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Posted on Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Online Courses are Free & Interesting

By Leslee Niethammer

For those who miss attending classroom lectures, people who want to polish up their skills or who simply like learning for the sake of learning, there are plenty of innovative websites with free lessons available that are suitable for students of all ages. Some of these websites have large collections of videos tackling specific topics, such as explaining a rule of grammar or a mathematical concept. There are even several universities that have made some of their courses available, complete with homework, recorded lectures and syllabi.

Here are some of the top picks:

Khan Academy ( Khan Academy boasts over 3,000 videos that range from basic arithmetic to macroeconomics. This is an excellent resource for students building their math skills or preparing for tests and for adults who might want to refresh their knowledge in calculus, statistics or other higher level math. Recently the site has expanded to include videos on history, investing and other topics.

Academic Earth ( This is a repository of university courses and lectures that have been made available online for free. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to sit in on a lecture at a prestigious university, this site offers a window into classrooms at UC Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, the University of Michigan and more. The top ranked courses include an Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, Introduction to Ancient Greek History and Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism.

Google Code University ( Google offers several tutorials and courses on various programming languages as well as current computing technologies and paradigms. While this is geared towards students of computer science, those looking to start seriously learning programming on their own will find it very useful.

Besides these great resources, Saline District Library has several resources, both online and on the shelves, for avid self-learners. The library is located at 555 N. Maple Road, Saline. (734) 429-5450. Check us out online at or our Facebook page.