Continuing Education: Keeping Your Credentials vs. Pushing to A New Level
You know I believe in education: I nearly shout it from the rooftops. However, sometimes being educated on the same subject over and over really does not move you forward. Recently, I found a resource that has pushed me out of my comfort zone to a new level of education.
Coursera.com allows you to take college classes for free on many different subjects. I am taking a class on bioelectricity, online lesson planning and the brain and personality. All of them are given my major universities and are run like a college class. You may not get college credit or CEUs for it, but the knowledge itself should be amazing.
You might ask why I would do something that will give me no immediate tangible benefit. It is simple: I believe that to be a great professional I need to learn as much about my chosen field. When I entered sleep I taught myself how to score by using the R&K manual. I was not required to learn it but I did. Even though I do not work in respiratory therapy anymore I still keep up on all the new knowledge and ideas in the field. I learned about management from the articles, blogs and boards I read. Now that I am in education and writing, I want to learn as much as possible to be to perform optimally.
There is one more part to this: The more knowledgeable I am the more I am able to share. I believe that the goal is to create a strong work force and that those of us who have experience are responsible for sharing with those who are still young in the field. I believe that we need to create more college programs and more conferences that are affordable.
Okay, off my soapbox. Do you believe that online courses and CEUs are of benefit or do you just take what you need to keep your credentials?