Take Any College Class for Free: 236 Open Courseware Collections, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels

If you’re interested in specific open courses, you can find a variety of courses, in fields from social work to dressmaking, on the Web (or through our resource of full courses). Usually, those single courses will contain all the materials you need to learn one subject for free. But, if you’re after more than a single focus or if you need a deeper perspective on a subject, this list of open courseware collections may be just what you need. Each resource listed below contains a collection or collections of educational materials. You’ll find digital archives, a variety of courses, Podcasts, videos, and sometimes a mix of everything you can imagine so you can learn any given subject (interior design, perhaps, or maybe alternative medicine) in depth.

While the courses, videos, and audio files below won’t help you achieve a degree because they’re not credited, you can still practice strategies for successful online learning, which may help prepare you for studying at one of the best online colleges. Once you gain significant skills in any given subject, you might be able to translate those skills into credits for an undergraduate degree at accredited online schools.


Archival materials are easier than ever to access now that most institutions have begun to digitize their materials. The University of Virginia Library, for example, has compiled the Jefferson Digital Archive based upon their internal collections and other resources. The following is a “short list” of archival materials, but you can find several search engines and directories that will lead you to hundreds of regional and international archives and their online materials.

  1. American Memory — The Library of Congress provides extensive multimedia offerings on various topics through their American Memory Collection, including their outstanding Historic American Buildings Survey that showcases historical buildings through photographs.
  2. Google Art Project — Google has teamed up with 151 art museums and partners around the globe to bring more than 30,000 works of art to Internet users, regardless of where they are. If you can’t visit the museum in person, Google Art Project is the next best thing.
  3. Paleo- Future — This Smithsonian Magazine site archives visions of the future as described in the past. Look back at a future that never became a reality.
  4. Digital Scriptorium — For images of medieval and Renaissance texts, search through the growing Digital Scriptorium database.
  5. IMLS Digital Collections and Content — Access content from cultural heritage collections, exhibits from libraries and museums, and content from other archives. More than a million items are available for users to view.
  6. Center for the History of Family Medicine — Content from all kinds of Family Medicine organizations is compiled and archived here, including classics, common topics, links, and more.
  7. Illinois Historical Digitization Projects — This site is best for information on Illinois history, as well as that of Abraham Lincoln, but provides links to other projects involving history and important figures.
  8. Darwin Correspondence Project — Read the full texts of letters by or to Charles Darwin himself. More than 7,000 full letters are available, as well as information on 8,000 more.
  9. Digital Collections at The Center for Research Libraries — Taking resources from around the world, CRL preserves and archives newspapers, documents, and more for research purposes.
  10. Internet Archive — A digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form.
  11. National Archives — Provides primary source materials from NARA along with lesson plans for teaching with those sources.
  12. National Climatic Data Center — The NCDC, a division of NOAA, maintains climatic archives, including lists of storms in given counties, and records about global extremes, etc.
  13. The Rosetta Project — A global collaboration of language specialists and native speakers building a publicly accessible online archive of all documented human languages.
  14. September 11 Digital Archive —This site uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of the 9/11 attacks.
  15. U.S. Census Bureau — If you think the Census Bureau is all about numbers, you might be surprised to learn about their archived photographs, interactive map, and more available through their Newsroom.

Broadcast Learning

Turning off the television has become a mantra. When it comes to educational TV, maybe too much isn’t enough. The following broadcasting companies maintain Web sites that carry Podcasts, videos, and articles. Some sites maintain special sections expressly for students and teachers.

