Self-Directed Interest Learning - Online

Although all self-directed learning opportunities discussed so far have been professionally based or originating from a classroom situation, self-directed e-learning also takes place outside of these venues.  The internet has become a resource for individual growth and learning in all types of fields, and through many different outlets.

Blogs, with the consistent ability to update as well as the collaborative nature enabled by comments, are a very popular way to share information and opinion on the world-wide web.  As the popularity of blogs has risen, people have been able to find and "subscribe" to those blogs which match their own interests - including things they would like to learn.  From learning a language (the French learning blog is a good example) to learning about photography (Digital Photography School) to learning how to get things done with technology based tips and tricks (Lifehacker), blogs offer ways to casually pick up information about a topic that the end user is interested in, from other users.

Old media sources have begun to link to online sources as places to learn more.  One example of this is in the recent Sunday Image section of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  The article discussed the growing popularity of Needle Felting, and at the end of the article links were offered so the reader could go online and learn more about this craft.

As video became easier to put online, video tutorials became very popular.  One such example is the knitting site  This site provides video and text tutorials about how to knit - it is possible to learn the basics of knitting simply by visiting the website.  In this way, e-learning can be used to hone skills or gain new ones.  Through youtube, sharing videos about gaining certain skills has become very easy.  A sample video is below.