The expense that comes with higher education often be a major barrier to continued learning. With the development of technology like YouTube, however, it is possible for anyone to learn from the world’s foremost experts on any subject for free. Even students who are already enrolled in college courses can often benefit from the use of these learning tools. The number of options can be rather overwhelming, of course, but these are a few of the most prestigious and useful.
Those who have received engineering education or who are already engineers can particularly benefit from the lectures provided on the MIT channel on YouTube. Several different professors discuss mathematics and engineering as well as education and music theory. Each course offered contains several lectures, so it is easy to follow along and learn.
2. Bad Astronomy
The Bad Astronomy channel is very helpful to those who are new to astronomy and are interested in basic information and concepts. The videos tend to be fairly short and concise while explaining such complex concepts as how gravity works in black holes or what a Lagrange point is. Bad Astronomy can be particularly beneficial to those who do not have a lot of time for lectures or note-taking.
Geared toward an American audience, this channel discusses topics such as politics, taxes economics and current events with occasional forays into international interests. Since the majority of the videos are five minutes or less, they are easy to fit in during a lunch break or other downtime during the day.
4. Research Channel
Hardcore science types will enjoy many of the videos to be found on Research Channel. It presents the latest findings in medical, social and hard sciences and includes discussions by expert researchers on math, medicine and psychology. The channel also features in-depth interviews with movers and shakers such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
5. UC Television
This channel is produced by the University of California but does not exclusively focus on classroom lectures. Instead, it presents panels by guest speakers and professors on a wide variety of topics. They are sure to provoke thought and will educate anyone who watches. Two highly rated videos on the channel include a lecture on middle class financial struggles by Elizabeth Warren and a Robert Lustig talk about how sugar is not actually bad for the body.
6. Al Jazeera English
Newshounds who want to learn about world events from a perspective different from that found from most major western news providers will enjoy this channel. Along with extensive coverage of global issues, Al Jazeera brings forward stories that are often not seen in the western media. This is a good channel for those who are not afraid to explore the world outside of a set comfort zone and want to increase awareness on global topics in general. Thanks to YouTube's large, impressive library, it is easy to become more educated without having to spend a lot of money or time in a classroom. The channels described above are only a small sampling of the information available at the click of a mouse.
Guest post was contributed by Justin Epley for The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Find out more about completing a Masters in Accounting online . Justin is a freelance education writer. His articles appear on various education blogs.