Today, I found a great list of 20 free on-line educational resources through Higher’s FlipBoard magazine that includes some I’ve heard of and others that are new to me. I wish I had time to investigate each one to evaluate the quality – which varies widely in on-line education and training offerings. I can still think of several ways we could use these in our work with clients.
Addressing Language Skills: If a client has already studies a subject in their native language, a basic course could help them learn vocabulary and terminology in English or help them understand what emphasis or application might be different in the US context. At least one of the sites (Alison.com) offers courses in Arabic language. The MIT site offers courses translated into Spanish, Persian and several other languages. There are likely other non-English language resources available from among the list.
Helping Clients Learn Basic (and more Advanced) Workplace Skills: A couple of the sites offer courses on basic workplace skills and topics like project management, how to find a mentor, health and safety requirements and an overview of the manufacturing process. These are likely not covered in job readiness class, but many clients could benefit from learning more about them.
Access basic US-style academic courses: It can be frustrating for clients who yearn to attend college or University, but aren’t quite ready. Many times, clients sign-up for on-line degrees and don’t understand the financial and time commitment or what it takes to succeed in on-line learning. Helping clients identify relevant courses could satisfy their desire to learn while working full-time and help them understand the skills they need to succeed in any academic environment. Some of the sites include standardized test preparation materials, as well.
Figuring out Technical Career Paths: So many clients say they “know about computers”, but don’t know how those skills are segmented and applied in the job market. Often, I struggled to figure out career paths and industry leads for technical skills that were completely unfamiliar to me. With a little research, it seems like you could improve your understanding of these sectors and identify resources for clients to do so.
It would be great to hear from you about which sites you found useful and how you used them. We’re all busy, but maybe if you can provide the list to clients, they can tell you what was useful for them.
And, stay tuned to begin using Higher’s new on-line training courses in the next month or so. Our initial topics include How to Communicate with Employers (for employment professionals) and Workplace Culture (for clients). If you want to get involved in field testing to be among the first to use this great new resource designed just for us, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.