Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Teaching Company

I want to share with my (handful) of readers a very cool line of products. Because I drive back and forth from my home with the Kitten on the Eastern Shore to DC and Northern VA regularly, I spend a good deal of time in the car. I kill the time listening to the radio and obliterating my monthly cell phone minute level. A good friend of mine (Bill Carrier, Executive Coach without equal!) recommended "The Teaching Company" to me a few months back, and I finally took the plunge.

What The Teaching Company does is package undergraduate level courses on DVD/CD or for download to your MP3 player. You can get as into the course as you desire--you can follow along with the lecture guide (in advance of listening in your car, hopefully), or you can just--as I do--listen along for the pure pleasure of learning. I am through Part I of the V part lecture series "The Great Ideas of Philosophy"--each part contains roughly 12-30 minute lectures. I can't tell you how quickly the time flies in the car--for that period of time, I'm transported back to a UVA lecture hall, listening to the instruction of a fantastic professor imparting knowledge to me as a great gift. For years and years, I've heard and misused terms like "metaphysics", "ontological" and "epistemological", and hopefully, I won't do that anymore!

If you go to the website, don't be fooled by the prices. Every single course goes on sale at least once a year, so I exclusively buy off the "sale" site. I'm using these courses as my personal battle against Alzheimer's, though I may be getting on it a bit early.

6 comments:

Greg "The Hammer" Dail said...

Great idea but you can do much the same thing at iTunes University, for free. I've downloaded lectures from Cal., Stanford, Duke, Oxford, George Mason and many more. Of course you don't get course credit but who cares? I have my degree. I enjoy it because it's just a great way to pass the time and learn something to boot. I've even communicated a time or two with the professors and they answered my questions as if I were an enrolled student. Check out Michael Munger on Econ Talk at Duke.

Robert Thorn said...

Coincidentally, I've started to get mailers for said product. Hmmm, maybe not such a coincidence after all.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Greg--I checked out I Tunes U and it is a great resource...but it simply doesn't have the depth that TTC has. Free is good, but you get what you pay for (at least for now--I can definitely see a day where Itunes model puts everyone else out of business...

RT--I assure you, the mailings have nothing to do with me or your writing for this blog. My endorsement is without compensation.

Mudge said...

All this modern, read-to-me approach to learning is fine but I prefer the more traditional, Cliffs Notes, for my own continuing education.

Anonymous said...

I've heard about this....appropriate for 12 year olds? Recommendations of specific profs? Looking for something classics...

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Yes--appropriate for a precocious and advanced 12 year old, especially if he/she already has some interest in the subject. Each course has loads of comments posted...I've only taken one so far and it was wonderful.

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