Friday, May 18, 2012

FYI: Free Online Summer Classes

Originally posted on titled: Plan Your Free Online Education at Lifehacker U

Your education doesn't have to stop once you get out of school—being free of the classroom just means you have more control over what you learn and when you learn it. Let's get started.

Whether you're just finishing the spring semester, or you're out of school and just want to keep learning and growing, there are an incredible amount of free, university-level courses that become available on the web every school year, and anyone with a little time and a passion for self-growth can audit, read, and "enroll" in these courses for their own personal benefit. Schools like Yale University, MIT, Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley, and many more are all offering free online classes that you can audit and participate in from the comfort of your office chair, couch, or computing chair-of-choice.

This list of available courses this summer will inspire you, challenge you, open the door to something new, and give you the tools to improve your life. Grab your pen and paper and make sure your battery is charged—class is in session!

Computer Science and Technology
Codecademy - free development/programing tutorials
Intro to Computer Science | Programming Methodology
UC Berkeley - Computer Science 10
Udacity - CS 101: Building a Search Engine
Computer Science 171: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Stanford - iPad and iPhone App Development

Finance and Economics
The Road to Financial Security
Utah State University - Family Finance
Preparing Your Finances for Times of Disaster
ECON 101: International Trade
MIT - Economic History of Financial Crises

Science and Medicine
Tufts University - Physics for Humanists
Imperial College of London - Physics
Astronomy 103: Introduction to Planetary Astronomy
Astronomy 104: Introduction to Stellar Astronomy
Principles of Human Nutrition
BIMM 134: The Biology of Cancer
Sexual Health, HIV/STI, and Human Rights

The Open University - Math Everywhere
MIT - Problem Solving Seminar
The Open University - All of the Fun of The Fair

Social Sciences, Classics, and Humanities
Computer Games & Simulations for Investigations & Education
The Open University - Identity in Question
Anthropology 135A: Religion and Social Order
MIT - Classics in Western Philosophy
Criminology, Law, and Society 219: Hate Crimes
MIT - How to Stage a Revolution

Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict
Theft: A History of Music

Cross-Disciplinary Courses and Seminars
CS 373: Programming a Robotic Car
MIT - Inventions and Patents
Carnegie Mellon University - Logic and Proofs
Emory University - Emory Looks at Mad Men
University of South Florida - Social Media

If you're looking for more or more varied course material, here are some resources to help you find great, university-level online classes that you can take from the comfort of your desk, at any time of day.
  • Academic Earth has an amazing list of video seminars and classes from some of the world's smartest minds, innovators, and leaders on a variety of topics including science, mathematics, politics, public policy, art, history, and more.
  • TED talks are well known for being interesting, intelligent, inspiring and informative.
  • has a list of universities offering free and for-credit online classes
  • Open Culture's list of free online courses is by subject matter and includes classes available on YouTube, iTunes U, and direct from the University or School's website.
  • The Open Courseware Consortium is a collection of colleges and universities that have all agreed to use a similar platform to offer seminars and full classes—complete with notes, memos, examinations, and other documentation free on the web.
  • The Khan Academy offers free YouTube-based video classes in math, science, technology, the humanities, and test preparation and study skills.
  • The University of Reddit is a set of classes and seminars by Reddit users who have expertise to share. Topics range from computer science and programming to paleontology, narrative poetry, and Latin.
  • iTunes U hosts podcasts, seminars, lectures, and full collections of entire courses from universities around the globe, including many of the ones listed above.
  • The Lifehacker Night School is our own set of tutorials and classes that help you out with deep and intricate subjects like becoming a better photographer, building your own computer, or getting to know your network, among others.