Computer on Desk

By Helen Gregg Ι May 9, 2016

Why do I love our library’s online learning subscriptions?

I am having a hard time deciding which feature is most important to me, so this list will not be in order of importance, simply features in order of memory.

I suppose for those who know me, the obvious answer is that the learning is available to me anywhere, anytime. If I have an Internet connection, I can be learning something new. So when I am awake at 3 a.m., in my pajamas, I can go ahead and complete the next lesson of whatever course I am taking.

Besides the 24/7 availability, it is free for me with my library card. Universal Class logoUniversal Class is actually a State Library of Kansas subscription, so I have to sign up with my State Library Card – but that is free too, and I can get one right here at the library from the awesome folks who run the Information Services Desk.  

You would not believe the variety of things you can learn! Did I already tell you? FOR FREE! In, there are courses from 2D Drawing to logoWriting (as in how to write – you probably think that is the next one I should take as there is one on writing a good blog entry!) Universal Class has topics that range from Alternative Medicine, Pet and Animal Care, Self-Help, Homeschooling, Teacher Resources, Test Preparation, to Writing Skills; I could go on almost forever. I guess my point is that these online, FREE, learning opportunities are not only about technology. Both subscriptions use technology to bring the learning to you.

I am currently taking an Electronics 101 course and an HTML5 course through Universal Class. I can read the lesson, watch the videos and supplementary material as many times as I need to understand the content, then do the assignment and take the exam if I am working toward a certificate that I took and passed the course (which I am because they are worth CEUs, for those of you who need to fulfill that requirement). By taking that avenue, I also can ask questions and get answers from the course instructor. Which has been great, because I have found that Electronics 101 can be really hard! However, a person can choose to take any course as a Video Audit and bypass the “pressure” of getting grades on assignments and exams.  

Accessing these to wonderful opportunities is not very difficult. Once you Virtual Libraryget on the Library’s website you hover over Virtual Library and the second column is Online Learning. I focused on and Universal Class because I am in LOVE with the variety of topics I can learn at my own pace, at a time that is convenient for me, and FOR FREE. The third opportunity, which I will probably extol at another time, is Mango Languages. It is also a library subscription so it is free for library card holders, and offers a gazillion languages a person can learn. I tell you, we have a gold mine at our fingertips!