Remember last month when I said unschooling really isn’t about what Sarah is learning?
Since then, I’ve finished my astrobiology course through free online learning provider Coursera. (I even finished “with honors!”) I’ve also signed up for several coming Coursera classes, but the next one – Gamification – doesn’t start until April.
So I wanted to have something to work on in the meantime. Now that I’m rolling with the idea of devoting some of my time each week to tackling a learning project, I wanted to keep up the momentum.
But I’m a dork who likes to color and who’s using that to learn about how anthrax got its name, what the first bacterium to be isolated was, how the earliest microscopes worked, and more.
And, in an awesome learning “coincidence,” I got to learn more about the experiments that disproved the idea of spontaneous generation, which was a common but erroneous belief in the 1700s and earlier. This was cool, because it was actually something we talked heavily about in the astrobiology class!
I’ve set a goal for myself to do about five “plates,” or coloring/reading sets, a week. If I did that consistently, it’d take me 21 weeks to finish the book. I may take a break during my other Coursera courses, depending on my schedule, but it’s nice to have this to fill my time in a way that’s a little more productive than playing Level 33 of Candy Crush Saga for the 873rd time.
By doing things like this book and the online courses, my goal isn’t to become a master in these subjects. In fact, most of this microbiology work should be a review of my high-school-level biology course. But it’s interesting; it’ll refresh my memory before the epidemiology courses I signed up for this fall; and it’s given me a chance already to talk to Ashar about some neat concepts.
What are you learning this week?
Many thanks to Flickr user John Williams for the base photo that’s part of our the “Mom learns, too” logo, and to Karen Lee of A Radical Path for sharing the brilliant reminder to be interested and be interesting!