  1. ABC Australia — This site offers various educational categories, including archives and the Big IdeasWisdom Interview Podcasts.
  2. BBC Learning — Online learning, support, and advice. This site offers internal and offsite links to a vast amount of materials.
  3. Biography — The site holds videos to past interviews and biographies on people in topics that range from black history to women’s history.
  4. Book TV — This is the companion site to Book TV on C-Span2. The site holds some current interviews with authors, many past interviews, opinions, reviews, and featured programs through video.
  5. CBC Digital Archives — Relive Canadian history through thousands of available radio and television clips.
  6. Discovery — The Discovery site features videos and has an education section where teachers can accumulate materials for K-12 teaching. It’s impossible to list all their offerings here, so go discover!
  7. History Channel — Visit the Video Gallery for a selection on historical topics. Like the Discovery Channel, this network provides many opportunities for you to gain access to information and reference materials.
  8. NOVA — Watch current science shows or browse by category. PBS sponsors this channel.
  9. PBS — The Public Broadcasting Service brings great shows to television (other than Nova, listed above), and they also offer research capabilities, information, and podcasts to their viewers online.
  10. TVO — Canada’s largest educational broadcaster brings podcasts, video, educational television, and a special program entitled, Learn with TVO for parents and teachers of K-12 students.
  11. Weather Channel — You can learn about weather all over the world, but the Weather Channel also offers dynamic content based upon seasons and special conditions and a section just for kids and their teachers.
  12. The Science Channel — One of the Discovery Channel’s many subject-specific channels, the Science Channel covers, well, science. Find quizzes, games, photos, and videos about science’s mysteries and most fascinating elements.
  13. Discovery Health — Another child of parent company, the Discovery Channel, Discovery Health provides information on medicine, biology, mental health, and beyond.

YouTube Channels

If you’re trying to pick up a new skill or just gain some interesting knowledge, YouTube is a treasure trove. If you want to learn it, someone out there has probably made a video about it. With so many options on the site, start with these educational channels.

  1. eHow — How-to videos on everything you could possibly want to know. Choose from home, pets, food, style, fitness, family, and tech.
  2. Associated Press — The reputable news service provides news and features from around the world on this channel to help you keep up with current events.
  3. National Geographic Channel — Just one of many National Geographic tools for you to learn from, this YouTube channel lets you watch educational shows even if you don’t have the NatGeo TV channel.
  4. The RSA — The RSA, or Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, searches for innovative solutions to the challenges of today. Through their YouTube channel, check out the work they’re doing or exploring in arts and humanities, economics and business, education, and beyond.
  5. This Week in Tech Youtube Channel — Find out what’s going on in the tech world (and how to use all of your devices) from TWiT’s channel.
  6. Computer History Museum — Watch lectures from this museum that preserves and presents the history of the Information Age. Perfect for computer lovers.
  7. NobelPrize.org channel — If there’s anyone that can teach you a thing or two, it’s Nobel Prize winners. Watch these videos about their achievements.
  8. The University of Houston — Go through playlists in psychology, English, and communication from this university.
  9. Expert Village — If you’re looking for practical skills ranging from workouts to horse dressage to making wedding crafts, Expert Village has you covered.
  10. Kaplan SAT and ACT Prep — For anyone facing the PSAT, SAT, or ACT, watch these videos for test-taking tips and lessons.
  11. Wired — This is the perfect site for nerds and learning lovers out there. Learn weird facts, tech news, and more.
  12. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture — This University of Washington-Seattle museum creates videos of its activities, such as preserving objects, looking for fossils, and research.
  13. Gizmodo — Gizmodo videos show you the latest in technology and science. Only the most interesting stuff makes it onto YouTube.
  14. The Science Channel — Evolution, space, physics, and more are all ripe for the learning here.
  15. Carl Sagan’s COSMOS — Do you love scientist Carl Sagan? Then head to this YouTube channel to find videos from his documentary.
  16. Periodic Table of Videos — Chemistry videos are available here to teach you about every element on the periodic table, along with science news.
  17. Words of the World — Find out the histories and uses of familiar words. They’re more interesting than you think!
  18. FORA.tv — This channel provides videos from conferences, university debates, and think tanks for learners who can’t physically be present. Use it to get a peek into the world’s greatest minds.
  19. MIT’s channel — MIT, a standout university when it comes to providing open courseware for students everywhere, offers this YouTube channel for anyone who wants to learn a bit more about science and technology. Access lectures and interviews here.
  20. UCTV — The University of California covers topics ranging from health and medicine to humanities and the arts on this channel.
  21. ResearchChannel — The YouTube component of the TV channel available to many satellite and cable subscribers, this channel features research and academia’s brightest minds.
  22. TEDTalks — TEDTalks share the innovative ideas from the TED Conference with learners around the world. New videos are posted daily.
  23. Bill Nye the Science Guy — This channel is probably most useful for kids, but who couldn’t use a refresher on the science knowledge Bill Nye shared with us as children. Watch clips from each of the 100 episodes.
  24. American Museum of Natural History — If you don’t have the chance to visit the American Museum of Natural History, take some of its lessons on human cultures, the natural world, and the universe from this YouTube channel.
  25. Khan Academy — This open courseware giant offers courses and lessons through its website, but you can also find its videos on YouTube, and in multiple languages.
  26. Reel NASA — Get NASA and space station news from this space-focused YouTube channel.
  27. U.S. National Archives — Get access to public programs, see behind-the-scenes highlights from the National Archives, watch tutorials, and more with one of the best preservation organizations in the nation.
  28. YouTube Space Lab — Space facts and lessons from YouTube.
  29. The Spanish Blog — Learn Spanish from a native speaker through this YouTube channel and the teacher’s blog.
  30. Numberphile — Learn to love numbers with this numbers maniac. The Numberphile makes it way more interesting than it sounds.
  31. Crash Course! — Six courses in one channel, including literature, ecology, and more.
  32. Thnkr — This channel’s goal is to make you think and change your mind with videos of people, stories, and places.
  33. The New Boston — Get computer-related tutorials right here.
  34. Big Think — The world’s leading experts teach lessons, share ideas, and give advice on this YouTube channel.
  35. NYVS — Want to make better videos? Try NYVS, an online video and film school.
  36. SciShow — Entertaining science videos will keep your interest in the world around you alive.
  37. Lonely Planet — Plan a trip or just learn about other cultures and places through Lonely Planet’s YouTube videos.

