August 23, 2014

Online Learning - Knowledge is Meant to be Free

I finally got a smartphone.  I know - "welcome to 2005, Chad..." but, at least I'm here now.  I was using an iPod Touch and a flip phone to fill that role until I got here.  So I've had the Internet in my pocket for a long time, as I'm sure most of you have.

When I talk about the nearly-universal, always-on, instantly-accessible Internet - I often say that I have the ability to tap into the sum total of recorded human knowledge in an easy to search format.  In fact, I remember reading before that something like that was pretty much the goal of Google when they got started - "To index all of human knowledge".  I don't know if that was or is ever really their stated goal, but it might as well be.

The fact is - there has never in the history of mankind been an age where so much information was available to so many people.  It's pretty amazing.  The Internet is more than cat videos and 90's kids quizzes.  In fact, I'd like to share with you some cool sites and apps that can help you learn just about anything.

And the info is all free.  
(Note, some apps may offer "in app purchases" - but they aren't needed to get the info.)

Khan Academy
All levels of learning - from Kindergarten to Graduate level

Learn languages - for free

Tons of free courses from "Top Universities"

18,000+ free "real-world skill" courses

My Open Courses
Focused on Engineering
Android App - Website - (no iOS App)

A "catch-all" app - basically a front end for other learning programs
Android App - Website - (no iOS App)

Free online courses, aka Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
from different providers in one place
Another catch-all front end

Ted Talks
Not really courses, 
but interesting high-level-thinking talks from leaders in their fields

iTunes U
Access complete courses from leading universities and other schools
plus the world’s largest digital catalog of free education content
right on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch
(it says iOS 7 needed - but you can download an older version
if you are like me and have an older iOS device)
(No Android App - obviously) - Website (for support)iOS App

Find what works for you.  Never stop learning.  Whether you are a high schooler who wants to see what college might be like, and maybe what field you want to go in, or a recent graduate who isn't quite sure if college is for you yet - or what you want to do with your life, or if you are in college and just want to learn stuff that isn't a part of your major - or if you are like me, and well passed your college years, and you just want to get the knowledge that is out there... learn a new skill... hone a current skill... whatever - just do it.  It's free.  :)

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