100+ Amazing Resources for Online Learning
If you’re a teacher, student, or lifelong learner, you may be surprised to learn just how many amazing resources are out there are for learning (and teaching) on the internet.
Below, I’ve curated a list of some of the best learning resources online and broken them down into subjects. All sites on this list meet two key requirements: 1. The resources must be 100% free. 2. The resources must be of outstanding quality and educational value.
If there are other free learning sites that you’d like to see mentioned on this list, contact me and let me know.
Did you know that many of the best colleges and universities in the United States publish their course content online — for free?
This movement (called Open CourseWare) was started by MIT, with the objective of providing everyone with easy access to world class lectures, class notes, tests, and more. It’s an amazing initiative, and I hope you’ll take advantage of it. Here are the best:
Carnegie Mellon – Carnegie Mellon provides free classes in many subjects. Courses include thorough lecture notes, workbooks, quizzes, and lots of media.
Johns Hopkins – Johns Hopkins believes it is their responsibility to provide public access to information that impacts public health. Many of their most popular courses are available for free online.
MIT – It costs tens of thousands of dollars to attend MIT for a single year, but you can get access to the same materials from your couch. Make use of the provided lecture notes, videos, assignments, exams, and online textbooks.
New Jersey Institute of Technology – Their list of available courses may not be as extensive as some of others colleges on this list, but they make up for it by providing top notch materials.
Stanford – Stanford releases their Open CourseWare classes straight to iTunes, so you can download courses straight to your iPhone or iPod.
Tufts – Tufts University provides online courses for everyone to use. The available courses span many disciplines, including life sciences.
UC Berkeley – If you learn best through video, then you will love UC Berkeley’s Open CourseWare effort. Each course consists of 20+ video lectures.
UC Irvine – UC Irvine provides one of the broadest libraries of Open CourseWare in the country. They include lectures, course materials, and many tests and quizzes you can use to track your progress.
Utah State University – Utah State University publishes one of the best list of free college courses you will find anywhere. The lecture notes I looked at were exceptional, and many courses include videos and supplemental materials as well.
University of Massachusetts Boston – There are few members of the Open CourseWare consortium with a more inclusive media collection than the University of Massachusetts Boston. Highly recommended.
University of Michigan – The University of Michigan publishes a huge variety of free courses. Their Open CourseWare effort is among the best in the country.
University of Notre Dame – Notre Dame offers over 40 courses spanning many subjects, and their materials are excellent. Every course I looked at includes a syllabus, reading materials, discussion questions, and course calendar.
University of Virginia – The University of Virginia records many of the lectures that take place on their campus, and they release them to the public as free podcasts.
Yale – Yale provides free access to introductory courses spanning all disciplines. Learn history, physics, chemistry, or any other subject of your choosing.
Carl Sagan’s Cosmos – A thirteen part television series covering the origin of life and our place in the universe.
Google Sky – View stars, planets, and other celestial points of interest straight from your browser. If you’ve used Google Maps before, you’ll be right at home with Google Sky.
Introduction to Solar System Astronomy – This 47 part podcast is an introduction to Astronomy for non-science majors. Taught by Professor Richard Pogge.
NASA – If you want to learn about space or space travel, there is probably no greater site on the internet. Features amazing image galleries, podcasts, and a slew of interactive features. You could easily spend days exploring new content and learning new things.
Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe – This series of podcasts from Professor Richard Pogge is a great introduction to what astronmers have learned about the stars, galaxies, the Universe. Perfect for those without a strong background in math or science.
The Basics of Space Flight – Learn the basics of astronomy, physics, and space flight with this excellent guide from NASA.
Wolfram Alpha: Astronomy – Generate star charts, compute astronomical events, compare space probes, and more with this fantastic set of tools from Wolfram Alpha.
WorldWide Telescope – This Microsoft product enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope, using imagery from ground and space based telescopes. Includes both Windows and Web clients.
Bio Visions – Produced by Harvard University, Bio Visions contains exceptional videos that explore new ways of visualizing important biological processes. Highly recommended.
Biology 4 Kids – Don’t let the name fool you. Regardless of your age, this is a great site to learn the basics of biology.
Cell Biology Animation – This site uses animation to explain the fundamentals of cellular biology. Topics include cell anatomy, DNA, Evolution, Photosynthesis, and more.
Cells Alive – Uses interactive animations to explain cellular biology, microbiology, immunology, and microscopy.
