How to learn from the best in the world for free?

The best thing I saw on internet about online learning is,
“Knowledge is FREE, But you have to PAY attention to get it”.

Your attention is the most precious asset. Not the money you have now.

The things and people you PAY attention today, will define your outcome in future. Yet attention is what most people don’t have. We are constantly distracted by our phones and our emotions. Me no different. I struggled with online learning when I started. Yet I worked at it. I learned data science, artificial intelligence, wealth management, coaching and many other soft skills from the best in the world.

I learnt it through Coursera and Linkedin learning.
You can see my certificates in my Linkedin profile. If you see a certificate, that means I have paid for that course in Coursera or I was on Linkedin learning subscription for that month.

Certificate tagging in Linkedin gave me the motivation to complete the courses. Now that I am used to PAY attention, I am going on to coursera and get tonnes of knowledge daily for FREE. Yes, I am no longer driven by adding certificates to my Linkedin profile.
I just go to Coursera, pick a course and audit it.
In audit mode, I get all the access to course content -all the videos and notes.
What I don’t get are – quizes and the certificates. I am fine with it now.
Loads of respect for Andrew Ng, Founder of Coursera for not blocking people in hunger for knowledge, but cannot afford the course fee. Andrew, you are a hero of mine. Big fan !

So,
1) Go to www.coursera.org
2) Create an account
3) Pick a course, chose Audit mode
4) Make a habit of learning daily.

Again, “Knowledge is FREE, But you have to PAY attention to get it”.

5 reasons you’d love doing online courses.

Image result for online learning mobile phone

  1. They are really interactive: videos, online quiz, QnA sessions and online community makes it more intense than traditional classes or just reading a book or an article.
  2. You can learn from world authorities of that domain.
  3. You can learn at your own pace, at the time you want, from anyplace in the world. All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection.
  4. They are concise and to the point. You can even skip and go only to a particular section if you want to acquire knowledge fast, and you can move on. You can come back later.
  5. It’s way more cheaper than going to a college, and most of the courses are free ! ( Ex: Coursera)

I have completed 2 more courses in last two weeks. That saved me a lot of time and future errors and made me confident in new areas I am waking through.

My previous post on how to enter online learning. 

How I got started in online learning.

elearning.lk got me to chat about how I do online learning. This video covers basic information that would help you to start your online learning. The chat is in Sinhala. We did this to encourage Sri Lankans to get on to online learning. I also mention about how to get all the great content with out paying. That is called auditing the course. ( In auditing mode, you don’t get the certificate)

Do check out elearning.lk for online courses available in Sinhala and Tamil languages. They are sailing against the outdated winds of Sri Lankan education system. It’s an uphill task. Yet a task that is worthy of pursuit.

First AI Summit in Sri Lanka

My life has changed 180 degrees, when I did the data science coursera course from Johns Hopkins University, . That new learning cannot be undone. My understanding of the new world has changed. I started conversations with few of my colleagues and mentors on how Data Science, Machine Learning and AI can make a real change for a country like Sri Lanka. How can it help the common man, Siripala and Sumanawathi who are left behind. It was a very limited niche conversation for me, until yesterday.

There were 350 people packed in to a hall in Kingsbury: developers, junior and senior Managers, CEOs, academics, and of course a fantastic lineup of speakers from across the world

Although it was a full day event, which most of us find impossible to commit in this age, I was glad to see most of the audience staying until 6 pm. Kudos to Jeevan and SLASSCOM team for making this happen.

I had a lively conversation with Yasantha Rajakarunanayake, who went viral in social media when Jeff Bezos introduced him to the world as the smartest guy at Princeton. Yasantha is back in the Sri Lanka after 30+ years and he’s excited to see the enthusiasm for AI , because he believes customised education is the only way forward for a sustainable world and that is only possible with AI.

It was good to catch up with Chrishantha Fernando, a Sri Lankan working as a Senior Research Scientist at Google Deepmind. Yes, you saw that right. I told him about the new digital aspirations of young people in Sri Lanka and also about the mental blocks that prevent rural Sri Lanka from reaping those opportunities. He listened carefully and said “Keep on doing what you guys are doing, because future waits for no one. It is here to be embraced. Do not be in the sidelines.”

Yep.