With the semester coming to an end, you have perhaps started planning for the winter break whenever you get time between study sessions. If you are like me, your idea for a perfect break is probably relaxing at home, finishing all five seasons of Breaking Bad. But thanks to the internet though, end of the semester does not mean end to learning anymore. On the contrary, it might just mean taking exciting classes that either don’t fit into your schedule or aren’t even offered at Tufts; or learning a new skill like programming or even juggling! All online, for free!

The newest fad on the internet block is called MOOC, or Massive Open Online Courses; which are the coolest courses on the planet taught by rock star professors at top universities like Stanford and MIT, all for free! Here’s a list of the top MOOC course providers:

1. Coursera (www.coursera.org) Coursera works with 33 university partners, including Stanford, California Institute of Technology and Berklee College of Music. Coursera has 207 courses in 18 subjects including computer science, math, business, humanities, social science, medicine, engineering, education,….phew! Most courses have start and end dates, though it’s possible to join a course after it has begun, as long as it is before the registration cutoff date.

2. Udacity (www.udacity.com) Udacity is an independent provider started by a well-known Stanford Professor. Udacity has 18 courses across the fields of computer science, math and startups.

3. edX (www.edx.org) edX has courses from MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley and the UT System ranging from Public Health to Electrical Engineering, 8 in all.

4. Canvas Network (www.canvas.net) Canvas has 24 courses from Basic Arithmetic to Game Design Concepts taught by teachers and professors from various schools and universities.

5. Venture Lab (www.venture-lab.org) Venture Lab by Stanford has courses primarily focusing on management and entrepreneurship, 5 in all.

If you are confused by too many options and too little time, sites like www.knollop.com and www.coursetalk.org will help you choose the best courses based on reviews by other students who have taken them before.

Want to learn something new, but not ready for the time commitment of an entire course? Try some of these: www.ocw.mit.edu, www.khanacademy.org, http://www.ocwconsortium.org/en/courses, http://webcast.berkeley.edu/, http://oyc.yale.edu/ among others. You can also check out iTunes U for a variety of courses ranging from iOS app design to finance http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/

How about learning to code? That would be fantastic, right? Sites like http://www.codecademy.com and http://www.khanacademy.org/cs are great places to start.

In case, you want to get away from all thing related to studying; there are sites that teach you new hobbies and crafts as well. Check out http://www.udemy.com/ Udemy has both free and paid courses, according to what you want to learn.

Well, that should keep your winter break schedule busy right? Happy Learning!

-Samujjal Purkayastha

 

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