What are some great ways to score some free learning, of any sort? Check out this list of ways you can get the learnin’ without spending what you’re earnin’!
Yes, We Khan: The Khan Academy’s Video Series
If you’re spending all your time on YouTube watching dancing hamsters and Kim Khardashian talk about her pregnancy and not learning much, you might want to put that couch potato time to better use. Khan Academy claims to have delivered more than 241 million lessons via its extensive video library, which also offers students interactive challenges, and assessments from the comfort of their home, coffee shop, etc. Khan Academy is also an exhaustive resource for coaches, parents, and teachers: it offers a library of more than 4,000 videos that instruct K-12 math, biology, chemistry, and physics. It even reaches into the humanities with playlists on finance and history. Each video is approximately 10 minutes long and especially purposed for viewing on a computer.
The Online Audacity of Udacity
Another free online education site with a particular stress on computer science and math-related disciplines is Udacity, which currently offers close to two dozen courses at the college level. Udacity is unique in that it focuses on the fun parts of learning without quizzes, deadlines, and prerequisites. Like Khan Academy, it features bite-sized instructional videos; it also facilitates forums and meetups with peers to support learning. And when you’re done, you get a certificate of completion that will help you with your academic and career advancement goals.
Learning in the Cloud: Pearson Opens OpenClass
The textbook and learning industry giant Pearson launched OpenClass at the end of 2011. It’s a system that integrates with Google’s Android apps for education; with a single sign-on and a unified navigation bar, instructors and students can launch OpenClass from within Google Apps or access their Google applications from OpenClass. How’s that for “smart smartphone?” Pearson’s giving this online experience away because it hopes it will spark business for related products ranging from eTextbooks to tutoring software.
Free Books Worth a Look: The Gutenberg Project
Imagine having a vast library of books at your fingertips, all for free, and as close as our laptop or tablet. Project Gutenberg offers more than 42,000 volumes, including free Kindle books, and eBooks previously published by reputable publishing houses. They will ask for a donation, which you should consider if you become a repeat visitor. The eBooks are free in the United States because their copyright has expired. The top 100 books can be found here and includeLes Miserables by Victor Hugo, Beowulf, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
More Free Books Worth a Look: The Harvard Classics
Curated by Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot and published in 1909, the Harvard Classics are just what you’d expect: great volumes from the world of literature, philosophy, religion, history, and folklore. Want ’em for free? To quote Shakespeare, all thou need doest is to clicketh here. The 52-volume series includes Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and two collections of Elizabethan drama. Eliot claimed that 15 minutes of reading in these volumes every day would form the foundation of a sound liberal arts education. They’re also said to counteract years of brain atrophy from watching aforementioned Kim Kardashian videos.
Handy Courses in Home Improvement
We understand that for some of you, reading a free volume of Plutarch under ye olde oak tree isn’t going to cut it, though learning how to work a miter saw would. Home Depot offers free weekly workshops on a wide range of categories. Understand that with Home Depot’s free instruction, you’re stepping into a consumer candyland of all sorts of cool tools on sale, so if you spend $1,000 on a power tool arsenal, don’t say we didn’t warn you. Upcoming workshops include “Installing Door Locks & Accessories” (March 9), “The Newest Trends in Vinyl Flooring” (March 10), and “Front Entrance Update” (March 16). Seminars typically last 90 minutes. Want more? Lowe’s offers free online shop class projects that show you how to build an entertaining cart, or how to use â€” you guessed it â€” a miter saw.
Some other great sites to check out for FREE homeschooling materials:
Do you have any other FREE Online Education resources?