After seeing the success of a personal experiment offering a free Stanford University-certified artificial intelligence course (23,000 people completed the class!), Sebastian Thrun left his prestigious professor position to dedicate himself to teaching on a much larger scale. His new program, Udacity will offer free university-level computer science classes to anyone interested in advancing their tech knowledge.
The two courses currently up for the taking are "CS 101: Building a Search Engine" and "CS 373: Programming a Robotic Car." But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to free online classes. Here, a list of places to point your web browser for free classes online, so you can soak up all the knowledge your brain can handle.
- Yale Open Courses — Named one of Time magazine's top 50 websites of 2011, Yale's classes allow anyone to browse through lectures and course materials in subjects including engineering, chemistry, astronomy, sociology, Spanish, history, and more.
- MIT OpenCourseWare — With over 2,000 courses available at your fingertips, MIT OpenCourseWare should be your first (and maybe your only) stop in online learning.
- Online Education Database — This website offers up a list of 200 free classes you can take online. Take some physics classes and learn about the phenomenon of superconductivity, or retake that algebra class you struggled with in high school.
- OpenCulture — This website offers up a list of free classes from top universities like Stanford and UC Berkeley, and even some video lectures you can find on YouTube.
- Harvard Open Learning — Watch videos of lectures on computer science and abstract algebra, among others
- Princeton Web Media — Browse through and take in archived lectures from Princeton's math, science, and engineering departments, and lots, lots more.
See more websites to get your online learning on after the break.
- UC Irvine OpenCourseWare — With free courses ranging from business management to social ecology, UC Irvine has you covered.
- The Open University — Based in the UK, this site offers up course materials along with forums so you can discuss the content with your fellow online learners.
- Open Learning Initiative — Free courses, along with self-guided materials, help you learn biology, chemistry, economics, and more at your own pace.
- UC Berkeley Webcasts — Skip the sky-high tuition and get free video and audio lectures from UC Berkeley professors.
- Free Online Classes — Get design and Photoshop tutorials to help you in the digital space.
- LiveMocha — Learn a new language — from Afrikaans to Vietnamese — for free with this recognized community.
- OpenCourseWare Consortium — This website hosts thousands of classes in several languages. Learn at your own pace and even scan the professors' notes, all for free!
- iTunes U — Hundreds of classes and audio books from several top universities are offered up on iTunes for free. Just download to your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Mac and learn on.