Senior Summer: How to Take (Interesting) Courses for Free

What should I do this summer now that school is out? How about go back to school…in your pajamas. Tons of people take courses during the summer to receive additional credits or because they have more time to focus on one subject. Others take courses simply because they’re interested in the subject. I’m part of the other. There are many places to take courses online, most of them are free, and for many of them, if you pay a small fee, you can also get credit for them. Here are few places to find them.

  • edX: I’m currently enrolled (for free) in six (too many!) courses. This is one of my favorite course sites (courtesy of my friend, Andy) because they offer mostly free courses in a variety of subjects from reputable schools across the country, such as Harvard, Harvey Mudd, etc. Most of the courses are taught through videos, short readings, and weekly assignments. As of right now, I’m working on a final project for my “The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture” class (there’s my superheroine below) and gearing up for a diagnostic in “Calculus 1A: Differentiation.”
  • (In addition to learning comic book history, during the course, students also make a comic book with hero, villain, and storyline; meet Sixth Sense--a heroine with silent and invisible powers)

    (In addition to learning comic book history, during the course, students also make a comic book with hero, villain, and storyline; meet Sixth Sense–a heroine with silent and invisible powers)

  • LifeHacker U: In addition to pointing you to other sites that offer online courses (many of them free), Life Hacker U also offers their own courses that mainly consist of short readings. My mom’s taking a photography course through LHU!
  • Wikiversity: You’d be surprised at how extensive the courses through Wikiversity are. Not only are they free (Wikipedia is all about free knowledge, guys), but they’re highly detailed. Here’s a screenshot for their technical writing course.

Alright, so you know where to find some interesting courses, but which ones should you take? If you’re really having trouble deciding, I advise taking a minimum of two this summer–one that you’re interested in (like me with my Superhero course) and one that you feel a duty to take (Calculus for me since I want to get better at it). Ultimately though, it’s up to you. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn while taking a free online course–not just in the class itself, but also how much of your drive is truly intrinsic (motivation for you to do well) or extrinsic (motivation to get a good grade). Happy Studying!

Season Caught-Up/ Series Complete: How To Get Away with Murder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbSl-SPyHtg (I didn’t see that totally crazy ending coming. I’m not too thrilled with all of the characters [Asher, really?] but I’m still impatiently waiting for season two.)

Book Read: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Everything

(Don’t expect it to be your typical ref book like Never Shower in a Thunderstorm or Book of Lists. Since this book was written by editors of Discover magazine and includes reporting by Jason Stahl, you’re not getting pages of facts, but rather small articles about each object.) [InsertCleverPhraseHere], Ash M. Monty [Imported from http://www.montysmayhem.blogspot.com ]

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2 thoughts on “Senior Summer: How to Take (Interesting) Courses for Free

  1. Pingback: Senior Summer: Learn a (Relevant) Skill | Monty's Mayhem

  2. Pingback: Senior Summer: Summer Break (End of Summer Blog Series) | Monty's Mayhem

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