There is a lot of information out there. I mean, A LOT. Even before the Internet arose and allowed everyone to write their own blogs and other websites, helping to create massive amounts of information on a daily basis, there was still a simply incredible amount of data to be passed along from one generation to the next. Colleges and universities arose in no small part because there were few other easy methods to pass important information along to other people.
But it can be difficult to attend college. You need to be at least within physical driving distance of a college, have the money to pay for a course, and have the time to attend the classes. Even for students who have the express purpose of going to school to learn, there's no way to attend more than a fraction of the available courses, and even with the requirements at most schools to take a variety of courses outside your major, learning everything you'd to learn is downright impossible.
Luckily, one of the many advantages of our modern society is that you no longer need to travel to school and spend thousands of dollars in order learn something new. Now, you can learn just about anything you want without having to leave your computer. There are full college courses online that you can take, even for those of us who aren't registered with a school.
There are thousands of courses out there, allowing you the potential to learn just about everything you could imagine (and more than a few things that you couldn't). You might be wondering where to look for all these wonderful courses, but that's where I come in. Behold, a list of
10 Sources for Free Online Courses
1. Khan Academy – You can't have a list of online courses without including the Khan Academy. Besides all but creating the concept of online learning, it provides an incredible variety of courses, focusing on math, science, and test prep. Definitely a solid place for your online course hunting. Courses Available= 4300+
2. LearnersTV – Not as famous, but just as full of teaching videos (with a total of 30,742), LearnersTV provides an incredible array of learning opportunities. From Astronomy to Dentistry, there's not much you could want to learn about that isn't touched on here. Courses Available= 1200+
3. Open Education Database – If you need to find just about any course you could need, the Open Education Database can probably help. There are hundreds of schools linked, providing guidance to thousands of courses you could have an interest in studying. Courses Available= 10,000+
4. Coursera – Coursera provides a list of some of the available courses at its 83 partner schools, including John Hopkins and the University of Michigan. If you'd like an idea of the available courses around the country (and around the world), here's a good place to look. Courses Available= 408
5. MIT OpenCourseWare – Now we're getting into the schools themselves, and MIT has one of the most impressive selections currently in existence. With thousands of courses to choose from, it should provide you with more courses than you could take in thirty semesters (even without keg parties every weekend). Courses Available= 2150
6. Webcast of Berkley – Similarly, the University of California at Berkeley has been creating webcasts of many of its courses and publishing them on iTunes in the iTunes U section and YouTube (yes, THAT YouTube). Increasing numbers are added every semester, in case you're interested in continuing your education. Courses Available= 400+
7. Stanford on iTunes – While we're talking about iTunes, it's becoming a popular method for professors to pass information along to their students. For another example, Stanford has also been putting courses up on exclusively iTunes, providing you with plenty of intellectual options for your iPod. Courses Available= 131
8. Yale – Just in case the preceding schools weren't prestigious enough for you, Yale has put up some courses as well. They are fewer in number than the preceding schools and significantly more specialized (the Spanish and Portuguese course only covers ‘Don Quixote'), but it's stillworth a look. Courses Available= 42
9. Harvard – Ah yes, Harvard. Simply the ability to say you've taken courses at Harvard would be a wonderful thing. Alas, you have to be willing to accept an extremely limited course selection; one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the countries hasn't made many courses available to the public. (At least, not yet…) Courses Available= 8
10. University of Reddit – And now for something completely different. Reddit, a website mostly devoted to discussing (and voting on) current events, has created a university all its own. With courses ranging from the useful (‘Java Programming with Eclipse') to the, uh, less useful (‘Minecraft Tips and Tricks') in the real world, there are more than a few things to consider while ‘studying' at the University of Reddit. Courses Available= 121