AP NEWS

Open Culture offers courses from world-class universities for free

April 20, 2018

When Janet Jackson and the late Luther Vandross sang, “The Best Things in Life Are Free,” in 1992, I am certain they weren’t thinking about the internet. However, that duet is my anthem anytime I scour the open internet. As a forever student (with a budget that seemingly reflects that), I am always on the hunt to learn more — and the cost of it being “free” always fits my wallet.

Thus, I have been obsessed with the offerings from Open Culture, a site that provides online courses, audio books, language lessons and ebooks — all for free. There is also a selection of cultural curiosities that range from Philly’s own Sun Ra offering an Afro-futuristic lecture of his jazz renderings during a 1971 UC Berkley lecture to the 1993 Nobel Prize Lecture by Toni Morrison.

Currently, the site boasts over 1,300 courses or lectures from top universities such as Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford and Harvard. According to the site: “Generally, the courses can be accessed via YouTube, iTunes or university websites, and you can listen to the lectures anytime, anywhere, on your computer or smart phone.”

And there is something for everyone. Are you interested in developing an app? Then check out Stanford’s Paul Hegarty discuss, “Developing iOS 10 Apps with Swift.” Or, accept Harvard’s David Damrosch’s “Invitation to World Literature.” Oxford University’s Marianne Talbot takes virtual students for “A Romp Through Ethics for Complete Beginners.” Listen in as Yale’s Amy Hungerford lectures on “The American Novel Since 1945.” And, my new favorite is MIT’s Dr. Paola Rebusco delivering “Speak Italian with Your Mouth Full.”

Right now there are “173 free philosophy courses, 92 free history courses, 128 free computer science courses, 81 free physics courses and 55 Free Literature Courses in the collection … covering astronomy, biology, business, chemistry, economics, engineering, math, political science, psychology and religion.”

All together, there are about 45,000 hours of free unconventional or vintage courses audio and video lectures that will keep you learning something new for a very long time.

To download free courses, movies, ebooks, audio books and more, visit openculture.com.