I continue to be fascinated by what the Web offers up these days, and the latest site to catch my undivided attention is Academic Earth, which provides you with dozens of lectures by professors at some of this country’s best universities – Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley and Harvard — on topics ranging from English to Entrepreneurship.
This site is a god-send for anyone interested in continuing their informal learning, and I won’t hesitate to recommend it to a number of retired people I know who are spending their most formative years reading, auditing courses and taking adult education classes. But Academic Earth is for anyone, including current students who need research sources and just about any adult who never quite got his foot in the door to an Ivy League institution.
The lectures, available in video form, provide us with the chance to peek in on a class or even take a complete course from start to finish. All of the videos are available for embedding and sharing with social networks. Along with each video, you’re provided with citation information in case you’re using the video as an academic source.
As a former English minor, for example, I was drawn to The American Novel Since 1945, the course taught at Yale University by Prof. Amy Hungerford. The 26 class videos include two lectures on Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, one on JD Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, and one on Richard Wright’s Black Boy. There’s even a review of the course before the final exam.
I’m going to spend some quality time with this website, wistful for an Ivy League education but happy that I don’t have to take notes.
The lecture I’ve chosen to show you at random is Yale history professor David W. Blight’s first class in his course, The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877: