- Chuck Gray
The Internet is the largest repository of information ever conceived of. It is not, however, the best organized repository of quality information ever conceived of. For those of us who like to use the Internet as a source of continuing education, finding the quality chunks of information and learning can be daunting. Here are a few of the places I like to visit when I'm in the mood to learn something new.
Academic Earth (http://www.academicearth.org)
Offering a wide variety of course videos, Academic Earth is a great place to go if you just want to bone up on your algebra or learn about the American novel since 1945. It can also guide you towards different schools and programs if you want to make your learning official.
iTunes U (http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/)
Although iTunes U is accessible via a PC or Mac, it is probably most richly experienced with the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app, available for free from the App Store. iTunes U is perhaps the richest source of free academic coursework anywhere. You can learn pretty much anything you want through iTunes U; just download iTunes onto your PC or Mac, or the app for your iOS device.
YouTube EDU (http://www.youtube.com/education)
Well of course YouTube has an education channel! It's only the number one source of streaming video in the world, but much like the Internet that it floats in, finding quality materials on YouTube can be a task. This YouTube channel gives you only the best!
PBS Video (http://video.pbs.org/)
You know, it's easy to dismiss PBS as the channel you flip past on your way to the "real" TV, but with intelligent shows like Frontline, NOVA, and American Experience (and yes, Antiques Roadshow), PBS is truly a quality source of both information and entertainment and you can watch most of it online!
TED Talks (http://www.ted.com)
Standing for "Technology, Entertainment, Design", TED conferences are gatherings of the world's greatest thinkers and doers who are challenged to share their work in short talks of no more than 18 minutes. TED conferences are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but they make a huge number of their talks available online for free at ted.com.
FORA aggregates video from conference, events, debates, and talks on a variety of topics from around the world. Though not all their material is free, pricing is not restrictive, and the free content will be more than enough to satisfy most viewers.