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I don’t know about you, but I love to learn new things. If I didn’t have to face tuition payments for three children, I would surely go back to college. I read constantly: magazines, novels, non-fiction, and Internet content. I love to have intricate conversations with intelligent people.

Anyway, I was thrilled to find out about Open Courseware. MIT initiated the practice of putting educational materials from both undergraduate and graduate courses online – free and open to anyone. Other universities have followed suit and now there are tons of materials online in audiobook, podcast, and more formats.
Open Courseware

Where Can I Find It?

If you’re like me, the first question is: Where can I go to find this stuff? I don’t know which colleges have the appropriate services available. The fabulous thing is that you don’t have to go to independent college websites to find the courses. There are websites that have large collections of open courseware from a variety of universities sorted by school or subject.

iTunes U

“All information may be downloaded to a computer and transferred to a media device”

This area of iTunes is packed with Open Courseware. No matter what your interest, you can find something here. The University of South Florida has Lit2Go audio books of classic literature. Downloadable in individual tracks, there are thirty different books ranging from Shakespeare to Twain. Yale offers Books & Authors, a series of interview podcasts with faculty who have published works.

A search in the literature section of iTunes U provides everything from poetry studies to courses on writing fiction. Courses provide audio, video or transcripts of the course. All information may be downloaded to a computer and transferred to a media device. There are tons of subjects from science to history to computers…

Academic Earth

AcademicEarth.org features video courses from Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard, Michigan, MIT, NYU, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA and Yale. These are all videos of instructors presenting material to a class. They are not downloadable and must be viewed streaming.

Open Courseware Consortium

www.ocwconsortium.org is a collection of Open Courseware from around the world. Universities are encouraged to join and add to the site regularly. There are, now, only about 16 US universities and 3 from the UK. This is really an interesting concept. I hope more universities look into using it!

High School

MIT even offers Highlights for High School, Open Courseware materials that may be useful for students to use in preparation for AP exams. http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/hs/home/home/index.htm

If you’re a person who embraces lifelong learning, check out some of this Open Courseware and boost your brain power!

Free online courses

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