Directories & Searches

Some of the items below, like Google, are fairly familiar to most Web enthusiasts. Others, such as “Archives Made Easy” might come as a surprise. You can find just about anything you need for your research and learning through the following directories and search engines. Each resource below leads to educational materials that can also lead you to accredited courses:

  1. Academic Blog Portal — This wiki serves as a portal of the “Invisible College” – the academic blogosphere full of serious scholarship and quirky, erudite commentary. Blogs are organized by discipline and by university.
  2. Archive Grid — Search through thousands of libraries, museums, and archives that have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid.
  3. Archives Made Easy — An online guide to archives around the globe that includes tips on how to navigate various repositories. Hosted by the International History department at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
  4. British Academy Portal — The British Academy’s directory of online resources in the humanities and social sciences.
  5. DMOZ — The Open Directory Project claims to be the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory for the Web.
  6. DOAJ — Directory of Open Access Journals covers free, full-text, quality-controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
  7. Economics Network — Economics Network of the UK’s Higher Education Academy provides a range of services that support university teachers of economics in the U.K. Their learning materials section carries many online directories to materials, notes, lectures, etc.
  8. Google Scholar — Search for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities, and other scholarly organizations.
  9. Infomine — Search for databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.
  10. Lecture Webcasts — A swicki (cross between a search and a wiki) for lecture Webcasts at the Internet TV Search Engine.
  11. ipl2 — This site is a categorized index to Web sites.
  12. Merlot — Find peer-reviewed online teaching and learning materials.
  13. Open Courseware Finder — Find a course online through a search or with tags.
  14. Repositories of Primary Sources — The University of Idaho has compiled primary sources by international area. Dig deeper to discover the repository, where you can gain access to primary sources online.
  15. Voice of the Shuttle — A database that provides links to content on the Web for the arts and humanities.
  16. Yahoo! Humanities Collection — Search for anything on the Web under the humanities heading.
  17. Voigts-Kurtz Search Program — Search through scientific and medical writing in Latin and Old and Middle English.

eBooks & eTexts

You don’t need to shell out big bucks for textbooks when most ancient texts and other public domain materials have been digitized. The following sources can help you save dollars while you learn (or just catch up on some pleasure reading). Some resources listed below may contain audio files rather than readable text and some sites may contain both text and audio files.

