DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

education

Feb 19 2010

OpenCourseWare

by Jesse M

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Such was the wisdom of American industrialist Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company and father of the modern assembly line. I agree with the sentiment and attempt to make every day a learning experience (working in a library is a big help in this endeavor). If you feel like I do, then you may be interested in checking out one of the many OpenCourseWare offerings available online.

OpenCourseWare can be defined as the free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses. Such courses typically do not offer certification, or access to instructors, but are excellent resources for furthering your own knowledge in a given area. The first OpenCourseWare selections were offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 and since then a large and growing number of institutions (including many highly regarded universities such as Stanford, Yale, and Harvard Medical School, among others) have published their own OpenCourseWare projects. As of 2009, MIT had over 1900 courses available online, with reading lists and discussion topics, homework problems and exams (often with solutions) and lecture notes. Some courses also include interactive web demonstrations in Java or MATLAB, complete textbooks written by MIT professors, and streaming video lectures. Other institutions boast similar offerings.

For a list of institutions offering OpenCourseWare resources, click here. The listings are divided into nine categories, including Academic Behemoths (MIT), Ivy League (Yale), and International (University of Tokyo). Or, if you prefer, you can utilize the OCW Finder, which, as its name suggests, helps people find OpenCourseWare.

Of course, if you are interested in autodidacticism you needn’t venture farther than your neighborhood library. The DCPL catalog contains two excellent educational series (Great Courses and Modern Scholar) available for checkout in both CD and DVD format.

So take advantage of these resources and keep your mind young for life!

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Sep 2 2009

College Bound?

by Nancy M

ugaIt’s September and the halls of academia await. You’ve done everything you can to prepare—you have completed mountains of homework, passed exams, worked on becoming a well-rounded student, wrote essays and submitted applications. Now, with graduation and summer vacation behind you, you are about to embark upon your college days. Starting this new chapter in your life can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if you are leaving home for the first time. But if you have some time before college starts, pick up the following books from the Library. They can help prepare you for your first roommate experience, campus life, academic life and more.

dormroomThe Dorm Room Diet by Daphne Oz

majors 10 Best College Majors for Your Personality by Laurence Shatkin

gettingready Getting Ready for College by Polly Berent

If you want to impress your new college friends and professors, try expanding your horizons by reading some books from the list of Outstanding Books for the College Bound, created every year by the American Library Association. Most of these books can be found at your local DeKalb County Public Library.

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Aug 6 2008

Back to School

by Ginny C

It’s back to school time!  (For Dekalb County Public School students, anyway.)  I hope you took advantage of the Tax Free holiday last weekend to stock up on school supplies.  Don’t forget that the Library can help with the back to school preparations, too.  We have many (many, many) books on starting Kindergarten, starting grade school, first day jitters, how to deal with new teachers, starting a new school, schools in other countries, separation anxiety and more.  We have picture books, chapter books, beginning reader books and teen books.  We also have books for parents on how to prepare your child for school and what you can expect him or her to learn and experience with each new grade level.  There are too many titles to list them all, so I’ve included just a few to get you started.

I Don’t Want to Go Back to School by Marisabina Russo:  Despite his older sister’s dire warnings of all the terrible things that could go wrong on his first day in the second grade, Ben has a wonderful time.

Mama, Don’t Go by Rosemary Wells: Yoko loves kindergarten, but she doesn’t want her mother to leave–until her new friend helps her realize that “mothers always come back.”

Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis: Dexter knows everything there is to know about kindergarten and is not at all scared about his first day there, but his stuffed dog, Rufus, is very nervous.

Back to School, Mallory by Laurie B. Friedman: After moving, eight-year-old Mallory struggles with being new at school, especially because her mother is now the music teacher and director of the third grade play.

How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler: Seventeen-year-old Sugar Magnolia Dempsey is tired of leaving friends behind every time her hippie parents decide to move, but her plan to be unpopular at her new Austin, Texas, school backfires when other students join her on the path to “supreme dorkdom.”

What Your First Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a good first grade education Edited by E.d. Hirsch, Jr.:  For parents, these books describe what your child will be learning in each grade level, up to sixth grade.

There are many more titles available, too.  If you want more recommendations, please ask a librarian.  We’d love to help you find one that’s just right for you.

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If you, like me, feel that time in your car is basically time wasted, you will be interested to hear that the library carries college level courses on audio CD.  DeKalb County Public Library carries two series, the Modern Scholar series and the Great Courses series.  Both series employ the talents of well-respected college professors to teach subjects like music, art, history, religion, and science.  The ones I have listened to have been very interesting and only one or two that I’ve come across sound like that dry, boring history teacher we all had at some point in our school career.  There are two series:

Check ’em out!

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