Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Websites that offer free and engaging educational content

Online education is a complex subject. Usually when people think about online education, they think about online college programs that offer accredited courses and ultimately a degree in a subject. Under this common perception, the web is merely a new space for a collegiate atmosphere, a place where someone can just as legitimately earn a meaningful degree as they could on a university campus. Although when you think about it, the web educates us in countless ways outside of the formal online college classroom setting. Sites exist solely for the purpose of educating any willing reader about a host of topics, from horticultural blogs to niche news sites. It’s just a matter of looking properly for someone who wants to get a substantial (and free) education on the web.

I’d like to offer you two sources that feature free educational content, material that can be quite valuable to anyone hungry to learn new information. The first source is untraditional in the way it relays information, while the second one conforms more to the typical online education archetype. Enjoy!

TED talks

TED talks are among the most revolutionary outlets for the free exchange of profound ideas on the internet. The premise of the TED initiative is simple: professionals in various industries including science, design, and business give informative lectures for no longer than 18 minutes on any topic that they feel they should share with the public. The TED group selects the best of these lectures to post on their website, where anyone can view or share them. The subjects are many and profound, among them are candid and detailed discussions of the environment, the human brain, behavioral sciences, and career advice.

Some may argue that the short running time of TED talks don’t leave enough room to discuss matters in depth or with enough substance, but those people miss the entire point of TED talks. They are meant to inspire viewers, to get them to alter their traditional mode of thinking in an effort to elicit meaningful change in the world. If you have the time to spare, definitely check out this site. It’ll be worth the effort.

Open Yale Courses

For people who are looking for a more material that follows a more traditional and collegiate track, I can’t recommend any site more highly than Open Yale Courses. This is an official listing of courses from Yale University (yes, that Yale) offered entirely for free. The site offers streaming lectures and downloadable course materials in dozens of disciplines, including biology, architecture, music, and sociology among others. Most of the offered open courses allow you to watch real Yale professors discussing material as if you were their own student, giving the whole process an authenticity found lacking in other online course materials.

Though there are many classes offered through Yale’s program, the list is by no means comprehensive. Luckily Yale changes out some open courses from time to time, so if you might have luck finding an appealing course later on if nothing initially strikes your interest. Either way, there is several years’ worth of material to be sifted through on this site; all of it is highly valuable.


This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes for online universities blog. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katherynrivas87@gmail.com.

1 comment:

Office 2010 Training Online said...

Creating and sharing educational content website is now one of the top business over the internet, aside from those online stores; Online education nowadays is one of the most popular business.