Free online education: is this the future?

As I mentioned in the previous post, education should be free. It’s awesome to find successful people supporting this to the fullest extent! Here are some amazing online places:

I’ll start with my most recent discovery: Udacity. It’s a site offering free online computer science courses taught by excellent professors. And you don’t have to know anything about programming! That’s what they have the CS101 course for. The people involved have done an amazing job in organizing the courses and teaching. You get lectures, quizes, homework and exams. If you complete it successfully you get a certificate.
I have already taken one of their courses and I highly recommend it!

Another very interesting place with free lessons is the Khan Academy. Started with math, but has expanded to biology, chemistry, physics and much more! All thanks to volunteers 🙂

Of course Coursera couldn’t be missing from this post. Free online courses from top universities like Princeton and Stanford on nearly all basic topics – science, medicine, humanities, economics.

And for the little ones there is Whyville. An educational virtual world for children 8-16 years old, with a player base of more than 7 million! Whyville has received many awards for its educational value and safety. It teaches kids about a broad range of topics from science and business to art and geography.

The most encouraging aspect is the continuous increase of the number of students attending the courses in all the sites I mentioned. And the huge number of kids using Whyville is an excellent indicator of what’s coming. People want good education that is free and the internet seems to be the best place to get it.

Which means that universities need to become aware of the changes that are already happening and adjust.

And a small treat for the computer geeks out there: A set of top Computer Science blogs.


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