by Jill Burgoyne
I have recently been reflecting on what an incredible tool the internet is. If I want to know anything, I can type my question in a search engine and in a matter of seconds, the answer to that particular question pops up. We have an immeasurable breadth of knowledge literally at our fingertips.
Several months ago, my mother heard that major Universities and learning institutions were offering some of their courses online for free. To clarify: no credit or certificate or diploma is issued with these classes, but for personal growth and development, they are great! Especially for a Momma like me who only has nap time to take a class and favors the most economic options.
I was curious. I went online to MIT's OpenCourseWare (where their courses are offered) and I was overwhelmed with the options that I had! I clicked on the basic computer programming class and was thoroughly impressed with the format.
The class was a class filmed in the Spring Semester of 2011. The class consists of several structured lectures which you can view as if you were sitting in class. There is no need to buy a book, all of the information you need is provided for you whether in PDF format, or through various links to different informative websites. I was very impressed with the class and am still working myself through it.
So, with my first impression of MIT's online courses being favorable, I decided to try out some of their online languages. (Topics from Aeronautics to electrical engineering to Chinese to French are all covered). But my experience with their German I language class is not very favorable because I couldn't figure out how to get to it. But this didn't deter me in the least. I began searching for other free online classes.
Berkley, Yale, Harvard, Notre Dame and countless other institutions offer varying qualities of courses. I found some websites that were lists of links to online courses, and other places that aren't actual Universities but simply websites where anyone can post any class. (I found a good place for language learning-although I changed my interest from German to French review).
Here are my top five favorite links to browse, including a site for writing courses:
MIT courses :
A List of Writing Course links:
List of Links to Language Learning Courses and Soundbites: **This link requires iTunes for much of the streaming, but there are also iTunes-free links**
This is a website with links to other various courses: ** There are paid courses as well as free courses offered through this website**
Here's to life long learning!