Jan. 4th, 2013

toorsdenote: (jcreed)
(Reposted from FB for my non-FB friends.)

Thinking of learning something new this year? There are a zillion free online classes out there these days, and a lot of spring semester MOOCs (massively open online courses) will be starting up in the next couple weeks. Since I've gotten several questions on the topic lately, here are some of my favorite MOOCs for those of you interested in dipping a toe in the water:

Coursera has TONS of classes in everything from Artificial Intelligence to Equine Nutrition. Whatever you're interested in, there's probably a Coursera class on it. The professors are from good universities -- Johns Hopkins, Princeton, etc.

EdX is smaller but perhaps more high-brow: it was founded by MIT, Harvard and Berkeley. I'm taking MIT's intro to CS class through there. Compared to Coursera classes I've taken, my EdX is less heavy in multiple-choice-quizzes and more heavy on actual programming assignments.

Udacity has fewer classes, but the benefit is that they're asynchronous; you don't have to start and finish on predetermined dates. I haven't taken one here yet.

Another good group of asynchronous classes are MIT's OpenCourseware lasses, but be forewarned that only the OCW Scholar classes (ocw.mit.edu/courses/ocw-scholar/) have ALL their materials online. I'm switching to this for calculus this semester.

And I can't mention that without plugging CMU's own Open Learning Initiative. My friend Doug developed the Proof Lab for the online Logic and Proofs class, which I took while in Doha.

If you want to learn programming, these are two good places to start: Waterloo & Codecademy.

For math, I don't suppose anything beats Khan Academy.

I know iTunesU is out there, but I've never explored it.

[Edited 1/5: other useful things I forgot to post on FB: the Foreign Service's language learning materials are all available for free at FSI-Language-Courses. And lots of other courses can be found through Open Culture, which lists classes from the above sites, and the OCW Consortium, which lists lots of other cool ones from Open University and lots of other European universities. And speaking of OU, the list of OU classes available to people in the US is here.]

Where do you guys learn stuff online?


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