Free Computer Science Course Available Through Harvard University Extension School

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I’ve written about adult online education read my blog here. I just think it’s vital for search engine optimizers, IT project managers, and other professionals in internet marketing to have an understanding of basic information technology and computer science principles. Some time ago, Harvard Extension School of Harvard University launched the Open Learning Initiative. The Harvard Extension School Open Learning initiative is a parallel to MIT’s ground breaking OpenCourseWare program in that it gives learners with free access to prerecorded classroom lectures from one of the world’s leading universities. You can access Harvard Extension School’s Open Learning Initiative by clicking here.

There are two courses I believe to be particularly relevant to internet marketers are the Bits course and the Intensive Introduction to Computer Science. According to the course description, the course “focuses on information as quantity, resource, and property. We study the application of quantitative methods to understanding how information technologies inform issues of public policy, regulation, and law.” The Bits course also offers an extensive lecture series on web search, doing business on the web, and internet infrastructure. The course is arranged in an a-la-carte lecture format, so if you can just click the lecture you’re interested in and sit back and listen.

The second class, Intensive Introduction to Computer Science, I’d recommend for students who want to obtain a more solid computer science foundation. I think this course is a great starter class for new programmers and search engine optimizers. Intensive Introduction to Computer Science is a 12 week lecture series that discusses algorithms, software development, computer systems, and network security. In Week 8, the course covers TCP/IP, HTTP, XHTML, PHP and SQL. In Week 9 you’ll learn about DOM, CSS, Inheritance, JavaScript events, and Ajax. If you’re an SEO, I’d highly recommend that you go up to at least Week 9 of this course to be exposed to the material most immediately applicable to the SEO discipline. Check out the accompanying website for this course.

With either course, I think if you were to just watch the lectures while taking notes, you’d advanced your technical knowledge noticeably. And remember, both of these courses (plus several others) are free.

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