Posted 22nd May 2014 | By Ean Faragher, Operations Director

Online learning allows students across the globe to access resources, schools and teachers they would have no hope of reaching out to otherwise (and vice-versa).

In this blog I'm going to outline some great resources for workers to learn something new that can relate to their business. Whether it's why our brain sometimes works against us, even on simple tasks, or why Football could hold the key to business success, you'll hopefully find something relevant and interesting.

Cognitive Lode

First up is a beautifully designed site called Cognitive Lode - the strapline sums it up perfectly, ‘Brain gems for decision makers’. There’s some fascinating insights into consumer psychology but also into why we work the way we do. Check out this ‘gem’ about why we’re intellectually lazy, sometimes we’ll look for the easiest answer even when we know we’re unsure if it’s the right one - worrying for any decision maker! Whilst not a full scale learning course like some of the others in this list, this site perhaps does more to make you think about your business than any other.

TED

Most of you will be aware of the TED conferences – they’ve been held for 30 years so they know a thing or two about booking great speakers. They’ve got a great back-catalogue of individual talks but one of the more useful features is the ‘playlistssection where you can view a series of talks all collated around one idea/vision/aim – there’s an entire section devoted to Business and Work with some fascinating talks in there.

OpenLearn

The next one is from that venerable institution, The Open University. They’ve been pioneers of distance learning for over 40 years and with their OpenLearn brand they’ve been pioneering free learning too. It’s easy to point you at the ‘Money & Managementsection as being most relevant (and it is) but it’s worth looking at other areas too – one that is certainly relevant to any manager or leader is the sports section, which features a number of articles on team-building, coaching etc. that are as relevant to business as they are sport.  The OU obviously agree as they’re running a free course on ‘The Business of Football’ intended for those involved in Football but marketed to those with an interest in business and finding out how a different ‘industry’ manages day-to-day business.

iTunes U

A number of institutions make use of iTunes U – the education section of iTunes, which features numerous free videos and podcasts on a wide variety of topics that are always worthy of a watch/listen.

Coursera

There’s also websites like Coursera – where they partner with a variety of Universities (mostly US) to produce a list of courses available for free. One that’s particularly relevant at the moment given the upcoming elections is the Understanding Europe course that will obviously be useful if you’re doing or intending to do business with European clients. Or how about an introduction to Public Speaking?

FutureLearn

Similar to Coursera but with a more British focus is FutureLearn - a small collection of partner universities offer courses on numerous topics, with several business-focused courses. Like this ‘Managing people’ course offered by the University of Reading.

Class Central and Open Culture

Then there’s collation websites like Class Central that just collate various online courses (from sites like Coursera and FutureLearn) or Open Culture which make it easier to find courses you're interested in from a wider selection of institutions.

Creative Live

There are even industry specific sites like Creative Live – although this is a live course site and will charge for anytime access, which with US times can be a bit of a problem (although they mostly fall outside of work hours they can run on for several hours. 

Udacity

One that’s not so relevant to most businesses but is to us at EMC, Udacity. It’s a technology and programming focused set of free courses – one of particular interest to some of the studio here will be the ‘Make your own 2048’ which teaches you how to edit the source code to the game app 2048 to personalise it.

Hopefully this has inspired you to take some time to learn something about your business or industry, whether it’s increasing employee engagement or understanding why too much choice can be a bad thing there are lots of opportunities online to further your knowledge.

Written by Ean Faragher, Operations Manager at ExtraMile Communications

At ExtraMile we try to take an hour out each week to look around us at what others do and to gain inspiration and to admire people's creativity. Each post in this series is one staff member's take on the world of web, design and things online. We hope you enjoy it.

 

Ean

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