164th New York, standing in inspection formation, ca.1863 from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

So prompted by a nonprofit that had some questions for me, I put out a call on Twitter for places to find excellent learning resources online. Chapter 7 of my book includes a resource guide that covers the best known places like MIT Open Courseware, the Open Courseware Consortium, Connexions, OER Commons, ItunesU,
http://academicearth.org/ and Youtube EDU. Here’s a bunch more that didn’t exist when I was writing the book or that I just didn’t know about. Thanks, Twitter folks!

I think what the world may still be waiting for is a centralized repository with a critical mass of users and community features, so that learners and educators can vote up or down, comment or modify the best stuff…and maybe a marketplace of commercial service providers on top of that to sell you a printed/curated/digitally remastered version of the material to meet a specific need, or to connect you with educators, or with assessors that can help you figure out how to get credit for a particular course…ok, I’m dreaming now.

http://einztein.com/ Going into beta testing later this year, a place to find and vote on the best courseware resources online.

http://www.saylor.org/ Just started, but promising:organizing free courseware into academic programs or majors.

http://nixty.com/ Very interesting idea: designed as a platform to help educators create courses around open courseware, and help learners assemble portfolios of courses.

Smithsonian Commons (prototype) http://www.si.edu/commons/prototype/
A nascent attempt to make the nation’s archives freely available to the world.

http://iberry.com/ A small nonprofit maintains this very large open courseware directory for higher learning. Cool community features: anyone can submit or comment on a link. They also have a section on learner support networks built around open courseware.

http://freelearning.ca/ A collaborative initiative of British Columbia’s colleges featuring lots of cool stuff, including a Kayak-like Google search box that combs lots of OER sites for learning resources.

Learning is For Everyone An organization for homeschoolers presents this curated list of resources by subject, from arts to economics and K through adult.

Muskogee Public Schools K-12 Open Ed Wiki Just like it says. A list of resources for K-12.


(history)  http://www.gilderlehrman.org/

A multimedia resources site for teachers on 19th century black history http://www.craftingfreedom.org/. This site follows the lives of nine African-Americans born into slavery in the 19th century, with videos and lesson plans. It happens to be by my aunt, Laurel Sneed. I imagine there may be hundreds on this model, lovingly crafted repositories of resources that are openly available to teachers.

(web design) http://interact.webstandards.org/curriculum/

http://teachingwithted.pbworks.com/ A wiki about teaching with TED.

http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/ New York Times content for teachers.


Around Venezia from Icam on Vimeo.

Video from Openculture.com
http://www.openculture.com/ Clearly a well-edited blog and site bringing a TEDster sensibility to chronicling “the best” cultural & educational media on the web. I am going to bookmark these and would look here for highbrow entertainment as much as for “lifelong learning.” Also! A list of language lessons in various languages. Love!

Got more? Post in the comments!

4 Responses to “Places to Find Excellent Learning Resources Online”

  1. Bill Farren says:

    Thanks for the update, Anya. Read your book recently and enjoyed it very much. Agree with you that it would be great to have a centralized repository with ratings, comments, etc. So much out there but still quite a chore to find what’s best/suitable. (Digg style tool, maybe?)
    Also looking for good portfolio systems, credit-granting options. (http://www.cael.org/pla.htm is a start but still seems very rudimentary. Would like something that’s not based on the formal system (e.g. ETS, Unis…)
    Unfortunately, lots of great learning opportunities go unused because people don’t see ways to get “credit” for them.
    Keep dreaming the good dream.

  2. Brian Kung says:

    You should also look into University of Reddit. There’s a lot of what you’re looking for there.

    For more examples on how reddit can be an excellent place to learn, check out:

  3. ssl says:

    Just saw your article in eLearning which was linked from an ACM newsletter. I completely agree with your premise – and blogged on this – in March I wrote a short post about khan academy: http://technomomster.blogspot.com/2010/03/i-will-gladly-play-you-tuesday.html
    “a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Despite being the work of one man, Salman Khan, this 1600+ video library is the most-used educational video resource as measured by YouTube video views per day and unique users per month. We are complementing this ever-growing library with user-paced exercises–developed as an open source project–allowing the Khan Academy to become the free classroom for the World. ”

    Check it out. Though videos and online instruction can’t completely replace classrooms (I’m thinking especially the interactive part of classrooms, E.G. discussion, questions, labs) They should make mediocre profs who make their living lecturing to 200 students while TAs do the interactive parts afraid. Good profs should be happy because their time is now freed to do the real value added interactive parts: office hours, discussion, etc.

  4. Mirabello Vespucci says:

    I am surprised you did not include Khan Academy. Bill Gates, John Doerr, CNN, etc have all recognized Sal’s content, and Fortune Magazine featured him in their last issue.

Leave a Reply