Online Courses for Free??

For years, online courses have been available directly from universities. But students were required to be enrolled directly in the university and the courses cost as much as ones you would attend.

Enter Coursera. A new social entrepreneurship company partnered with the top universities in the world to offer free online courses to anyone who wants to take them.

Courses in a wide range of topics are offered, designed for students to master the material quickly. Taught by world-class professors from thirty three of the top universities around the world, these courses are perfect for improving your resume, advancing your career or just teaching you something you didn’t know before.

But, so what? Why do free classes matter? You don’t earn college credit by taking them through Coursera. They can take up to eight to ten hours of your time per week. So why take Coursera classes?

Easy answer. In this day and age, everyone needs to learn something new. Whether the class you take just teaches you how to improve your health, basic math or teaches you to how to utilize new technology, Coursera has something for everyone. You can learn more about the importance of social media marketing or how to write your own digital media and mobile app. During my time at Ingenex, I have learned the importance of keeping up with the digital transition. So why not take a class? And everyone loves getting things free… so why not get a free education from one of the best universities in the world?

NMDL: Back in the Driver’s Seat

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Michigan State University is now offering, to both undergraduate and graduate students, a new course on social media entitled “New Media Drivers License.”

The New Media Drivers License course, or NMDL for short, provides students with a comprehensive overview of new media and digital marketing, and the relevance and importance of each for today’s businesses.  The course is taught by Ingenex Digital Marketing CEO and MSU alum, Derek Mehraban, as well as professor and Chair of Advertising, Public Relations, and Retailing at MSU, Dr. Richard Cole.

NMDL shows students how to take social media, like Facebook and Twitter, normally used to communicate with friends, and turn it into a valuable commodity for companies and clients.  In addition to social networks, the course covers the use of blogging, podcasting, search engine optimization, and a number of other digital marketing areas, including the never-ending uses of Google.

Paul Kanan (me), an MSU alum and a passenger on the maiden voyage of the NMDL ship during the 2009 Spring semester, says of the course, “This class rocks!  I recommend it to anyone going into public relations, advertising, or simply wants to have their finger on the pulse of the future.”

This summer marks the second offering of NMDL at MSU with three full sections.  The class meets at the beginning and end of the semester at Walsh College in Novi, MI, with everything in between taking place online.  For more information on the class, the course site can be found at http://newmediadl.com or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

So that’s the official Eco-Friendly word, but like I said, this class rocks!  And another thing, it’s long overdue, so check it out!