The blessing of OpenCourseWare
I absolutely love open courseware! It’s great to be able to say mmm, that course interests me and follow that course at your own pace. You’re not tied to a specific schedule and can just watch a course/lecture when it suites you. And of course the fact that it’s open courseware, free and open to all, it ‘s the gift of education like it should be.
So here I present you some nice open courseware sites. Perhaps you already know some, but for the ones who don’t, good luck with finding a course that interests you and I hope the courses/lectures will be helpful!
- First of all I want to start out with the KhanAcademy. I think it’s a great initiative of just one individual who managed to build a whole bunch of courses in all different types of fields (biology, mathematics, chemistry…) for all different levels. I think it’s particularly useful to take as a starting point, to polish your knowledge in different types of basic courses. I think anyone can benefit from the videos, from the absolute beginner to the more experienced person, depending on your interests.
http://www.youtube.com/khanacademy or http://www.khanacademy.org
- Second there are the lectures of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). For some of the courses video lectures and notes are provided, for others you can find audio lectures.
- One of my favourites is the “Video lectures”-website. It actually gathers video-lectures from all different sources. It even includes lectures from conferences and workshops. It has quite an extensive list of courses/lectures, so I think there’s something for everyone.
- To conclude, I want to mention the webcasts of the University of Berkeley. The list isn’t quite extensive, but I’ve really enjoyed the Chemistry courses of Angelica Stacy.
Find out yourself what course suites you best and where you find topics that really interest you. I only saw fragments of most of the sites and still need to take advantage of its full potential. If there are any sites missing that you really feel you have benefited a lot from just comment!! I still left out some of the sites on my list, but these are the ones I want to emphasize.
Update: on iTunes you can find a whole bunch of open courseware provided by different universities like Stanford, http://itunes.stanford.edu/index.html. It’s called “iTunes U”. Just click “Stanford on iTunes” on their webpage (if you haven’t installed iTunes yet, do this first) and from there on you can easily browse to other open courseware providers as well.
Update 2: www.coursera.com and www.udemy.com (an initiative of Stanford University together with other universities) are two new great open course sites I came across. A big advantage over other open courseware providers, is that these sites follow a fixed timeline, provide assignments and a community to discuss the courses. Harvard University and MIT are also following this great example now, with www.edxonline.org.