Encyclopedia of Life – Seeks to provide global acccess to knowledge about life on earth. Information about each of the 1.8 million species that have been named can be found here. Exceptional
Introduction to Biology – This 40 part lecture series from UC Berkeley professors is an excellent introduction to Biology.
NOVA Evolution – From PBS, this excellent site offers articles, interactive teaching methods, and full NOVA videos covering basic and advanced topics in evolution
Molecular Biology Glossary – A great glossary of frequently used terms in Molecular Biology. Includes some diagrams that add clarity to the definitions.
The Complete Work of Charles Darwin – This site contains the complete works of Charles Darwin, including published works, private papers, manuscripts, and supplementary work.
Understanding Evolution – From UC Berkeley, this site contains everything you need to understand how evolution works. It features resources for students as well as teachers.
Chemistry Wiki – Created by students and staff at UC Davis, this wiki is dedicated to chemistry. It features freely available textbooks, a massive glossary of terms, and lots of other useful tools and information.
ChemTutor – Chemistry help targeted at high school and college students in introductory courses.
ChemWeb – Easy access to chemistry papers, journals, books, abstracts, and more. For those at an intermediate / advanced level.
Introduction to Chemical Engineering – A series of 10 lectures by Professor Channing Robertson of Stanford University.
Introduction to Chemistry – This video course is taught by Professor Heino Nitsche, and is a great introduction to the basics of chemistry.
Periodic Table of Videos – From the University of Nottingham, the Periodic Table of Videos is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with chemical elements. Simply click an element, and you can view a short video explaining each one.
WolframAlpha: Chemistry – Get information about chemical elements, compounds, ions, and more with this excellent tool from Wolfram Alpha.
Academic Earth – Learn how to build dynamic websites with these video lectures provided by Academic Earth. Lectures cover PHP, XML, SQL, Ajax, and more.
Google Code University – If you’ve always wanted to learn how to program, Google Code University is a great place to start. Learn the basics of web development or sharpen your algorithm, security, or mobile programming skills.
Khan Academy – The always excellent Khan Academy has released a new section of their site dedicated to computer science. Whether you want to learn the basics of programming, write simple games, learn animation, or develop simulations, their free resources have you covered.
Opera Web Standards – The Opera Web Standards Curriculum begins with an introduction to basic HTML web standards, and progresses to cover more advanced subjects.
Stack Overflow – If you run into problems or have questions as you move through the free training available to you, Stack Overflow is the best place to ask for help.
Ubuntu Pocket Guide – The PDF version of the book is free to download, and it will teach you the basics of what you need to know to use Ubuntu.
W3Schools – The finest set of web building tutorials you will you ever find. If you want to learn how to build your own websites, read as much as you can on W3Schools. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be on your way.
American Economic Association – Provides an overview of the skills, literature, and issues found in modern economics.
Game Theory – This 18 part course taught by Professor Ben Polak is an excellent introduction to game theory and strategic thinking.
Introduction to Economic Analysis – A free creative-commons licensed textbook spanning introductory and intermediate level microeconomics. Available in Word format.
Introduction to Economics – This 23 part series of podcasts is an excellent introduction to economic concepts. Taught by Professor J. Bradford Delong.
Investopedia – Takes a textbook approach to teaching basic economic concepts. The included quizzes are a nice way to ensure that you’re understanding the concepts.
Library of Economics and Liberty – Offers resources for teachers, students and researchers. Contains an economic encyclopedia, hundreds of free economic books, and lots of exclusive articles.
MIT World – Nearly 100 lectures from economists, covering everything from practical economic examples to theoretical reasoning.
Research Papers in Economics – More than one million economic papers and journal articles are available to read for free.
The Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith’s book has become a fundamental work in modern economics. Read it for free here.
Google Books – Google Books includes millions of books and magazines that you can read for free. Create a shelf to save the things that you’re most interested in.
Index of Literary Terms – An index of the words you’ll need to know to intelligently discuss or analyze novels, poetry, and other literary works.
Literary Criticism – This collection of literary criticism contains links to biographical and critical websites about many authors and their works.
Literary Timeline – A timeline of important historical and literary events, spanning from 20,000 b.c.e to 2000.
Project Gutenberg – More than 35,000 free ebooks are available for download on Project Gutenberg, and they’re all compatible with your Kindle, Nook, or iPad.
