15 Online Resources for Free Education

While entangled in the depths of college, some of us can’t imagine, or don’t want to imagine, taking more classes on the side. However, there are many people who haven’t had the chance to receive a college education or even a high school education. Heck, there are plenty of us who can’t afford the education we’re receiving right now. Luckily, nowadays knowledge in some capacity is easily accessible with a simple Internet connection. LifeHacker has compiled an impressive list of websites, institutions, and collections of colleges and universities that offer free classes or courses online to further your education or satisfy your simple curiosity.

Do you want the most elite of the free online courses? Chance a glance at LifeHacker University or edX which both offer numerous, free online courses from prestigious institutions across the country such as Yale, MIT, Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley.

edX.org
edX.org

Maybe your belief lies in the masses – you should try the University of Reddit, a subthread of Reddit, whose wealth of knowledge is built through crowdsourcing and is run by Reddit users with expertise on certain subjects whom post modules regularly in the subthread.

University of Reddit
University of Reddit

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Use Reddit to Get Free Stuff

Companies and individuals offer to give out freebies online every day, but it can be pretty impossible to be at the right place at the right time. Luckily, you can find a lot of this free stuff using reddit. The site is organized into “subreddits” which serve as categorization for particular communities. The larger reddit community can be kind of love-it-or-hate-it, but certain subreddits can be a great tool in finding good deals. Subreddits dedicated to free stuff essentially become a giant crowdsourced gallery of links to cool offers.

Finding these subreddits themselves can be tricky at times, so I’ve provided a few below:

Some communities are more active than others, but you can easily find the best content on any subreddit by clicking the word “top” on the navigation bar and adjusting for time scale (top this month, top this year, top all time).

top all time on reddit

 

Instructify.com: Reviews of Free Teaching Tools for Teachers by Teachers

Instructify.com is chock full of reviews and links to free resources for instructors. While the main demographic seems to be K-12 instructors, there are certainly tools here for college writing courses. The site is a bit clunky and silo-y, but the resources reviewed here are incredibly useful. With close to 1,500 posts there is surely something here for everyone.

I am particularly drawn to the “writing” tag (of course) – instructify.com/tag/writing. This tag features reviews of gems like Let Them Sing it For You, comic strip creators, Vintage Technology, and more. Remember, all the tools and resources featured on Instructify are free.

Books Without the Burden

Books are expensive; textbooks are outrageously expensive. And heavy. So even if you’re a die-hard print lover, this list of free books available online can ease your burden (both financially and physically).

The first and most obvious is the heavy hitter: Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg runs off of donations and impressively manages to provide over 42,000 high quality free e-books, and most are available in multiple file formats.

For textbooks, we have textbookrevolution.org. The site can be a bit annoying to navigate – broken links scattered through the navigation become frustrating quickly. On the bright side though, textbookrevolution has over 1000 free textbooks available on a variety of subjects. There’s also en.wikibooks.org, an open source/open collection of informational books that utilizes the familiar wiki structure to crowdsource the content.

Finally, if you’re looking for a beach read to throw on your kindle, there’s publicbookshelf.com. Public Bookshelf has a community built around romance novels, and as such some of their top hits include Sense and Sensibility, Princess Zara, and a fictional biography of Jane Austen.

The full list at justenglish has 103 entries separated into even more categories, like foreign language novels, poetry, and even illustrated children’s books.