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Social media was a buzz last week as US News and World Report, published their annual rankings of US colleges and universities.  Students everywhere were bragging about their schools ranking amongst the countries most elite universities, as suspected, the Ivy League schools dominated the top of the list with Princeton, Harvard, and Yale taking the top three spots respectively.  These schools are known for their excellence in academics…and their high tuition rates, so what would you say if I told you that you can take courses from one of these universities for free? 

For years now, teachers have been taping their lectures and posting them on sites like YouTube as a resource for students looking for credible information on a certain subject, but recently a new trend in online lectures has emerged and taken the online learning world by storm.  Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are entire lecture series’ concerning a particular subjects that are posted online free for anyone to access, similar to the structure of your average college course.  These courses are for a variety of learning and education levels ranging from Intro to Business to Exploring Quantum Physics and more.  Many of the top universities in the world have jumped on to this new craze in education and partnered with other universities and to create their own MOOC websites.  For example, Harvard and MIT’s and Stanford, University of Virginia, Duke, University of Pennsylvanian, and University of Illinois’ Coursera.  Both of these sites are among many that provide courses to anyone in the online world who is willing to dedicate the time and resources to learning the subject, free of cost.  Sadly, you don’t get any credit for taking one of these courses, but you can still have the benefit of saying you took a Harvard class. 

It is not just colleges that are hopping on the online education train, various companies, and anyone else who has something to share, are posting instructional videos on the Internet for viewers to watch and learn from.  We here at Source One even have our own YouTube channel and iTunes podcast series to educate the public on strategic sourcing and the role it can play in your company.  By using online resources you are able to more easily access your desired audience and expand your reach to place that were previously unavailable.  YouTube is not just a place to watch videos of cats dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, but can also be a way to learn how to save money within your company and reduce your spending.    
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Megan Connell

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