The Free Library – Millions of free articles and books are legally available for download from The Free Library. All content is well-categorized by subject.
Open Study – A focused question and answer site where you can join study groups with others around the world.
TED – Thousands of riveting talks given by inspiring people. Pick any video, and you’ll learn something cool. Guaranteed.
YouTube EDU – A massive collection of educational videos covering topics from kindergarten all the way through graduate school and beyond.
Free Textbooks – It might sound too good to be true, but here is a list of over 150 textbooks that you can download, read and share however you like.
Google Earth – Explore every corner of the earth using Google’s advanced mapping technology. Download required.
MapMaker – From National Geographic, this interactive map maker can be used to plot many types of human, physical, and environmental systems.
BBC: History – A huge collection of photo galleries, exhibitions, activities, and other resources. Includes sections covering ancient history, British history, world wars, historical figures, and more.
Digital History – Includes a US history textbook, an interactive timeline, visual histories, historical maps, and many free publications including books and newspaper stories.
Library of Congress – Easily the most comprehensive collection of historical documents, exhibits, prints, and photographs on the internet. An essential resource for everyone who wants to learn more about American history.
Modern History Sourcebook – Contains thousands of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts that you can use freely for educational purposes. Highly recommended.
PBS Online: History – A huge catalog of television series covering historical figures and events. Categories include biographies, world history, and American history.
Teaching American History – The goal of this site is to provide lesson plans to American history teachers, but it’s equally as valuable to those who want to learn.
Voting America – From the University of Richmond, this site’s easy to understand animations make it easy to explore US voting patterns since 1840.
BBC Languages – Audio and video courses covering Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Greek, and Chinese.
FSI Language Courses – A huge collection of audio lessons for learning over 40 languages.
Math Tutorials – If you can’t find a solution to your math problem here, I’m not sure you’ll ever find one. This is one of the best resources on the internet, in any subject.
Math TV – Math TV uses video to teach everything from basic arithmetic to logarithms and calculus. Whether you’re struggling with your homework or trying to learn on your own, this is an outstanding resource.
Khan Academy – Features more than 2,700 videos and covers all levels of math from basic arithmetic to advanced finance. They also include practice exercises, so you can test yourself as you go.
Midnight Tutor – Midnight Tutor is one of the best calculus and chemistry resources on the internet. Not only do they have a large catalogue of videos, you can actually submit your own questions to them and they’ll help you out.
University of Colorado – The University of Colorado created a video archive of their math courses and released it to the public.
Paul’s Online Math Notes – An incredible resource that includes cheat sheets, tutorials and notes covering everything from algebra to differential equations.
Wolfram MathWorld – Explains virtually every mathematical concept you could ever need explained. An excellent resource for those times when you just a little clarity to understand why math works the way it does.
WolframAlpha – Need to solve a math problem? Just enter it in the search box, and WolframAlpha will not only tell you the answer, they’ll give you insight into how they solved it.
Bass Lessons – Hundreds of excellent lessons that will teach you how to play bass guitar. All of the lessons in video format.
Chord Book – A nice web app for learning guitar chords.
Classical Music Theory – Learn the basics of classical music theory. Includes excellent tutorials, interactive exercises, and a great glossary of terms.
Listening to Music – Taught by Professor Craig Wright, this 23 part course includes videos and downloadable media files.
Piano Lessons – A 40 part YouTube course that serves as a great introduction to playing piano.
Ultimate Guitar – Home to hundreds of guitar lessons and hundreds of thousands of transcriptions.
Classical Mechanics – This 37 part video course serves as a great introduction to classical mechanics.
Isaac Newton Papers – Cambridge University digitally scanned thousands of Isaac Newton’s handwritten materials and released them to the public.
Dot Physics – Rhett Allain explores the physics of objects in his every day life.
Electricity and Magnetism – A 37 part video course covering the basics of Electromagnetism.
Light and Matter – Six introductory physics textbooks that you can download for free.
Physics Classroom – Covers basic physics topics using easy to understand language, informative graphics, and many test problems so you can track your progress.
Richard Feynman Lectures – Thanks to Bill Gates, we now have access to this outstanding series of seven lectures given by Richard Feynman.
Roller Coaster Physics – An interactive animation shows how roller coasters work. Click a label on the animation to learn more about the different forces.
Vibrations and Waves – 24 video lectures explaining the traditional topics of mechanical vibrations and waves.