All education is self-education. Period. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop. We don’t learn anything we don’t want to learn.
Those people who take the time and initiative to pursue knowledge on their own are the only ones who earn a real education in this world. Take a look at any widely acclaimed scholar, entrepreneur or historical figure you can think of. Formal education or not, you’ll find that he or she is a product of continuous self-education.
If you’re interested in learning something new, this article is for you. Broken down by subject and/or category, here are several top-notch self-education resources I have bookmarked online over the past few years.
Note that some of the sources overlap between various subjects of education. Therefore, each has been placed under a specific subject based on the majority focus of the source’s content.
Science and Health
- MIT OpenCourseWare – MIT OpenCourseWare is a free web-based publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.
- Tufts OpenCourseWare – Tufts OpenCourseWare is part of a new educational movement initiated by MIT that provides free access to course content for everyone online. Tufts’ course offerings demonstrate the University’s strength in the life sciences in addition to its multidisciplinary approach, international perspective and underlying ethic of service to its local, national and international communities.
- HowStuffWorks Science – More scientific lessons and explanations than you could sort through in an entire year.
- Harvard Medical School Open Courseware – The mission of the Harvard Medical School Open Courseware Initiative is to exchange knowledge from the Harvard community of scholars to other academic institutions, prospective students, and the general public.
- Khan Academy – Over 1200 videos lessons covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, and biology.
- Open Yale Courses – Open Yale Courses provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.
- webcast.berkeley – Every semester, UC Berkeley webcasts select courses and events for on-demand viewing via the Internet. webcast.berkeley course lectures are provided as a study resource for both students and the public.
- UC San Diego Podcast Lectures – UCSD’s podcasting service was established for instructional use to benefit our students. Podcasts are taken down at the end of every quarter (10 weeks Fall-Spring and 5 weeks in the summer). If you’re enjoying a podcast, be sure to subscribe and download the lectures. Once the podcast has been taken offline, faculty rarely approve their reposting.
- Johns Hopkins OpenCourseWare – The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s OpenCourseWare project provides access to content of the School’s most popular courses. As challenges to the world’s health escalate daily, the School feels a moral imperative to provide equal and open access to information and knowledge about the obstacles to the public’s health and their potential solutions.
- Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative – No instructors, no credits, no charge. Use these self-guiding Carnegie Mellon materials and activities to learn at your own pace.
- Utah State OpenCourseWare – Utah State OpenCourseWare is a collection of educational material used in our formal campus courses, and seeks to provide people around the world with an opportunity to access high quality learning opportunities.
- AMSER – AMSER (the Applied Math and Science Education Repository) is a portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges but free for anyone to use.
- Wolfram Demonstrations Project – Wolfram brings computational exploration to the widest possible audience, open-code resource that uses dynamic computation to illuminate concepts. Free player runs all demos and videos.
- The Science Forum – A very active scientific discussion and debate forum.
- Free Science and Video Lectures Online! – A nice collection of video lectures and lessons on science and philosophy.
- Science.gov – Science.gov searches over 42 databases and over 2000 selected websites from 14 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results.
- The National Science Digital Library – NSDL is the Nation’s online library for education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics.
- EnviroLink Network– A non-profit organization, grassroots online community uniting organizations and volunteers around the world. Up-to-date environmental information and news.
- Geology.com – Information about geology and earth science to visitors without charge: Articles, News, Maps, Satellite Images, Dictionary, etc.
- Scitable – A free science library and personal learning tool that currently concentrates on genetics, the study of evolution, variation, and the rich complexity of living organisms. The site also expects to expand into other topics of learning and education.
- LearningScience.org – A free open learning community for sharing newer and emerging tools to teach scienc