  1. Open Culture — Get 375 free books to download to your e-reader, including many classics.
  2. The Book Depository — Browse through the 11,000+ e-books by genre.
  3. Barnes and Noble Free NOOK Books — If you use Barnes and Noble’s NOOK e-reader, take advantage of these free e-books provided by the store.
  4. Kobo Books — Search through Kobo’s extensive list of free e-books for the perfect choice.
  5. Book Boon — Choose between textbooks, business books, and travel guides on this free e-book site.
  6. UPenn’s Online Books Page — Find more than a million free titles through this site’s search function, edited by John Mark Ockerbloom.
  7. Smashwords — This site helps you find e-books by indie authors or publishers. Some you have to pay for, but there’s a section for free books.
  8. The University of Chicago Press Books — The University of Chicago Press offers one free e-book each month.
  9. Google Play — Google Play claims to have the largest selection of e-books for users to enjoy on tablets, phones, or the Internet. You have to purchase most of them, but you can sample any book for free.
  10. The Reading Room — The Reading Room allows readers to join a community for book reviews, recommendations, and discussion. Free chapters are available on the site.
  11. Obooko — Only free books are offered here. Get your e-books in pdf, epub, or Kindle format.
  12. Authorama — Completely free books from a variety of different authors in the public domain.
  13. Bartleby — Bartleby contains many classic American and English texts searchable by author, title, and genre.
  14. Online Economics Textbooks — A categorized list maintained by John Kane.
  15. Scholars’ Lab — This University of Virginia collection features geospatial, text, statistical, and image resources.
  16. Medscape Reference — An open access collection of articles in topics in medicine, surgery, and pediatrics.
  17. FreeTechBooks.com — Free online computer science and programming books, textbooks, and lecture notes.
  18. Learn Out Loud — Learn Out Loud offers more than 5,000 free educational audio and video samples, including books, interviews, speeches, and more.
  19. LibriVox — LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net.
  20. AudioBooks by verkaro.org — Verkaro.org creates original recordings of audiobooks and releases them to the public through Creative Commons. The collection is small, but grows as the group has enough money to produce another recording.
  21. Many Books — More than 29,000 e-books available to download for free.
  22. Manuscript Reading Room — The Library of Congress’s Manuscript Division’s current holdings, nearly 60 million items contained in 11,000 separate collections, include some of the greatest manuscript treasures of American history and culture.
  23. Online Books Page — This project indexes online free books rather than hosts them, but it’s an easy resource to use.
  24. Online Mathematics Textbooks — A list created by George Cain, School of Mathematics at Georgia Institute of Technology.
  25. Oxford Text Archive — This site hosts arts and humanities literature, languages and linguistics texts that you can download in various formats.
  26. Perseus Digital Library — Tufts University’s evolving digital library.
  27. Philosophy — Canonical texts necessary for basic philosophy.
  28. Project Gutenberg — The first producer of free electronic books, there are 40,000 free books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog.
  29. Religion Online — This resource has more than 6,000 articles and chapters, with topics that include Old and New Testament, Theology, Ethics, History and Sociology of Religion, Communication and Cultural Studies, Pastoral Care, Counseling, Homiletics, Worship, Missions and Religious Education.
  30. Text Archive — Internet Archive’s open source text directory.
  31. WikiBooks — Since their founding in 2003, volunteers have written 2,529 textbooks with 45,700+ pages.
  32. World Public Library — This repository maintains a public access eBook and eDocument collection.


While most colleges won’t allow citations from encyclopedias in your research papers, these resources can lead you in the right direction to find more information.

  1. Encyclo — This online encyclopedia combines entries from more than a dozen encyclopedias and dictionaries, searchable by subject.
  2. Reference.com — This site provides encyclopedic information, as well as a dictionary and thesaurus.
  3. Yahoo! Education Encyclopedia — The Columbia Encyclopedia’s 50,000 entries are available here through Yahoo!
  4. World Digital Library — Browse this encyclopedia by location, time, and topic.
  5. Counterbalance Interactive Library — Offers new views on complex issues from science, ethics, philosophy, and religion.
  6. e-Podunk — Want to know information about a certain state, county, or city? e-Podunk maintains a site for this information and it’s growing to include cemeteries, libraries, museums, and newspapers.
  7. Encyclopaedia Britannica — Free trial offer for full version.
  8. Encyclopedia Smithsonian — Each entry contains materials within the online Smithsonian and through other resources.
  9. Highbeam™ Encyclopedia — Search through more than 100 “trusted sources,” which include encyclopedias, dictionaries, and thesauruses.
  10. InfoPlease — Information Please is part of Pearson Education, the largest educational publisher in the world.
  11. The 1911 Classic Encyclopedia — Based upon the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, first published in 1911. While many of the science and health articles are obviously outdated, many of the biographical and historical articles and more complete and in-depth compared to materials available elsewhere.
  12. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy — Each entry is maintained and kept up to date by an expert or group of experts in the field.
  13. Wikipedia — We all know that Wikipedia shouldn’t be used as a quoted source, but it’s great for quick background information and finding links to more information on the Internet.
  14. World FactBook — Part of the Bartleby collection, this project provides the U.S. government’s complete geographical handbook, featuring 268 full-color maps and flags of all nations and geographical entities.

