4 Online Educational Resources You Should Already Know About

There are plenty of helpful resources for students and it’s useful to know a bit about some of them. You may know and use them already, but I thought they are worth mentioning.

Whichever degree you do/want to do, you can find lots of online resources to achieve whatever goals you’ve set for yourself.

Duolingo

In general, I think there is a lot to be desired from online education, but in my opinion Duolingo is one of very few websites that get it right. It’s a resource for learning new languages. It’s based mostly on tiered vocab review, making it an excellent tool to review a language you sort of know but kind of need to review. I don’t think it is a substitute for a language class or total immersion in a language (as it doesn’t give any cultural context to the language), but it might be a serious contender some day.

Codecademy

Codecademy was highlighted by Andreea last fall. As a Computer Science major (a phrase you will hear me say a lot), I think Codecademy is a really cool and interesting tool to get people interested in computer programming. My own introduction to coding many years ago was much less glamorous – I used old, dusty books and obscure tutorials for outdated tools. Codecademy takes it to the next level – it is entirely browser-based and fully interactive. If you want a recommendation on where to start, I recommend Python. It’s cross-platform (which means it runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, and other platforms) and you can use it for desktop and web programmingย if you so choose.

iTunes U (accessible from the iTunes Store)

iTunes U is an attempt to make classes from top universities available to the public. The courses themselves are similar to podcasts, with each lesson being a video or audio file that you download, as well as supplementary materials in the form of PDFs or lecture slides. Personally, I feel like I’m in class enough in real life, and I don’t want to sit through yet another class on my computer. The real advantage to iTunes U courses is that they aren’t YouTube tutorials made by 13-year-olds – they’re actual courses taught by university professors, so it is quality information. I actually learned the basics of iPhone/iPad app development from an iTunes U course from Stanford.

YouTube Crash Course

Started by the vlog brothers (John and Hank Green) in January 2012, Crash Course is their attempt to give the masses a well-rounded education. To date, the video series covers Chemistry, World History, Literature, US History, Ecology and Biology. The videos are all entertaining and actually pretty educational (though no substitute for an in-depth course on the subjects.) If you like Crash Course, Hank Green also does a science news-based show called (appropriately enough) SciShow.

So here is my selection. Do you know any useful online educational resources? Let me know in a comment!