case, drivers took about twice as long to react as they did when they weren’t texting,” Christine Yager, who headed the study, told Reuters. “Eye contact to the roadway also decreased, no matter which texting method was used.”