November 19, 2013

Udacity – Open Up Your Classroom

Being willing to go into debt shouldn’t be a prerequisite for getting a top-notch education. The founders of Udacity, a web-based learning platform, are hoping to democratize the U.S. education system by making high-quality classes both affordable and accessible for all students.

Whether you’re a high school student looking to get a head start on university-level coursework, a college student looking for a more affordable higher education alternative or a business professional looking to brush up on his or her skills, start your journey by creating a Udacity account and searching for classes in your academic area of interest. Courses are separated into five main categories—Business, Mathematics, Computer Science, Design, and Science—at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. Review the class summary and some background information about the instructors, and start taking the course immediately if it looks interesting. You can watch bite-size videos featuring the instructor and track your progress using Udacity’s integrated tools.

You can connect with fellow students taking Udacity courses, either inside the platform’s community forums or in the real world through local meetup events. Upon completion of each course, Udacity will provide you with a certificate of completion. These certificates are a useful way to show prospective employers what you know, especially when they’re listed on your resume or CV.

Practical Uses:

  • Learn basic computer science skills
  • Add new skills and certificates to your resume
  • Find out what to expect from a university-level course
  • Brush up on your professional skills
  • Supplement your university education with online courses

Insider Tips:

  • Students can connect with each other using Udacity’s community forums
  • Take lessons as often as possible to get the most from an Udacity course
  • Student actions during exams are monitored through webcams and microphones
  • Courses are available in multiple languages

What we liked:

  • Udacity courses have rolling start dates and open enrollment
  • Students can enroll in as many classes as they like
  • In-person study groups add a real-world component to Udacity courses
  • Udacity offers the option for students to take courses for credit

What we didn’t like:

  • Nothing


Company Info:

  • Launched: February 2012
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Palo Alto, California
  • Founded by: Sebastian Thrun and Mike Sokolsky
  • Web site:


  • Free

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