Albert Einstein once said that education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. The things we learn today may be forgotten but there will always be something that we retain forever. That means that every now and then we all have to go learn some new things so that we can continue to educate ourselves. If you’ve got plans to do some learning this summer, here are some amazing tools to give yourself a self-education.
Udemy is an online course-based website where you can buy and take individual courses. There are a veritable boatload of subjects from languages to computer science, design to cooking, and pretty much everything else you can think of. You buy the course once and it’s yours for keeps. It comes with video and text lectures to show you how everything works. There are even free courses available in most subjects!
Khan Academy is fairly well known and many people use it to brush up on basic math but it’s also good for learning way more advanced stuff. It has over 1200 instructional videos that cover everything from basic arithmetic to differential equations. It’s totally free to use as well and it has Facebook and Google+ support so signing up is easy.
This is one of the most powerful, fun, and free resources available for learning. MIT has courses available in over a dozen courses from technology to business. You can enroll for free and access all the coursework for free. It’s a great way to learn from one of the best colleges in the United States.
Much like MIT, Harvard has a bunch of free coursework available free of charge to the general public. They come in a range of subjects from computer science to literature. Also like MIT, Harvard is one of the most respected college on the continent so whatever they have to teach is worth your time to learn.
Not to be left out in the dark, Yale also offers open courses. Much like the others the subjects are vast and include things like literature, music, finances, business, and others. Like the others, it’s a prestigious college with great professors. It’s also free and that’s good news.
Continuing with the OpenCourseWare from various colleges is Johns Hopkins. It’s a world renown medical school with a number of free courses available for those who are thinking of studying medicine or maybe for those who know medicine and need a quick brush up. It has courses on things like child development, nutrition, and even fundamentals on specialties like oncology.
If you’d rather listen than read then Duke Law’s free lectures are a fun tool to learn some stuff without the bothersome stuff. Just follow the link and pick a lecture to listen to. There are dozens of lectures for a number of years about a number of subjects. It’s great listening for the car on that morning commute or while taking a walk.
The website looks like it was designed in the early 1990’s but rest assured this is an amazing website. Using it you can get hundreds of free books about computer programming, mathematics, data logic, design, and other books. It’s great for anyone looking to get more into computers and it even includes books on Java (Android development), C++ (Windows development), and C# (Apple development).
Most careers require at least a decent background in math. That means if there is any subject that everyone should brush up on, it’s math. Oxford Mathematics OpenCourseWare has a few dozen math courses available that will run you through subjects like algebra, math logic, and even computer math. Oxford is another one of those internationally recognized learning institutions and it’s a great place to learn.
If it’s writing you need to brush up on, Lifewrite.com is a good place to go. It offers a free nine week course for free along with a number of free tips and exercises. Writing is one of the toughest things to do well and it takes a lot of work and practice to get it right. Why not start off the right way by learning from a professional?
Purdue University has an online writing lab for those who may want something a little more structured. It includes classes on grammar, writing styles, and even professional writing. It’s a great free resource for any writer looking to brush up on the basics. There are even instructional videos to watch.
Duolingo is a free service that teaches you another language. You can learn from Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and more. There are Android and iOS apps available which are also free. It was a huge hit last year and the courses really do work if you stick with them. It teaches you in the form of a game so it remains interesting even during the hard portions.
There is a more professional language resource for those looking to learn a second language for free and that’s BBC Languages. It still has games for those who like them but there are also audio and video clips mixed in along with more classic lessons. The front page hasn’t been updated in a while but the website is still functional.
iTunes U is a unique case. It’s only available for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad so if you don’t have one of those then you’re out of luck. It’s a good resource to learn because a lot of colleges have dumped free stuff into there. You can find subjects on practically anything. There are free and paid courses available.
Wikipedia isn’t the most trusted source out there but it is getting a better reputation all the time. Most of the stuff that’s on there is at least mostly accurate and that makes it a pretty decent platform for learning. It uses Wiki’s classic interface to link you to resources, courses, and labs to help you learn a bunch of stuff in a bunch of subjects. It’s a great free resource.
Textbook Revolution is much like Free Computer Books above except that it has far more subjects. This is a resource that is run by students and includes free e-books on a number of subjects. It’s simple to use. You just search for subjects, download the books, and read them on your computer. With the sheer number of subjects
If you can’t find what you’re looking for at Textbook Revolution, you can always try E-Books Directory. It doesn’t have the best design but you can find over 20,000 e-books there in a wide range of subjects. It doesn’t matter what you’re studying you should be able to find something here for you.
The last free book resource on the list is the University of Pennsylvania Book Page. Using this site you can gain access to an untold number of free books used by the students of the University of Pennsylvania. It’s a very minimal site so you’ll have to go back to getting used to white web pages with blue links everywhere but it’s still a great resource for free information, essays, books, and other educational texts.
Last and certainly not least is the History Channel. The TV channel may have gone downhill a bit over the years but the website is actually extremely informative. I’ve actually used it for resources on essays before. There are lists, random webpages, and other history things. History buffs could spend all day there. Even non-history buffs probably could if they found a fun line of stuff to read about.
Learning is wildly important because it’s something none of us are ever done doing. The more you learn, the more you know and the more you know, the more you can do. Use these resources to learn how to do a number of things that you can use in real life!