Education doesn’t always come cheap. … Actually, not anymore. It could just be few dollars or even free! And did we say it is not hundreds of miles from your home but one click away from your mouse?
It doesn’t matter if you are a student, home-schooler, teacher, TA, parent wanting to help your child in Calculus, or a harmless Martian just trying to get a head start in Earth Science, free education online is here to help you. Free online education comes in the form of audio lectures, video podcasts and written transcripts though most of these courses will not award any college credits or degrees.
Affiliated with eighteen Nobel laureates and known worldwide for its expertise in cognitive tutoring, Carnegie Mellon University established Open Learning Initiative (CMU-OLI) as CMU’s answer to MIT’s OpenCourseWare (MIT-OCW). Note that CMU-OLI offers two options to use their course materials: the Open & Free Courses- which are all free and the Academic Courses-which charge low per-student maintenance fee.
The Harvard Open Learning Initiative, a Harvard Extension School program, offers eight online courses free in their entirety. Check out their 600+ evening and online courses, many offered for credit at a reasonable tuition rate, if you are interested in exploring what else Harvard Extension School has to offer.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) seventy-eight alumni, faculty, researchers and staff have won Nobel Prizes. The next one could be you- sans the need to go Cambridge, MA. Supporting the dynamic classroom interactions of an MIT education, MIT OpenCourseWare (MIT-OCW) is a free web-based publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects. Try their science courses; they’re top-rate.
Yes, you can now go to Stanford through your iPod. Stanford on iTunes U is an archive of audio and video contents of course lectures and faculty presentations (plus supplemental materials, assignments, and exams) on Apple’s iTunes platform.
Take this. Harvard + MIT = EdX. Imagine getting the best from both worlds…. For free! Equally owned and funded by Harvard and MIT, EdX is a Cambridge-based not-for-profit joint partnership offering online learning to millions of people around the world. EdX will offer Harvard and MIT classes online for free. Now you can get free education online from two top schools at the same time.
A community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations worldwide, OpenCourseWare Consortium is committed to advancing a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials. Lectures and educational materials from top universities in Japan, Australia and Hongkong are also included.
Many of these courses require books in order to follow the course just like you were a student of the school. You can grab the required books at a fraction of its original cost at BookGator, a social platform where students, instructors, and academia can work together to reduce cost of textbooks and of education in general.
Not intended to replace formal degree at a reputable degree-granting school, free education online courses solves a number of other needs that cannot be handled by regular schools.
Image by Franco Folini