Free Online College Education Classes & Resources

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Odyssey of the Mind HomepageThe debate over the usefulness of a college degree continues, but it is worth noting that you don’t need to go to college in order to get an education. Indeed, there are a number of opportunities for you to learn all around. Not only can you learn from experience, but you can also learn from free online lectures.

Thanks to technology, it’s possible to get access to free education resources online. You can expand your knowledge base, and continue to grow. If you are looking to improve your mind, and learn something new, here are some great educational resources you can use:

Kahn Academy

This is one of the most interesting collections of lectures and educational exercises available. Kahn Academy features more than 3,000 instructional videos on subjects ranging from economics to physics to history. Not only can you watch videos, you can also complete exercises. There are hands-on exercises that allow you to practice what you are learning, in order to better absorb the information. The resources are vetted so that those who are knowledgeable on the subject in question are providing the information.


If you want to really get your idea juices flowing, a great resource is TED. You can access interesting talks and lectures that are often entertaining as well. See the latest innovations, and learn some of the most interesting ideas about society, technology, health, and innovation. You won’t believe some of the interesting things you can learn with TED.

iTunes U

If you are looking for a great learning experience in the palm of your hand, iTunes U is a great resource. You can download podcasts and videos to your iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad. iTunesU includes plenty of other great resources, including courses from Yale, Stanford, University of Chicago, Duke, and more.

Open Courseware Collections

Another option is to take advantage of open courseware collections offered by many colleges and universities. These collections are actual materials from college classes. Some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the country offer open courseware. You can go through the courses for free, receiving a college education at no cost. (Of course, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to claim a college degree, and you won’t receive credit for completing free open courseware classes.)

Here are some of the best open courseware collections:

  • MIT: One of the most extensive collections of open courseware anywhere is the MIT collection. That’s right — you can learn from one of the best colleges in the United States.
  • UC Berkeley: You can view videos and listen to podcasts from different college courses taught at UC Berkeley. A great way to enjoy the lecture, without doing the coursework.
  • Harvard: Check out some of the courses offered by Harvard — open and free to the public.
  • Carnegie Mellon: The Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University is a great way to check out various classes and get access to world-class courses.
  • Johns Hopkins University: Access open courseware, as well as podcasts from this venerable institution. As you might imagine, most of the free content education content from Johns Hopkins centers around health and medicine.

There are plenty of other open courseware collections out there that you can take advantage of. Go online, and boost your learning.

(Photo: mrplough)

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “Free Online College Education Classes & Resources”

  1. Danish Kem says:

    Hey Jim,

    It’s known as the Khan Academy, not Kahn.

  2. gina says:

    This will make it easy for foreigners to work harder and undercut employment for us lazy americans.

  3. Wilma says:

    Excellent article. Thanks. Will definitely look into all these and pass them on.

  4. Lisbeth says:

    With education prices becoming almost unattainable this is a great way to still trigger the mind with new knowledge. Thanks very much.

  5. Tulio says:

    Awesome article Jim! Thanks for sharing.

  6. vee says:

    Great article. I have two degrees and do not eant to go back to school. I will take webinar and other online classes. I do attend learning events but not college classes. Now that I am retired I need self learning. These are great resources.

  7. adam isom says:

    This is the old wave of self-education possibilities. So last year.

    The latest developments are represented by sites like Coursera and Udacity.

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