Open Courseware Collections – University

The list below contains courseware offered by various colleges and universities. This list is by no means all-inclusive, so you might want to try
a search for a specific college to see what you can find. The colleges below
offer more than one course or, like “Berklee Shares”, a broad perspective on
one topic.

  1. Berklee Shares
    — Free music lessons
    that you can download, share and trade with your friends and fellow

  2. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning
    — OLI courses are designed to support you to learn a subject
    at the introductory college level.

  3. Duke Law Center for the
    Public Domain
    — News, lectures, links to various other resources within
    the site and on the Web. Projects range from the arts to international law

  4. Fulbright Economics Teaching Program
    — FETP is a resource for people who work or study in policy-related fields to increase their knowledge and explore new approaches to learning and curriculum development.
  5. Harvard Extension School — More than 200 courses are available online, either through video or live web conferences.
  6. Gresham College — Find lectures in various topics that are also available as audio and video files.
  7. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — This project provides access to content of the school’s most popular courses, from adolescent to refugee health.
  8. MIT — Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a wide variety of open courses from aeronautics and astronautics to writing and humanistic studies.
  9. Open University’s Open Learn — Originating from the U.K., this collection ranges from arts and history to technology.
  10. Tufts University — Six separate schools, from dentistry to the School of Arts and Sciences.
  11. United Nations University — UNU promotes the idea of a Global Learning Space for science and technology.
  12. University of California, Irvine — This college offers the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) and a few other courses.
  13. University of Notre Dame — From Africana studies to theology, students can take advantage of options within numerous Notre Dame departments.
  14. University of Washington — This university offers free general interest courses, as well as others they provide through Coursera.
  15. Utah State University — Available departments online range from anthropology to wildland resources.
  16. edX — MIT and Harvard partnered up to create this open course provider. Berkeley, Wellesley, Georgetown, and the University of Texas also provide courses for edX.
  17. Open Yale Courses — Take courses from none other than Yale University. All courses are introductory level, but are taught by distinguished Yale professors.
  18. UMass Boston OpenCourseWare — Courses are available through UMass Boston in departments ranging from biology to history to math.
  19. USQ Australia OpenCourseWare — This Australian school offers classes in how to study (a good one for anyone trying to get back into the habit), programming, teaching, and more.
  20. NYU Open Education — Seven NYU courses are being offered with the school’s pilot open course program. Check back over time as more courses will likely become available.
  21. Brigham Young Open CourseWare — Three BYU university courses and three high school courses are available on this site.
  22. Open.Michigan — This University of Michigan site allows students and instructors to share their educational material with the global community.
  23. TU Delft OpenCourseWare — Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands allows students the world over to take courses in subjects computer science, marine technology, engineering, and sustainable development, with some courses providing lecture recordings, textbooks, and practice exams.

Open Courseware Collections

Open courseware providers have burst onto the scene in the last couple of years, giving lifelong learners plenty of options when choosing free courses. Some of the following courseware isn’t necessarily labeled as “open courseware,” but they qualify because each site contains collections filled with lectures, visuals, audio, video, and other educational materials. This list contains sites that aren’t hosted or generated by universities.

    1. OpenCourseware Consortium — A community of institutions and organizations that offer free college-quality classes through this site.
    2. Udemy — Learn a wide variety of skill from the world’s experts on the subjects. You can learn programming as well as hobbies like photography or yoga.
    3. Khan Academy — Khan Academy provides thousands of video lessons, interactive challenges, and assessments for any student in the world with Internet access.
    4. Coursera — Coursera offers courses from 33 universities in 20 different categories, and their classes are structured more like a traditional course.
    5. Udacity — Earn certificates of completion as you finish courses on this site.
    6. ALISON — ALISON stands for Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online and provides free coursework serving 2 million learners so far.
    7. e-Learning Center — Learn basic and advanced computer skills for free through this site.
    8. Google Developers University Consortium — Learn about programming languages, mobile design, and web development from the best in the business.
    9. GCF LearnFree — Through this Goodwill site, you can learn basic job skills for the computer, as well as reading and math.

Connexions — A place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc. You can find 17,000 reusable modules woven into 1,000 collections at Connexions.

