Have you heard the news?
That you can find anything, almost anything online…for free?
A handful of years ago, I came home from high school one lazy afternoon, only to find my mom hunched over our downstairs toilet with the biggest wrench I had ever seen. “Mom. What the HELL are you doing?” Not only had she managed to strip the wallpaper and sponge paint the entire room, but she had also piped open our plumbing and installed a new sink. “Don’t worry, Alan…I looked this all up on Google.”
That’s right folks, there’s no excuse anymore. From bicycle maintenance, recipe search engines and watching guitar lessons on YouTube, you can learn just about any task on the Internet superhighway. It’s pretty wild.
While “distance learning” traditionally refers to academia, I’m expanding the definition with a list of my favorite self-education resources.
Future Learners (photo credit)
Do It Yourself (DIY) Projects
DoItYourself.com—leading DIY website with thousands of projects, mostly home repair-related.
MIT OpenCourseWare—around 2000 MIT undergraduate/graduate course notes online, some with complete video lectures and test banks.
>> Check out: Sloan School of Management for business courses, and for all you rocket scientists out there, Nuclear Science and Engineering
Google Scholar—if you’re looking for specific academic resources, this is a good place to start. JSTOR, for me at least, has been a traditionally better resource, but as a college-graduate I no longer have free access.
Lynda.com—great collection of (mostly free) software and coding training courses. Suggested to me by Sean and Colin on the LocationRebel forum. There’s also a great interview on Mixergy.com with Lynda Weinman, the founder of the site. I’ll probably use Lynda to beef up my HTML / CSS / PHP coding skills, as they are currently quite poor.
Design e2 (via Hulu.com)—18-part documentary-style series that explores sustainable living and green design. A fantastic resource if you’re interested in the world of sustainability.
>> Check out: one cool episode, China, From Red to Green?
TED.com—AMAZING collection of presentations (“ideas worth spreading”) delivered by the most talented people in the world. There’s really not much more to say.
>> Check out: Stroke of Insight, Brief Digression and Spaghetti Sauce
What sites do you use for self-learning?