Guide to E-Learning Sites

The original webpage for these resources are found at

This sampling of e-Iearning opportunities Is generally limited to video-based content that's meant to be free, without restrictions or catches. Other education and enrichment discoveries are limited only by what your search engine of choice turns up. Or stay on top of new offerings at Open Culture, which scours the Web for free cultural and educational media. For links to the sites below, go to AARP FREE LEARNING.


ITUnesU, Apple has been building this onllne"universlty" and fliling it with free content -at last count, more than 100,000 educational video and audlofiles - from top universities (London School of Economics), NPR stations (Minnesota Public Radio's "Grammar Grater", a weekly podcast about English words, grammarandusage), famous museums and other cultural institutions all over the world.

Academic Earth. Here you'll find thousands of video lectures from the world's top scholars - from Yale's Shelly Kagan on the "Philosophy on Life and Death" to investment banker Stan Christensen and former San Francisco 4ger quarterback Steve Young on "Football vs. Business Negotiations."

YouTube. The rapidly expanding default site for user-generated video now includes an education "channel"called YouTube EDU , with content from top universities and other institutions.

ResearchChannel. Where on the Web can you find Milton Masciadri, professor of double bass at the University of Georgia, discuss the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument used in the modern symphony orchestra? Here! A consortium of leading research and academic institutions share with the public more than 3,500 videos produced by its members.

Videolectures.Net . The site offers video lectures presented by distinguished scholars and scientists at conferences, seminars, workshops and the like. A project of the Jozef Stefan Institute in Slovenia, it has a decidedly international feel.


webcast.berkeley. The University of California-Berkley records in lecture halls and classrooms equipped with video- and/or podcast-capture systems. In addition to hundreds of courses, the site offers on-campus lectures, debates, symposiums and other events.

Harvard@home. The site features more than 60 multimedia-rich programs on topics ranging from stem cells to Beethoven.


Learning center. Acquire lots of different skills from organizing your daily life to mastering Google Desktop - from Hewlett Packard's online ciasses . Each class includes up to 10 lesscns aod may also include interactive demos, assignments and quizzes.

WonderHowTo . Curators scour more than 1700 websltes and hand-pick instructional videos - from how to live longer (with Unlversity of Cambrldge researcher Aubrey Grey) to teaching your dog to roll over and play dead.

Howcast. Its videos run the gamut from - "How To Look Great In Photographs"  "How To Jump-Start Your Car". Make your own how-to shorts In Howcast's Emerging Filmmakers Program.


TEDTalks.  Slnce 1984,the annual conference that goes by the acronym TED (Technology,Entertainment,Design) has brought together some of the world's top thinkers and doers and challenged them to g1ve the talk of thelr lives ln 18 mlnutes or less. Thls site aggregates the best of those,lncluding Australian science writer Margaret Wertheim's presentation about the beautiful mathematical links among coral, crochet and hyperbolic geometry.

Nobel Prize winners. The online home of the Nobel Prizes is packed with interviews with and lectures by some of the world's smartest people, There's an interview, for example, with Italian neurologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, the first Nobel laureate to reach the age of 100. (She and a colleague won the 1986 Nobel Prize In physiology or medicine for their discovery of nerve growth factor.) In it, Levi-Montalcini talks about why this latest period of her life has been the best.

Forum National Network. A consortium of public television and radio stations offers live and on-demand lectures by some of the world's foremost scholars, authors. artists, scientists, policy-makers and community leaders. Recent lecture webcasts included Harvard sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot discussing her new book, the Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the! 25 years After 50.


Health: Three trustworthy stops:

WebMD's videos A to Z library, which has thousands of videos, catalogued by topic;

Health's Video Library;

and the University of Maryland Medical Center's Video Library
and the University of Maryland Medical Center's Audio Library
which includes interviews with UMMC experts, patient success stories and surgical webcasts.


The BBC offers audio and video courses for beginners and intmediates in more than two dozen languages - French, German, Japanese - even Urdu.

Cooking. Three tempting sites:

"Around the World in 80 Dishes" is a series of video-based cooking classes at;

the Culinary Institute of America , the famous school for chefs in Hyde Park,NY, offers classes on its YouTube network and its podcasts on iTunes;

the Food Network's website has lots more recipes and how-to videos.

Literature. LibriVox's goal is to make all books in the public domain available as free audiobooks. Volunteers record the books, chapter by chapter, and release the audio flies back cnto the net.

Jazz profiles. Take the I-Train to the archive of NPR's, Jazz Proliles , a documentary series hosted by singer Nancy Wilson. You can listen to the shows as podcasts, read profiles of the performers featured in the series and download the playlistsfor each show.

Findling Your Ancestors. The Mormon Church is well known for its repository of genealogy records, so it makes sense that Brigham Young University would offer online courses in how to research your family history.

History. , the online counterpart of television's History Channel, has a video 1ibrary well worth checklng out.

Computer programming. Maybe you've read about Ethann Nicholas, who earned $800,000 by writing zn arttillery game called "IShoot" for the IPhone, If you want to try your own hand, consider auditing Stanford's Computer Science 193P; IPhone Application Programming . The 10 week undergarduate course attracted 150 students for only 50 spots when it was introduced on campus last fall. Online viewers see the same lectures as classroom students.