  • Digital History — An interactive, multimedia history of the United States from the Revolution to the present.
  • Exploratorium — Through the Exploratorium, you’ll find lectures, lessons, and more.
  • Music Theory — This site is a compact set of lessons, trainers, and utilities compiled by Ricci Adams.
  • NASA — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration maintains updated and archived materials and several modules. They also maintain the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where a researcher can find many materials including university lectures.
  • National Geographic — National Geographic offers dozens of videos from Nat Geo TV and more. They also offer an educational resource for K-12.
  • Nature — This international weekly journal’s online resource provides podcasts, streaming video, gateways, and databases for all things in nature.
  • Open Educational Resources — Internet Archives’ collection of educational content including coursework, study guides, exercises, and recorded lectures.
  • Smithsonian — Learn through online museum exhibits, recordings, research, and Journeys.
  • W3Schools — Web-building tutorials, from basic HTML to advanced XML, SQL, CSS, PHP, and more.
  • Wikiversity — This project comprises a community for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities.



Podcasts are a great way to learn during long drives, at the gym, or just when you’ve got some time to kill. They exist on almost every subject out there, so there’s bound to be one for what you want to learn. Some are even offered by colleges.

  1. LearnOutLoud — Look through this site’s catalog of educational audio book downloads and podcasts.
  2. BBC Maths — Delve deeper into mathematics with BBC Radio’s math podcasts.
  3. HowStuffWorks Podcasts — You can learn all kinds of weird facts or things you didn’t know about the world through the variety of HowStuffWorks podcasts.
  4. This Week in Tech — All tech talk all the time. Great for tech lovers and the tech illiterate alike.
  5. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me — This news quiz show helps you keep up with the happenings of each week but in an enjoyable game show format, complete with jokes, both bad and good.
  6. Planet Money
    This NPR podcast makes economics palatable. Learn about money and everything that goes along with it.
  7. American University — Podcast collections from this university’s Washington College of Law.
  8. Webcast.Berkeley — UC Berkeley offers video and audio webcasts for people around the globe.
  9. Center for International Studies — University of Chicago’s Chiasmos, a source for international events.
  10. Classics Podcasts — Ever want to hear the news in Latin? Visit more links to readings of Latin and (ancient) Greek texts, brought to you by Bryn Mawr’s Haverford College.
  11. Educator’s Corner — The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series takes place every Wednesday during the academic quarters at Stanford University. Listen to archived materials and see what’s coming up.
  12. Front Row — Boston College offers free access through streaming media to tapes of cultural and scholarly events.
  13. Johns Hopkins’ PodMed — A weekly podcast looking at the medical news around the world. Archives go back to 2005.
  14. Lewis & Clark Law School — Recordings of events and speakers at Paul L. Boley Law Library at Lewis & Clark Law School.
  15. London School of Economics — Podcasts of public lectures and events.
  16. NOVA — Nova currently offers four different Podcasts for science fans.
  17. Princeton University’s Event Streaming Media — Special events, lectures, sports, etc.
  18. Stanford on iTunes — Download faculty lectures, interviews, music and sports.
  19. Swarthmore College University Lectures — Swarthmore faculty lecture on various topics.
  20. UCLA Bruincast — UCLA provides podcasts organized by course topic.
  21. University of Bath — “BathPods” from a public lecture series where leading names from the worlds of science, humanities, and engineering talk about the latest research in their field.
  22. University of Oregon UO Channel — Interviews, documentaries, lectures.
  23. Yale University — A diverse collection from Yale’s many schools.
  24. Global Voices — Global Voices is an international, volunteer-led project that collects, summarizes, and gives context to some of the best self-published content found on blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs from around the world, with a particular emphasis on countries outside of Europe and North America.
  25. NPR — National Public Radio offers several venues to learn about various topics through articles and podcasts.
  26. Open Source — Christopher Lydon brings hot topics to online listening through Public Radio International (PRI).
  27. Point of Inquiry — Point of Inquiry is the premiere Podcast from the Center for Inquiry, drawing on CFI’s relationship with the leading minds of the day including Nobel Prize-winning scientists, public intellectuals, social critics and thinkers, and renowned entertainers.
  28. Scientific American — Enjoy 60-second science Podcasts or longer interviews with leading scientists and journalists.
  29. The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe — A weekly Podcast talk show produced by the New England Skeptical Society (NESS) in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) discussing the latest news and topics from the world of the paranormal, fringe science, and controversial claims from a scientific point of view.
  30. Sound of Young America — Public radio’s “funniest, most fascinating interview program,” available free on the air, on the Web or by Podcast.


