12 great free online courses

Apple on a laptop keyboard

Much ado has been made in recent years over the quickly rising cost of healthcare in the United States. But the cost of college tuition and fees has skyrocketed at nearly twice that rate. Going to college today will cost a student 559% more than it did in 1985, on average.
In an exciting talk given at TEDGlobal 2012, Stanford professor Daphne Koller explains why she was inspired — alongside fellow professor Andrew Ng — to create Coursera, which brings great classes from top universities online for free. Coursera classes have specific start dates, require students to take quizzes and turn in assignments, as well as allowing professors to customize their course into online chunks rather than simply recording their lectures.
When she spoke at TED Global, Coursera offered classes from four top colleges — Princeton University, the University of Michigan, Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania — but in July, Coursera announced that they had increased to 16 participating colleges, including five of the schools considered the top 10 in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. The site now offers 116 classes.
Even outside of Coursera, the number of college classes available on a computer screen rather than in a brick-and-mortar lecture hall is staggering. At TEDxEastside Prep, Scott Young gave the intriguing talk — “Can you get an MIT education for $2,000?” — in which he shared his effort to get an MIT education in computer science by taking the school’s Open Courseware free online courses. The result? He’s currently taken — as well as passed exams and completed programming assignments for –  20 of the 33 courses in schools’ curriculum.
Inspired by Young, after the jump, find 12 courses you could take for a completely free TED degree in Big Ideas.
Full Text: TED Blog | 12 great free online courses.

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