The idea that you don’t have to rely on going to college to become educated and successful in life is growing increasingly popular. College is essentially 3 things: content, community, and certification, and more and more alternatives to these three things are popping up, giving people more options and choice in what they pay for and how they spend their time.
Free online classes and content make it possible for anyone to learn just about anything they want. And certification options for these, as well as infrastructures for in-person study groups, are becoming more and more robust, contributing to the legitimacy of them.
“Hacker houses” (shared living-working-learning houses) and hackerspaces/makerspaces (community spaces to tinker with and explore science and engineering) provide self-directed learners with community, support, mentorship and a valuable network.
In this session I will talk about how you can incorporate aspects of self-directed learning in your life, regardless of your background or age. I’ll discuss how to find like-minded people and form a community to draw from and provide support and accountability to one another, develop a learning plan and find relevant learning resources, and form interesting projects.
With a year of college under her belt, Catherine Stevens entered her senior year of high school with the realization that going to college wasn’t for her at this point. She immediately started reading and learning about the education system and alternative paths and became fascinated with the idea that you don’t have to rely on college to become educated or succeed in life. After working as a private tutor and taking online classes for a few months, she thrust herself into the world of self-directed learning, where for the past seven months she has been living, breathing and exploring self-directed learning through countless conversations, events and projects.