Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Free, Fun, and Informative

I recently came across a very interesting website that I just have to share.  It’s called Open Culture and is one of the most impressive sites I’ve ever come across.  If you’re bored, go take a look at it.  If you want to broaden you horizons and learn something, go take a look at it.  It you have a particular interest in a subject, go take a look at it.  This site is a completion of free online resources on a wide variety of subjects.  At the moment it contains the following:

-Free Language Lessons (40 different languages)
-Free Audio Books (500 different books)
-Free eBooks (400 different books)
-Free Online Courses (700 from top universities)
-Free Films (500 of different genres)
-Free Certificate Courses (300 from top universities)

I’ve been cruising around the site for a couple weeks and to date everything that I’ve seen has been quality material.  The courses are from recognizable and reputable institutions.  The films are from a wide variety of genres and the books contain a wide range of contemporary and classics, though obviously there are more classics since they can be distributed freely. 
Furthermore the site is entirely legal drawing from already free resources on the web and I have yet to see anything plagiarized or of questionable origin.  While they don’t create content themselves they have created the most complete compendium of resourses I have every seen.  This reduces the need for you to search the web yourself and helps you to avoid the resources that are “free” for a limited trial, or of poor quality. 
I know that this site is going to keep me entertained for a very long while.  I have started going through the free courses that they offer.  There are so many that I find interesting that I decided to go alphabetically and I have started with the Archaeology section and with a course about Hannibal by the Stanford professor Patrick Hunt.  Walking to the grocery store, cleaning, and dishes have suddenly become much more interesting.  Spending only an hour a day with this site will give you both entertainment and food for thought.  Not to mention that at an hour a day it will take me roughly 32 years to get through their content; by which time I’m sure they’ll have added to their repertoire.  

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