Saturday, August 04, 2012

Free Quality On-Line Learning Resources

I was reading the local on-line news and found this curious article:

Rice joining other elite schools offering free online courses - Houston Chronicle

Rice is not my alma mater (go Cougs!) but even I must confess Rice University is an elite school.

I did some digging and found the web-site they (and other schools) are offering their courses through.


What seems to make the classes offered by Coursera so amazing isn’t just that they are from highly respected and well know colleges and universities, but these aren’t just “giveaway” on-line classes.

No. You need to enroll and the regular class sessions run over a number of weeks.

I looked at some of the IT/Security related ones as they are my current career field, however, they also have many other categories such as biology, economics, business/management, education, medicine, mathematics and physics. Cool!

You may not be able to apply them to a degree, but ongoing educational opportunities like this are incredibilly valuable…both to your career or just keeping the brain-cells active and challenged…especially if you select courses outside your comfort zone.

Check these IT-related offerings out to see what classes are current active or starting soon.

I’m overwhelmed to find this opportunity.  I’m resolved to take at least one class starting either this fall or winter to begin challenging myself.  Maybe programming in Python?

Likewise, if this structured approach isn’t your bag, our favorite TinyApps bloggist has uncovered another amazing source of IT-tech training material. These are less interactive and more watch-n-learn, but still look pretty useful…especially covering subjects you may not be as familiar (or fresh) in.

Take a look at these categories over at TheUrbanPenguin; Linux, Windows, Novell and Citrix

Finally, Code Academy now has a (free) Python course that seems to cover some of the basic foundations. I’m not a Python coder, but I see many projects I do use rely on Python.

Finally, these fresh offerings from Aaron Margosis aren’t really classes, but are educational nonetheless;

  • From TechEd: Legacy Web App Issues, Sysinternals Gems, webcast with Mark Russinovich - Aaron Margosis' "Non-Admin" and App-Compat WebLog
    • Defense Against the Dark Ages: Your Old Web Apps Are Trying to Kill You - Video 1hr, 15m - “The Web browser is the primary path that malware uses to get on users’ computers. Web browser security (especially Internet Explorer’s) has improved dramatically in the past few years to defend against evolving threats. However, continuing to build and maintain Web apps using old practices defeats many of these improvements and leaves your users’ computers more vulnerable than ever. In this session, you will learn why those formerly accepted (or at least tolerated) practices are surprisingly harmful and now must be updated. You will also learn ways to update web apps quickly so that you can adopt more secure practices without stopping your business.”
    • Sysinternals Primer: Gems - Video 1hr, 15m - In the latest edition of the popular Sysinternals Primer series, join Aaron (Mark Russinovich’s co-author of The Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference) as he goes mining for gems. Uncover buried tips and tricks to get the most out of popular tools such as Process Explorer and Process Monitor. Discover treasures among the least-known Sysinternals utilities – tools that you would have been using if you had only known about them sooner. The Sysinternals utilities are vital tools for any computer professional on the Windows platform. Mark Russinovich's popular "Case Of The Unexplained" demonstrates some of their capabilities in advanced troubleshooting scenarios. This complementary tutorial series focuses primarily on the utilities themselves, deep-diving into as many features as time will allow.”
    • Webcast: Mark Russinovich and Aaron Margosis: Sysinternals, Stuxnet, AMA -  Video 52m - “Mark Russinovich and Aaron Margosis discuss Sysinternals tools, computer viruses, hackers, hacking and more with Charles Torre.  Questions from a live virtual audience are addressed.”
    • TSSessions Utility - “TSSessions is a utility I wrote to enumerate terminal services sessions, window stations and desktops.“

Get learning!

--Claus V.

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