When I was younger, several of my teachers told me the same thing: If you learn how to read, you can learn how to do anything. I took that advice to heart, teaching myself how to count to ten in Russian, how to create Pascal’s Triangle, and other things that randomly piqued my interest. Back then, my main sources of info were The World Book Encyclopedia and the Childcraft series of books.

These days, self-directed learning has gotten much more sophisticated. Exhibit A: Opencourseware. Basically, open courseware is free, expert knowledge given away by colleges and universities. You can access syllabi, lectures, exams and other cool stuff. Check it out; if there’s a subject you don’t have the time or money to take traditionally, there’s probably an equivalent out there. This is perfect for me, because as a single mom, my time AND money are very limited, but my need to learn hasn’t diminished. I’m planning to get my MFA in creative writing in a few years; in the meantime, I’m gonna take advantage of literature classes offered through opencourseware. What about you–what subject are you curious about?

MIT Opencourseware

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health


101 Open Courseware Projects