Great news for all the knowledge-savvy people out there: some good quality stuff IS out there for FREE! Take advantage!
WHAT Coursera strives to make education accessible to anyone.
HOW Free courses online from world-class universities, including Princeton University and the University of Michigan. The topics are varied, and lectures are formatted into series of 15-minute-long clips.
BONUS POINTS Freedom is the name of the game: students can watch videos at their convenience and in their own time.
WHAT A free education website for brainy types, founded by four Stanford roboticists.
HOW Udacity currently offers 11 courses , all of which are in science and math-related topics. According to the website, plans are underway to expand the curriculum.
BONUS POINTS Udacity is free of deadlines, free of prerequisites, free of quizzes and other annoying school stuff. Needless to say, courses are also free of charge.
3. OPEN CULTURE
WHAT High-quality cultural and educational media.
HOW A staggering collection of 400 courses, online, for free, from Ivy League universities, such as Stanford, UCLA, Columbia and Oxford University. Courses run the gamut from science and art to math and economics.
BONUS POINTS Classic and indie films, including many from the 1940’s and 1950’s, are available to watch for free.
WHAT TED, The powerhouse of jaw-dropping lectures needs no introduction. Now, they’re bringing their talent into education with an offshoot, Ted-Ed.
BONUS POINTS Supplemental materials such as quizzes and discussion questions are also available.
WHAT Curating and ordering learning materials.
HOW MentorMob is like the YouTube of learning materials: users create learning “playlists” from first-rate websites.
BONUS POINTS MentorMob is a community, whose members share and rank each others’ learning playlists.
WHAT Effortless learning based on three pillars: science, fun and community.
HOW Based on scientific methods for implanting new information, Memrise proves that what may seem impossible is in fact doable – yes, even learning Mandarin Chinese.
BONUS POINTS The Guardian Wallcharts are mapped Memrise style, teaching you all about cheeses, herbs and other wonders of life.
WHAT Learnist is the Pinterest of learning.
HOW The interactive platform allows users collect teaching materials and educational content that are grouped into “boards”.
BONUS POINTS The platform is equipped with the Learn it! bookmarklet, which enables picking images anywhere on the web and automatically shoots them to your Learnist board.
Know of any other websites that should be on this list? Tell!
My own addition to that list:
WHAT Platform for learning the basics of a foreign language.
HOW Following online courses and conversing with native speakers.
BONUS POINTS Your exercises can be reviewed by actual native speakers, helping you to learn the language more organically. Video and audio content as well as in-built homework assignments and tests available.
WHAT Again – learn a language for free – this initiative deserved its own TED talk!
HOW Online courses.
BONUS POINTS Wile completing exercises, you are simultaneously helping to translate digital library of human knowledge (for example, Wikipedia entries) into different languages.