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Introduction to Algebra
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I fundamentally believe programs like MIT OCW and MOOCs are the way of the future. The problem with MOOCs is that they lack focus and quality control.
For example, School Yourself is the single best math program I've ever discovered on the internet: https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-algebra-schoolyourse...
Compare that to the Calc1 course from MIT on EdX as well. The algebra course engages you, helps you think through problems, and offers a customized learning path with a virtual tutor. The MIT course is just lecture and reading materials, it's not interactive, and it doesn't help you to discover the topics on your own in the same way that School Yourself does.
I desperately want to see a focused study program from an entity like EdX that takes a person from algebra to discrete mathematics using the model of School Yourself. I also want to see a similar course path for physics and chemistry.
Being a liberal arts major I wouldn't be where I am in technology today if it wasn't for friends, IRC, and places like EdX. I was willing to literally sift through hundreds of hours of content to get here though. Not everyone has that kind of time or interest, we need to make it easier for everyone to learn.
If we can just have a single platform that really focuses on bringing value to the individual and giving them a strong base to work from piece by piece, then we would have so many more mathematicians, physicists, engineers, programmers, etc.., all without crushing student debt. Imagine the innovation that we could realize!
I'm basically on the same boat as you (except that I am learning because I enjoy it), and with one other difference, I had no previous experience except for tinkering with things I didn't understand and didn't lead to any meaningful insights.
To get a good feel on how to write simple scripts in python, you can take the class on coursera: Programming for Everybody (Python). If you don't care about the grade, there is a class currently going. The people in the forums for that class are fantastic. There is another class starting on october 5. https://www.coursera.org/course/pythonlearn
A good follow up course which will get more in depth is Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python over at edx. This class is a bit more demanding than the previous one that I mentioned. https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-computer-science-mit...
The first time around I dropped out, it was too much for me. So I took a few other classes, including Introduction to Algebra at edx to give my brain some exercise. https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-algebra-schoolyourse...
If, you are interested in learning for the love of it, I would recommend Systematic Program Design (which is divided in three parts - the first part just finished last week but the materials will remain open for people to catch up) https://www.edx.org/course/systematic-program-design-part-1-...
This class will teach a design process that can be applied to any programming language, using a simple programming language to help teach the design process. The book can be found at: http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/matthias/HtDP2e/index.html
There are a few other classes over at udacity that I'm planning on taking but can't recommend them yet as I haven't seen them.
Lastly, a few months ago a friend asked me about programming, so I wrote a quick and dirty blog post that has a little bit more information. Keep in mind that I'm a beginner as well - so take it with a grain of salt. http://teichopsia.svbtle.com/how-to-get-started-in-programmi...
Note: There is a paragraph about a class called Intro to computer Science over at udacity. The class mentioned in this post at edx is a better class.