Whether it’s at the library, through videos, podcasts, or online, research is easier when it’s free. Plus, you can ease some headaches if you know how to take copious notes.

  1. Elements of Style — Visit Strunk & White at Bartleby.
  2. HighWire Press — HighWire Press is a division of the Stanford University Libraries, which produces the online versions of high-impact, peer-reviewed journals and other scholarly content. Some sites are free to peruse through trial periods or through archived materials.
  3. Internet Public Library — Search through online collections in numerous categories.
  4. Mayo Clinic — This site contains databases for diseases and conditions, drugs and supplements, and treatment decisions.
  5. SparkNotes — Free online study guides.
  6. U.S. Government Manual — The official handbook of the Federal Government.

Videos – University

The list of video collections below are either hosted or generated by a school of higher learning. Some resources also include podcasts or other educational materials, so look around when you head to a specific site.

  1. Case School of Law — Lecture series dating from 2001 to current year.
  2. Duke University Multimedia — Classroom video archives produced in the Duke University Mathematics Department Multimedia Classroom.
  3. Georgetown University Webcasts — Current critical intellectual and social issues debated and discussed.
  4. Harvard@Home — The mission of Harvard@Home is to provide the Harvard community and the broader public with opportunities for rich in-depth exploration of a wealth of topics through Web-based video programs of the highest caliber.
  5. Harvard Law School — Events and lectures online.
  6. Landon Lecture Series — Gain live access on day of lecture or view archived lectures on public issues, thanks to Kansas State University.
  7. Mathematical Sciences Research Institute — MSRI streaming video lectures.
  8. MIT Video — Look through the 12,000+ videos and 100 channels offered by MIT.
  9. Oxford Internet University Webcasts — Live and on-demand Webcasts of prominent speakers from events and conferences organized or recorded by the Oxford Internet Institute.
  10. Princeton University WebMedia — Includes events, lectures and a small selection of Podcasts.
  11. Rice University Webcasts — Live and archived events, speakers, and lectures at Rice.
  12. University of California TV Video on Demand — Lectures, seminars, and talks on a variety of topics.

Video – Other

The following list contains collections that are not maintained by a school of higher learning. But any of these resources offer great opportunities to learn through videos that range from short-shorts to entire movies.

  1. 2007 Exploring Space Lectures — Brought to you via Smithsonian Institute.
  2. Center for Economic Studies (CES) — Highlights and lectures from conferences and events on economics.
  3. Cern Webcast Service — CERN lectures and seminars to universities, schools and to the general public.
  4. Free Documentaries — Mostly political films.
  5. Free Movies and Documentaries — Videos embedded from other sites, but worth a look for various categories under documentaries, news items, etc.
  6. Howard Hughes Medical Center Lectures — Gain access to information on everything from evolution to RNA.
  7. Indymedia — The San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center is a non-commercial, democratic collective of Bay Area independent media makers and media outlets. This site also serves as the local hub for the global Indymedia network and offers archival materials as well.
  8. Link TV — Current perspectives on international news, current events, and diverse cultures, presenting issues not often covered in the U.S. media.
  9. Moving Image Archive — Internet Archive’s collection of classic full-length movies, daily alternative news broadcasts, and user-uploaded videos of every genre.
  10. National Archives — You can view and download 101 historical videos that have been digitized by the National Archives and Google.
  11. Nobel Prize Lectures — Provide a wealth of background to every Nobel Prize since 1901. You can find biographies, interviews, photos, articles, video clips, press releases, educational games and a great deal more information about the Nobel Laureates and their work.
  12. The Royal Society — Video lectures on topics from biology and climate science to physics.
  13. Vega Science Trust — The Vega Science Trust aims to create a broadcast platform for the science, engineering and technology (SET) communities. Learn from seminars, lectures, and more (they have four priceless archival recordings delivered by Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman at the University of Auckland, New Zealand).
  14. Webcasts — From the Library of Congress.
  15. WGBH Forum Network — The WGBH Forum Network is an audio and video streaming Website dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures given by some of the world’s foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policy makers and community leaders.

Remember, the resources above cannot be applied toward credit at any university, even when a school of higher learning offers the materials. But, you can train yourself to learn faster, deeper, and better when you spend time with these resources on a regular basis. Keep your brain cells active and you’ll have a better brain!